Photo: S.Borisov/Shutterstock

26 Signs You've Been in Budapest Too Long

Budapest Student Work
by Barbara Litzlfellner Oct 24, 2014

1. When you visit another town, you walk into old, abandoned houses because you assume there is a bar inside.

2. You’ve completely accepted that getting a pizza delivered can take two hours.

3. You understand that “between 5pm and 6pm” means “sometime around 7pm.”

4. You put tejföl (sour cream) on everything. Pizza, pasta, salad. Everything.

5. You now consider Lake Balaton an ocean.

6. You stop wondering why things cost 299HUF when the smallest available coin is 5 Forint. You just accept your loss.

7. You’ve unwillingly appeared as an extra in at least three major Hollywood movies when you’ve walked home late at night, a little bit tipsy. And more than once, you’ve encountered a dead horse in the middle of your street and a carriage full of actors in period dress dressed.

8. The sight of a kürtöskalács home delivery car is totally normal.

9. Every time you have to pay with a 20,000HUF bill, you seriously consider buying something expensive that you don’t actually need just because you are afraid of the cashier’s reaction for having to give you so much change.

10. Even if all three look pretty much the same and are all cooked in the same huge pots over open fire, you know the difference between gulyás, haláslé and pörkolt.

11. Túró Rudi is the only thing that can save you on a long, frustrating day at work.

12. When you go out in the 7th district, you have free wifi covered because so many of the bars serve as your second living room.

13. The day the pizza takeaway (that sells real Italian pizzas and not the usual ketchup and mayo-covered imitations!) opened on Király Street was one of the best days of your life.

14. You can’t imagine shopping at H&M anymore because there are so many amazing secondhand stores to peruse.

15. The existence of the carrot-selling lady at Szimpla Bar is nothing special for you anymore.

16. Speaking of Szimpla, you’ve had to cross it off the list of your favorite bars and call it a crappy tourist hole. Secretly your heart is bleeding, but that’s the only way to get accepted by long-term residents.

17. You can’t remember how you could survive without lángos as midnight snack.

18. Homemade pálinka doesn’t burn like hell anymore. You actually consider the feeling when it’s slowly running down your throat to be quite pleasant and comforting.

19. You have finally succeeded in convincing the 24/7 shop around the corner to sell you alcohol after 10pm.

20. It doesn’t bother you anymore that in most bars you have to keep the toilet door closed with your hands because the lock is broken.

21. A picture of you and your friends is published in an article about “Budapest’s Best Ruin Bars.” You are drinking heavily. Of course.

22. At one point you’ve come to the realization that you and your friends are probably drinking too much. At another point you’ve stopped bothering. It’s Budapest. It’s okay. You are in the best company.

23. You join the crowd standing on public transport although most seats are available. It’s only 10 stops anyway.

24. At least once you’ve bought something in one of the creepy underground shops at Nyugati train station. But you would never admit it to anyone.

25. You frantically start looking for the forralt bor (hot wine) stalls downtown as soon as the temperature drops below 20 degrees.

26. You understand that there is no such thing as “living too long” in Budapest. A part of your heart will always stay here even if one day you leave. And of course you will come back and visit. Because everybody comes back.

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