Monday, November 26, 2012

Run-Ins with the Hungarian Underworld

If you think this post is about the subway system in Budapest, think again! We never made it onto the subways (though they do have one of the earliest in Europe, so early that the first cars were pulled by horses!). No, this is about crime in the city. Or almost crime.

One day we were walking up from our hotel past the State Opera House. Mommy had L and they were walking faster than J and I. I saw a tall, thin man walk up behind Mommy a little too close, especially since her purse was slung by her back. I shouted, "Hey, what are you doing?" just as my wife felt a tug at her purse string. The guy backed off as I rushed up. The fellow tried to cop an attitude as if he were innocent. Mommy checked her purse (our passports were in there) and nothing was missing. Luckily she had just bought this new purse because it had a complicated clasp keeping it shut. The guy gave us a dirty look and walked off. We thought about reporting the incident, but since he didn't get anything and I suppose there's a chance he really was innocent, we decided not to complicate our vacation by reporting him.

The State Opera House, more sinister-looking at night

A few days later I was out walking with my brother- and sister-in-law at night. We were walking to a bar and a fellow coming from the opposite direction said, "Crack marijuana?" My sister-in-law laughed because she had heard of such walk-by solicitations but never thought she would run into one. He looked back at us but kept going. I guess he knew we weren't buying. It was pretty odd.

But not as odd as the Cthulu-like display at a fashionable store which, coincidentally, is near the opera house. It sure looks to me like one of the tentacled elder gods is modelling some fancy, overpriced hand bag.

The unspeakable horror of high fashion

Or maybe they are advertising their hand bags as so fear-inspiring that even elder gods, who have persisted for eons upon eons and wrot havoc and mayhem throughout, will not go near such an object.

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