Sunday, September 4, 2011

Eurotrip Part 1 – Budapest

Budapest – totally cool city in a way that's predictably totally different from Beijing cool. Lots of cool hipster areas, Banksy graffiti, and artsy bars. And century old cafe culture. Qianqian and I had the good fortune of being invited out to Budapest for friends Abe and Judit's wedding, and got to hang out w/ them a decent amount.

The bachelor party: Sziget Music Festival. Well this one choked Q. She'd already stated she wanted to go to Sziget to see the Chemical Brothers, who happened to be playing the day of the boys' party. However the boys' party was for the boys, and she had another (slightly less wild) party to attend.

A gang of about ten guys, mostly new to me, had a rather spectacularly entertaining day/night. All members quite drunk. Nobody too drunk. Tons of ADD distractions provided by Sziget such as badminton, tight rope walking, machine bull riding, and others we didn't get around to like zip lining, bars in the sky, karaoke, bungee jumping, yadda yadda.

But mostly when I think of Sziget I think about the Crystal Castles performing in some massive black tent. Everytime I listen to Crystal Castles at home, my bro or gf tells me to turn it off because it's too intense. I admit, I too had never listened to the entire album. But i had a feeling they'd be mad live. And they were. Or at least the show was. Not once did I really even see them. (I admit I shot a video which showed a lot more than anything I witnessed during the show, that's for sure). I just saw a lot of fog and a strobe light and was crushed amongst thousands of people yelling, screaming, and jumping up and down. I had a full beer in my hand which I was inadvertently splashing all over everyone around me, so I tried to gulp it down as fast as possible, sloshing a large portion of it over my chest and more on bystanders. Anyhow. It's pretty insane how you can get totally caught up in the mad focus of such a huge mass of people.

Here's the vid that I shot. Oh yeah.

The wedding was great too. Lots and lots of artsy types as the bride's father was an artist, the bride is an artist, the groom is an artist, and they studied in school w/ a bunch of artists. Never before have i been asked “Are you a graphic designer?” so many times in a night.

The bride was beautiful in her dress, cape and shoes. Shoes which I had formerly seen and thought, “Uh, you made those crazy shoes for your WEDDING???” The wedding ceremony was sweet and simple and brought tears to my eyes. The dinner and speeches were all quite entertaining, despite the periodic translations.

And then there was the party. A band played some traditional songs, some Velvet Underground, and other dance hits. The bride was “kidnapped” and had to be woo'd back by the groom's impromptu epic performance of an epic indie love song he penned years ago.

Anyhow, admittedly me and Q ducked out earlier than others, and hence missed swimming, people forced to eat by losing pingpong, and the DJ angrily packing out after being upstaged by the groom's brother. Fun.

The rest of Hungary: swimming at the lake w/ the wedding party. Me and Q checking out art galleries, castles, and cathedrals, and a small serving of mushrooms.

Stay tuned for more on Slovakia, Austria, Czech Republik and the Deutscheland...

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