Monday, September 22, 2008

Magic and Mayhem

On Saturday, we huddled along Andrássy út (an upscale street two blocks from our flat) trying to keep warm while a demonstration marched toward Szabadság tér (center of Budapest). Political demonstrations were on the agenda. Both the left and right political groups were marching today. We happened to catch the the far right that was marching from Hősök tere. We didn’t understand too much. The demonstration was loud, full of slogans being shouted and without incidence. It is always good to see freedom of speech spill out on the street. Of note, we saw what was probably the Hungarian secret police in a second story window snapping photos of the protestors. Once the crowd discovered them, they taunted the police smiling for the camera. The secret police smiled back.

We have to update this. We went out later that night and saw about 5 fire hydrants busted and the streets were blocked off. Riot police were marching, sirens were in the distance and helicopters were everywhere. People were just walking around peacefully. I think the police were trying to make there presence known. We actually went up and asked one of them for directions and they were very nice. They actually let us inside the perimeter to get to where we were going. They were taking pictures of each other posing in their riot gear-guess they don’t get dressed like this often (a good thing). Anyway, the next morning we went to the store and right outside our flat was a festival! The same street with the busted hydrants was full of people eating “Langos”(a salty elephant ear that is very tasty!). Then we got back from the store around 8pm and when we came out of our subway stop we found ourselves in the middle of a concert with a stage in the middle of the street! It was a surreal weekend!

In front of the Opera house
On Andrassy
Later that night...

1 comment:

Jane said...

love hearing all about your life in budapset! it sounds like such fun. hope you are well. :)