(Tim) So here we sit in Budapest. And I ask: Europe- Are we finished with the hookers and ice cream? Seriously, did ice cream just cross the Atlantic? When we were in Kinsale, Ireland, we noticed all the locals crushing soft serve ice cream, so we figured this is what Kinsalians do. Little did we know that this obsession is not unique to Kinsale. Or Ireland. The whole of Europe is batshit crazy about this stuff. Every city we've been to (by the way, I don't recommend the ice cream in Amsterdam- too creamy, not enough icy) has droves of citizens lining up for it. It's not even that hot out. I really don't get it, and I'd demand answers if any locals spoke English. Sidebar: As I write this, there is some sort of filming going on outside in the street. There is one guy with a handheld camera taping a woman in a black skirt, black hat, black heels, black stockings, red shirt, and white gloves walking down the street. And she looks almost as smooth as I imagine I would in heels. And no, I've never worn heels. There is video evidence of me in a dress, yes, but no heels. But back to the Journey. As for the hookers, it's like once you've been to Amsterdam, they've tagged you any follow you everywhere. I don't recall seeing any before. Sidebar, cont'd: This woman could win an award for Most Uptight and Self-conscious walker. So we're at a bar in Prague and some woman chats up Tom and within 2 minutes, mentions that she can be had for a price. Ah, just when Tom was starting to feel noticed in the world, his hopes are dashed by a hooker. Then as we are attempting to walk back to the hostel, some girl starts offering services flat out. She is not deterred by our initial rejections, and moves on to actually grabbing at Tom, presumably to offer services in body language rather than spoken word. It was starting to get ridiculous, so I had no choice but to summon my best "How 'bout my foot in yo' ass?" look to send the beast away. Hooker, be gone! And the saga continues here in Budapest. Last night, as with all days and nights on the Journey, wewalked back and forth down the same street as we failed to locate the place we were looking for. There is a scantily clad woman just standing in the middle of the street (no cars allowed on this street- she's in no danger) whispering to passersby. Maybe she was just lost. Then as we continue on, two women sitting on a bench ask us if we know any good bars around. We say no, and keep walking. As we head back the way we came, here they come, and shockingly, they have found a place to go! What luck! So, of course they start walking with us. They ask us where we're from and I, ever the gentleman, reciprocate the question. The answer: here. Hmm, and you are asking, in English, where to find a good bar ("Jerusalem toodle-oo-poosey, poosley-loo? What? What? Oh, you don't know shit about flowers."). However, these hookers were easier to lose. Shake n' bake, Shake n' bake.
Though Europe is teeming with ice cream and hookers, we haven't found a correlation between the two. Maybe they aren't allowed to eat ice cream on the job. Or, maybe they accept large quantities of ice cream as payment. We'll keep you abreast of any significant discoveries. Anyway, Budapest is the combined cities of (oddly) Buda and Pest, which are divided by the Danube River. Yesterday we explored Buda, today, Pest. I'll sum it all up in the next blog. Bye bye.
p.s. For those of you wondering about the title, it was a play on "Hungry hungry hippos." For those of you who figured it out and weren't wondering: What do you want, a cookie?