1. Birmingham
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    Birmingham Active Member

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    Any Europeans? Hungarians?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Birmingham, Mar 2, 2013.

    I'll soon visit Budapest, and I'm fascinated to know what you know and can teach me about Hungary before I even set foot in this place. First, I'd love to know which places to visit aside from the parliament and villages, etc, I'd love to know what are good questions to ask the tour guides, and I figured that aside from google and wiki I might find interesting people here who'd have some ideas. Because I'm not looking for just the standard stuff, necessarily.


    I'm also thinking about how aside from just seeing streets and buildings I can gain some knowledge about the soul of the country, the unique aspects of the people there (for one, I suppose I could ask them, but I want your take if you have some answers). Do YOU know about different things that characterize Hungarians, or Eastern Europeans in general? I'm not talking stereotypes, but who they really are.

    For example, there is this myth about how Eastern Europeans are more right wing these days than Western Europeans, because the Easterners have more first hand knowledge about the damage the far left can bring. But is this myth TRUE or is it just something that American conservatives love saying?

    I have read a criticism about a movie once, about how Eastern Europeans are always perceived in American movies as villains who make snuff movies, harvest organs, or traffic sex slaves. The person was so pissed about this stuff that it gave me an idea for a character in a story I'm working on. The character is a young American guy with German heritage, so I figured he should be pissed at all of this stuff, about how Germans are always Nazis, or neo-Nazis, or all of the things I just mentioned above (watch The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo). I figured writing this character would be easy for me, as I'm pissed off about the same stuff. It'll also be an interesting experience, as I'm an Israeli Jew, and many of my people have this childish delight of watching Germans and other Europeans being depicted that way, be it by news stories about cannibalism in Europe in recent years (you all know what I'm talking about) or all of the movies I mentioned. I've had arguments with people about the way they talk about Europeans, and so it'll be cool having a German-American character defending Germany and Europe using my words.

    And who knows, maybe after this upcoming trip I'll change that character to a Hungarian-American.

    So please, tell me all you can about Germany, Hungary, and Eastern Europe, from your unique perspective.
     
  2. Bimber
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    Bimber Contributing Member

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    If you'r heading that way might as well skip Hungary and go to Serbia instead and you will have a blast.. :p

    On the other hand you might enjoy weak beer in Hungary but they do have good food though get your hands on the local stuff some of it might be spicy but at least you will eat real food, another thing to keep in mind is if anyone starts talking fast to you in Hungarian they probably swearing at you, its said no other language has more curs words that you can chain up into a nice long paragraph...

    But seriously try and visit Serbia too, yes we are pictured as crazy and bloodthirsty but if you dont poke your finger at someone you'll probably make it out alive and live to brag about it!
     
  3. The Tourist
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    The Tourist Banned

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    I thought you were going in a different direction there for a moment.

    "You might want to skip Transylvania, it's a pain in the neck..."

    You see, Bimber, I've read your stuff before!:D
     
  4. Bimber
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    Bimber Contributing Member

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    Well considering its history i would say more of a "pain in the ass.." :p

    I remember when i went to Romania when i was a kid (when vampires used to be cool and scary) i went on a "Dracula tour" i didnt know the real story i only knew he was just some guy that ruled there but figured who must have looked like one mean m### why else would he be such a legend after it... man was i disappointed when i saw he was just some creepy looking guy... but i will give him this he knew his trade well he could impale a person and make it all the way to the mouth and the guy would stay alive for days!
     
  5. idle
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    idle Active Member

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    I'm not Hungarian, but still "Eastern European", so I guess I could answer this. I'd say it's partly true, but difficult to compare, because the understanding of what is left and right is a bit different and maybe kind of confused. In a country stalled by decades of socialistic neglect, when things started changing, right wing was suddenly considered progressive while people who wanted to keep the "old" order stayed left. Go figure.

    But I don't actually enjoy politics, and don't understand it much, so this is all I will say on this topic.
     
  6. The Tourist
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    The Tourist Banned

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    Ahhh, I see you're an aficionado of Vlad Tepes. I do like his stance on crime. And it appears he was an environmentalist. His best work was done with easily recycled wood.
     
