Two Aliens in Tokaj Pt.3

There are two main museums in Tokaj. They are not like Hungary National Museum in Budapest, or anything like that. Or at least, not as big. Both of them can be visited in less than two hours, and their location are only ten minutes from each other. So, it is worth to have a combined ticket for both in a day — cheaper.

The first one is Tokaj Museum. Of course.

It is just a bit further than the church, probably a minute walk from there. Two minutes if you are taking photos as you are walking. I genuinely cannot remember if it has a distinctive sign, but I remember that you could easily miss it if you didn’t pay attention to where you’re walking.

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The building itself was the house of a Greek trader, before it was converted into a museum. It is still well maintained, but of course you could see some parts where the fixing was made — some odd bits that you are sure not coming from the original feature of the house. To be honest, I like that kind of fixing, it gives the house a new uniqueness. You don’t see that kind of renovation happen in an old listed house in the UK.

I like this museum. The last time I enjoy a museum that feels “homey” like this was the Edinburgh museum in… well guess what, Edinburgh.

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Inside you could find the artefacts and history of Tokaj and the surrounding area. They also have a collection of religious artefacts as well as numerous interesting articles in the attic section of the building. The best thing is, we could take photos, a lot of them. The museum management told us that everything is free to be photographed. That alone has satisfied the tourist soul in me.

Outside the main museum, to the back of the building there is a small garden, and a passage to a basement. This basement used to be a wine cellar — of course. I never knew that wine cellar could be so cold. I mean, it was baking hot outside, but it was cool inside, and I honestly couldn’t see any air conditioning or something like that.

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I think, being in a wine heritage region, this museum gave an extra effort to keep as many original features in the cellar, more than they did the main house itself. It was a lovely little museum. But, if you really want to talk wine, you need to go to the next museum.

Tokaj Wine Heritage Museum.

 

 

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The Budapest Adventure Part 3

I can safely say that one of our favourite places that we visited in Budapest is this Hospital In The Rock. We like it so much so that I would dedicate this whole blog entry just to talk about our visit there.

Hospital In The Rock, like it’s name is an underground hospital during the war times, and was converted into a nuclear bunker during Cold War. It is within the walking distance from Buda Castle, and its closing time is relatively later than the museums in the Castle’s area. I think it would be a good idea if you plan ahead, and put Hospital In The Rock at the end of the day, and visit the others first.

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The entrance is not free, this time. But if you have the Budapest Card, you could get a good discount. The guided tour starts every hour, so if you time it right, you don’t have to wait for too long — they don’t have a little cafe or something for you to wait, so you have to sit on a bench while waiting for your turn. And, you HAVE to go on the tour if you want to visit this museum.

Originally I was a little bit disappointed that we had to go on a tour, because I would like us to be able to walk on our own pace. BUT, I realised that the tour is incredibly important for many different reasons.

First of all, this museum was once a hospital during the war, there are still a lot of working tools and equipment lying around there. Our guide said that if anything should happen — if a war ever broke (again), and people needs place for safety, the museum can be reverted back to being a fully functioned hospital. That’s why the tools and equipment you can see there is sometimes not a part of the museum exhibition.

And, being underground, it is very easy to be lost in this museum. So, that’s another reason why a guided tour is a necessity.

The most important thing, I think, is that this underground hospital was also once a “Top Secret Nuclear Bunker” in the cold war years. There are plenty of stuff, such as power generators from those days, still operated today. It is so tempting to “see what happens if I push this button, or pull that lever” when you’re around these technological wonders, but… no you shouldn’t.

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We are not allowed to take photos nor videos during the tour. Aside of the safety reasons, I think that is a good idea. It might make it a bit tricky for people like me to share what we experience inside, but at the same time it would make people go to see the place themselves.

Yes it is not a free museum, but even a stingy alien like myself would say that our little tour was worth every Forint. Our guide was a very friendly young lady, who speaks an incredibly good English — she was very helpful and would answer if you have questions related to the museum, or Budapest in general. The museum itself was clean and well made, the exhibits were well made too.

I definitely recommend this museum to visit if you every go to visit Budapest.

 

The Hero

Okay… I know that I promised to update about our holiday in Hungary. But, something just happened, and I could not not post about this. I am afraid I have to postpone about holiday for awhile, because this is more important.

Priority. That is.

Yesterday I went to the city, to buy some stuff that we could not get in our local supermarket. Especially coffee, because our beloved Mr. Grumpy cannot function without it. It was pretty much uneventful shopping day, until I walked home (I almost always walk everywhere, it helps to keep my blood pumping apparently).

One guy stopped me on the street and he begged for money. This beggar don’t look dirty and he spoke quite eloquently, but he claimed that he was homeless. I don’t know, and usually, I don’t pay attention to such thing. AND, usually I just pretend that I don’t understand human language — being alien and all. Most of the time they will leave me alone. But that day was different, I remembered I have some coins that I don’t need anyway, so I thought… ah, why not?

I was rummaging my purse when another man greeted me from behind. This man asked if I was okay, and if the other guy was begging me for money. To be honest, I don’t see what’s wrong with it, but the beggar started to be very confrontational, and started lying. That’s when I started to feel very much uncomfortable.

The beggar claimed that he knew me, and he told the other guy rudely to bugger off. The other guy wouldn’t budge, instead he told the beggar that his partner — who happened to be a Chinese, had the same experience encountering a beggar in the same area. So, ignoring the beggar, this kind gentleman asked me once more if I was okay, and if the beggar was making me uncomfortable.

While the beggar got more and more agitated, I worried that he would start doing something stupid and getting violent and hurting me or the kind gentleman who’s trying to help me, OR us both. So I just followed the lie the beggar told the hero, hoping that the situation would calm down.

