lost in a translation

You know, I really do fear for the geographical and navigational skills taught to the working young men and women of this town. I really do.

On one evening early on in my stay during a refreshing constitution to see the city lights from the Chain Bridge, two young ladies approached me and asked for my tourist map, because they were “lost” looking for a generic “pub”. As I live in the modern world, the only map I had was on my phone. But unperturbed with seeing no map in my possession they still asked me, these poor wayward ladies in the evening. From my response they gathered that I was not a local – despite the fact that they immediately spoke English to me when they first laid eyes on me. Ooh, was I foreign? [insert everyone’s favourite sport, “Guess The Cranky Foreigner’s Nationality Game” here.] Marvelous, would I care to join them for a drink at this mysterious generic “pub” of which they had no idea where it was? Needless to say I declined. Really? As if to emphasise my lack of mathematical ability, they again wondered if I would not like to have a drink with TWO young ladies, at a pub they had no idea what name, location, size or clientele such establishment possessed. So nice, wasn’t it, of these two young ladies to take pity upon me, alone in a new foreign city. But I had to offer my regrets and move on.

On another occasion, whilst climbing the stairs of the great St Gellert Monument on the hill that looks over all of Budapest, a young gentleman seemed quite befuddled by his map of the city. Did I happen to know where the shopping area was? Yes, across the river. In fear that I didn’t understand his consumer requirements, he ask if on this wondrous strip did they sell “jeans”, and so as to make sure that I understood, he slightly turned, raised his hip, and pointed directly at the label of his current jeans sitting neatly just above his arse cheek. If I didn’t understand before, I certainly understood now. He was looking to buy jeans! I said yes, they sell jeans. Perplexed, again seeking my good council of fashionista-ism, he asked if they sold jackets, and with this new inquiry he opened his own jacket wide revealing his t-shirt underneath. Oh yes, I replied, they sell jackets. Just over the river. Where, over there? Yes yes, over there. Now excuse me, I have photos to take, because the sun is shining and it was cloudy yesterday AND I NEED TO DO A RESHOOT!

Good lighting waits for no man … or escort.

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