  7. Birmingham
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    Birmingham Active Member

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    Bimber: I actually have a soft spot for Serbia, even though I never visited. I heard there is a vibrant pickup artist scene in that country, where up until a few years ago there was nothing but the mentality of "let's flash some cash and the girls would go gaga for us". But that's not why I have a soft spot for that country. I remember the war in 1999, and when the big mighty West (Blair, Shroeder, Chirac, big bad Billy Clinton) decided to appease Milosevic, even though they could have taken him down, it was Serbs who took the guy down. Serbs had to deal, on the one hand, with Albenian Islamic terrorism (as an Israeli, I feel your pain) and on the other hand, they had to deal with people who were... um... overzealous in achieving that goal, and so you took them down. So if you're a Serb that's very cool. I'd love to talk to you more in private, see which of my ideas about your country are wrong and farfetched.

    idle: What you said reminded me of Milton Friedman, the big bad capitalist, who argued that in fact he should not be called a conservative, but a liberal. If you don't like politics, that's cool. I'd love to hear whatever you have to tell me in private or in public about your country, or Eastern Europe in general, and different misconceptions people might have.

    Tourist: Who'd you piss off to get banned? I suppose you're either rude or brave. Hope it's only temporary.
     
  8. Bimber
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    Bimber Contributing Member

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    Yeah we have our moments though that one was not one of my favorites as we used to live much better under communism than democracy, at least back then Miliosevic used to steal for himself but he let the people live and small companies to work, now those new guys just steal and dont like to share and place heavy taxes for small companies while big ones get by.

    But my proudest moment in 99 was when Nato and US bombed us, they hit more hospitals than military targets, and started taking down our bridges now you know we have the longest river in Europe run across our country and ends up in Germany so bridges mean a lot to us as that river is really wide, and when we were left with just a few people left their homes and shelters and went on the bridges with t-shirts a target drawn on them and sang and had a party and wouldnt leave the bridges even some of our famous singers and bands came and held concerts for the people and be with them. After it we became known as crazy Serbs :D
    Its a nice place to visit good people but its hard to live in. Its been 5 months since i left cause of work but after this talk i miss home :(

    And sure ask anything you want would be glad to to clear up things as western media really hates us and paints us like we worst thing that lives on earth...
     
  9. Birmingham
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    Birmingham Active Member

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    Well, I must say, Bimber, I do agree with some of the Western media portrayal of your country. Is it because I evaluate the evidence objectively? Maybe. Is it because I'm brainwashed by the mainstream media? Also could be. After all, right after the media finished with your country, they turned to mine. I guess this is why I became so fascinated with the idea of writing a character true to its nature, and not true to stereotypes. Because I realized how huge the disconnect can be between portrayal and reality. I'm no fool, I've always known there was a gap between portrayal and reality, but didn't see how much, and didn't find myself as the portrayed party on an international level.

    I think it's always interesting to hear about the internal struggles within any group and subgroup, because we don't get much of that. We see "Serbs", and "Palestinians" and "Israelis" when each group is divided into a thousand other groups that nobody knows about.

    HOWEVER, I'd still like to stir back to the topic of the larger groups, and ask you, all of you Europeans, if you have observed, on your own, in the past, the stereotypes I'm talking about, and what you feel about those. Again, I'm talking about films like The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo, Taken, Hostel, Train (2008 disgusting B rated movie starring Thora Birch and written by Gideon Raff, co-creator of Homeland. I like Gideon Raff. I did not like this movie).
     
  10. Bimber
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    Bimber Contributing Member

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    Well depends but most of it is made up or used in a way for their own need, like last year UK made a big campaign to show us as racists cause of what happened in a football match between Serbia vs England U21, they asked UEFA to kick us out and not let us ever play in any competition cause we are racists.
    Which is BS as we dont have black people in Serbia like in other European countries, so how can we develop racism, when ever people see someone from Africa walking on the street people smile and ask to take pictures with them as they never saw a black person and are thrilled, we got couple of players from Africa playing in our league and they said they never had problems but were welcomed were ever they went.
    In my city even we had couple playing for our football club and each weekend i saw them clubing and everyone wanted to buy them drinks and chicks were crazy after them. So unlike England were they have a known issue with racism we dont, sure some are probably racists but then again each country has rotten apples.

