Greg and Sue’s first experience with some Hungarians, and without providing all the details, was not a favorable one when they arrived by train from Serbia three years ago.
Not to cast a bad brush, but unlike most European tourist areas, many Hungarians (at least in Budapest) do not smile and have little interest in interacting with English speaking people.
Aside from a parking meter worker, who used his telephone translator to help us understand the parking rules, we experienced one person after another who would make no effort to communicate, even with the usual hand signals.
Upon arrival, we went to a very modern Metro office to inquire about tickets, routes, etc. The office was empty, save one customer, but had four employees, one man standing in the reception area and three behind counters. The man yelled at us and motioned to go back out and he became animated and spoke more loudly when we didn’t quickly exit. He then stormed past us, punched a machine outside the office and gruffly handed us a “number”. Not surprisingly, our “number” went up on the board the second he handed it to us. Perhaps a little extra bureaucracy from the old days of Communist rule?
When we tried today unsuccessfully to get a rail ticket to Croatia, we spoke to people at three windows, who either waved us off in a very clear “I don’t speak English” to “No trains; the border is closed.”
Today, we had a visit with some friends from Serbia, who have experienced similar things from some Hungarians. They drove a car and went into an “Information” office to ask about parking rules. The individual simply said” “I don’t know; I don’t own a car.”
Too bad. They have such a beautiful city and could learn from people in Copenhagen or Prague or any number of cities we have been to.