BUT, now I feel horrible. I feel horrible because I was lying to someone who’s just trying to help me. I feel horrible because I didn’t help him to catch the guy who might have begged his partner not so long time ago. I feel horrible because I was an unwilling accomplice in this situation, and I don’t like it very much.

At the same time, however, I feel grateful, and thankful. That man, who is now a hero to me has restored some, of so little faith that was lost since Brexit. The fact that someone would interfere to help a distressed alien like me has encouraged me, and made me feel safer — something that I haven’t felt for a very long time. So I would like to buy him a cuppa, or a pint if I see him again.

Maybe…

The Manly Husbandly Duty of The Lord of Grumpness

This is actually something that I would like to mention on my last post, but I think Grumpy deserves a whole blog entry dedicated to acknowledge his awesomeness this weekend.

First of all, this weekend was supposed to be the kind of anniversary of the day we first met. Five years ago, we met on the city centre — taking the online advice on how to meet up with a total stranger very seriously — always meet up on a public space. We were planning on going to the place where we met for the first time, and had some coffee — or hot choco, like what we had at that time. Well, that was the plan before the game happened, so that definitely didn’t happen.

But, none of us were disappointed. Especially not me. And this is why my dear Grumpy deserves this whole entry just for him.

  1. The pink Hello Wolvie t-shirt.
    I think that’s quite self explanatory, except for the “Hello Wolvie” bit. Basically it is the cute mix between Hello Kitty, and Wolverine. Don’t snort, or I will claw you in the face… the Hello-Wolvie is incredibly cute, so if you are a kind of snobbish purist, please look away when I flaunt it, thank you very much.
  2. The Spark(y) in the Kitchen
    I learned not so long time ago, that in the UK, electrician is also called Sparky. This weekend, my husband took away their job by just awesomely FIX my oven. Yes, the brownie maker broke last week, and it would take ┬ú100++ to fix it if we call in a Sparky to fix it. But we don’t need Sparky, because we have Grumpy.
    Now, THIS is the extra special bit. Grumpy doesn’t like fiddling with Sparky’s job, because he’s been working with the UK’s Health and Safety regulation for so long, that it is already embedded in his system. BUT, he knew how important that oven for me, and how I chose it myself from Curry’s, and how I love baking with it… And he deliberately woke up in the morning before I did, and fixed it, and tried it even before I woke up in the morning.
  3. The Brilliant White
    No, I am not talking about Grumpy’s race, or teeth. Actually, Brilliant White is the label in the paint tub. I am no sure why it is called Brilliant White, because it is just normal white… But of course, you have to make white paint sounds more interesting than what it is. This weekend, Grumpy was being the man of the week again, by painting our living room.

So yeah… That’s my man ­čÖé

P.S. Do you know that in German, Mann is the word for “man”, and “husband”? So maybe if this entry’s title is translated to German, it would be really weird. Luckily it is not in German. Just saying…

Starving the caveman .1

Saturday night/Sunday morning – 1 day before quit date.

Initially today – Saturday – was my planned quit date. I changed my mind and moved it to Monday because I figured that my first day might be easier with the distraction of work.

I took today as a kind of pseudo quit day. I tried to go as long as I could without having a rollup.

It wasn’t as horrible as I thought. I have had 3 today and managed until around 5 or 6pm before caving in and having my first.

The pills must be working because not only did I not get too┬átwitchy during the day, I also didn’t actively want the rollups. They also tasted…. manky.

Hopefully I can do similar tomorrow. If I can either not smoke or only have a few then Monday will be easier.

Starving the caveman….

I mentioned in an earlier post that I had quit smoking. It was a bit of a “bugger of a journey” but I managed it.

… For two months. Then I started smoking again.

I have no excuses, just reasons. Basically I had a big “stress event” and subsequently cracked open a pack of cigarettes that I had left over after quitting.

I knew that I was being reckless and I thought that I would stop after that packet. Guess what? I was wrong.

The addiction and compulsion kicked in scarily fast. Before I knew it I had finished the packet and bought some baccy. Then some more. The daily amount that I smoked ramped up quickly and I have ended up smoking a metric shit-ton of rollups per day.

What an idiot!

It’s taken me a while but something has clicked in my head and I’m going to have to try to quit

..again.
I was happy that my doctor allowed me to retry the course of anti-smoking pills. They are the only method that helped me to quit. I have already started them and set my quit date.

And so to the point of this post.

This will be the start of a sort of diary. I will be putting down what it’s like during the quitting process. Chances are it’ll be me moaning a lot about how it sucks but it might be interesting (and possibly helpful) to some who read it. I also expect some freaky weird dreams too (although if they are too┬áfreaky I may edit!)

I’m also hoping that it’ll help me too.
Why have I titled it “starving the caveman”?

It is because the pill apparently targets the “primitive” part of the brain – the “older” bit that used to (and does) deal with the more basic stuff and survival needs. And base urges. ┬áThat is opposed to the frontal lobe (or something) which deals more with logic and rational thinking.

… Basically the primitive part of the brain can be very persuasive and it’s demands of “I want” can drown out the “but it’s not good for you” response from the logical part of the brain.

I’m pretty sure that description isn’t technically accurate but it’s good enough for me.

The “caveman” is a persona that I have imagined to represent those “primitive” urges. In my mind he is tall, lanky, and brutish. He also carries a tree branch club. This persona will represent the “primitive” part of the brain and help me to visualise (and hopefully “conquer”) the feelings of withdrawal. Basically he is my addiction and my compulsion personified. The caveman is the bits of the brain that want the nicotine and as I stop smoking ill be starving the caveman of what he wants.

Dunno how twisted that logic is but it works for me.

My quit date is in a couple of days (although I could have up to 7 more days to quit) and I’m already trying to cut down to lessen the impact of cold turkey.

Fingers crossed!