    Movies make of it a little bigger deal than it is but still when ever you travel to another place you should watch out for yourself, if you get drunk and pass out then you had it coming, if you go to strange place with people you dont know what do you expect? Turkey had an issue with tourists waking up in bathtubs filled with ice and missing kidney but still millions of people visit and had a great trip with nothing bad happening, same goes for any place. If you dont know how to watch yourself there are always bad people who can smell and know your type. My advice is if you travel with a group stick together dont get wasted, dont go to strange place with strangers even if its a hot chick and dont act like sheep and you should have a nice trip!
     
  11. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm Serbian, that's just down the road from Hungary :D Last year, a colleague of my husband's son went to Hungary (I live in the UK) with friends, got drunk and got beaten and robbed the first night. Apparently he was trying to pick up a girl in a club. So whatever you do, don't be drunk in public, that's really bad form pretty much everywhere in Eastern Europe. We sent him to Belgrade next and he had a great time.
    Ok, politics wise, great deal of the population yearns for the years of socialism because the standard of living was so much better then. People are now in the clutches of a so called "wild capitalism" being ripped off by EU (poor member states such as Hungary, Romania, Poland etc) or struggling financially like Serbia and the rest of the Balkans. Still the life in Eastern Europe is very vibrant, people love doing stuff, night club scene is usually fantastic, people like to drink coffee in coffee shops, visit each other, go to cinema, theatre. Education standard is very high ( used to be even better).
    You have resurgence of religion and nationalism throughout Eastern Europe, this is he right-wing you mentioned, but that's a minority. Unfortunately, that minority is supported by the West so you get big discrepancies between ordinary people and those in power.
    This summer, you have Guča Festival in South Serbia, and Exit festival in Novi Sad (close to Hungary) I highly recommend them both!
     
  12. Khaelmin
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    Khaelmin Active Member

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    I'm from Romania myself, which is right next to Hungary. I've been in Budapest two years ago while on vacation and had a great time. The city really is beautiful and has a lot of history. Granted, I was only there for a day, but I still managed to see most of the main attractions.

    I can't say much about the Eastern European way of thinking, but I can tell you about the Romanian way. The average Romanian feels kind of... helpless.

    The senior citizens who've lived most of their life under the communist regime long for it, even now, nearly twenty-five years after it has collapsed on itself. I suspect it's mostly because they view it through the rosy lenses of youth, but some of the arguments they bring are interesting. For example, they say everybody had jobs and money back then. On the other hand they're ignoring the fact that there wasn't much you could buy with that money. Not even food. Even though the country was mainly agrarian, precious little food found its way to the common people.

    My parents' generation is... interesting. Right after the communism collapsed, there was this huge unemployment spike, as jobs became very scarce. 'Reforms are tough' and 'If you want to make an omelet you have to break some eggs', those were the slogans the politicians of the time chucked around. This gave birth to a weird mentality. They didn't hope for a better tomorrow, they dreaded what tomorrow might bring. I can see this fear even now, when things are a little better. Not helping are the ideas that trickled down to them from my grandparents like 'The Government should provide for us.' But of course it never does.

    My generation is the weirdest of them all. The only way I can think to describe them is trying to live the American dream without all of the money the Americans have. I really can't explain from where all of this overwhelming optimism came from, considering the fact that we're the product of the older generations. Everybody's trying to have as much fun as possible, all the time. Every effort seems to go towards leisure. I've got friends with killer cars or bikes and all they talk about the street races they make, just like in the movies. The ones that don't have those, always tell me about the latest nightclub they spent all of their money in.

    So there you have it. Depending on their age, the people you'll see here will be either lost and confused, cautious and wary about what tomorrow might bring or optimistic hedonists.

    Sorry for the wall of text. :)
     

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