5 Tidbits from Hungarians in Budapest

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“All we have to our left is our sword, dog, and hookers”

A Hungarian said this while walking with us two girls on the sidewalk. He moved to the left side as most gentlemen do, resulting in us being on his right and then proceeded to tell us the above Hungarian saying. So flattering.

“Egészségedre!” (pronounced egheshe gedra)

This means “cheers!” in Hungarian. The actual translation is “on your health!” so it’s just like Arabic’s “sahtein!” Be careful though because if you pronounce it wrong and say it with an A like “eghesha gedra”, then you’re saying “on your ass!” Always maintain eye contact when clinking glasses, they take their 7-years-of-bad-sex curse very seriously.

“The best way to describe Pinot noir is it tastes like strawberry shit.”

One Hungarian producer said this after telling me that Southern Hungary makes the best wine but his favorite type is Pinot noir. Despite this appetizing description, we had some later and I believe it tasted much better than fruity excrement but, then again, I’ve never tried strawberry feces.

“Let’s do a white line.”

This is referring to the new metro line. The existing three are the yellow, red, and blue lines. Yellow being the oldest in Budapest and the second oldest metro line in the world (first in mainland Europe!). It starts at Vörösmarty tér and was built in 1896. Seniors and EU citizens ride free. At first, Hungarians didn’t know what color was to be assigned to the new line so they dubbed it the white line; thus, the cocaine joke. Based on my trusty guidebook though, the line is actually green.

“Plum is the best.”

When asking about the best flavor of pálinka, Hungarian fruit brandy. There’s plum, apricot, apple, pear, peach, and so on. It’s an EU geographical indication which I find to be just another policy that we should implement for our own geographical specialties. It’s like hardcore copyright. It “ensures that only products genuinely originating in that region are allowed to be identified as such in commerce.” Read more here. We’ll have it one day. Anyway, pálinka is insane. It’s sometimes served like a shot in whiskey glasses and once you down it, you have a hint of fruit flavor and then your mouth stops functioning. It goes numb and you can’t feel your tongue for about 30 seconds. And then it burns on the way down and everything is fuzzier. TWSS.

Singing “Supergeil” under his breath

And then the German/Hungarian producer who studied in the UK showed me this amazingly unforgettable supermarket ad:

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