Here were 7 things that surprised us about Hungary.
- It may seem silly, but I was excited by Hungarians’ use of pepper and spices. As in: they used them! That isn’t to say that Scandinavians and Italians avoid spices, but they tend to opt for ones like basil and sage. I missed the little kick of pepper. (And I certainly got it at Menza.)
- Many more people than we expected spoke English. This was wonderful, since our Hungarian was awful.
- They had plentiful signage in the metros – more so than in most other cities we’ve been to. For example, signs in the subway station marked which exit to take based on the bus we wanted to catch. They also had very detailed information for a temporarily rerouted train, and still had employees redirecting oblivious, confused passengers (us included!).
- There were more homeless people sleeping on worn mattresses or sleeping bags at the sides of buildings than in other cities we’ve visited. The numbers were closer to what you might see in big US cities like New York or San Francisco. They didn’t ask for money or help: they were just going to sleep there.
- There were public fountains with jets that made creative patterns, like in Poland.
- Hungary is the subject of “the saddest infographic” that B has ever seen.
- The Budapest metro had some very interesting rules of what could and could not be transported on there. The tree sapling allowance is my favorite.