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Hungary Hungary Hippos: Incarnations of Snark & The City of Baths

The Incarnation of Snark Can Speak 

“Hi, I’m James*,” he says. “I’m from Singapore.”

James lives with us. He has a very distinctive Singaporean accent, bangs so uneven they make you cringe a little, is tall and lanky, and dons a football jersey of an unidentifiable team (unidentifiable to me at least) as leisure wear.

“Oh, you’re watching FIFA?” Winda asks out of sheer affability.

“It’s called World Cup.” he replies matter-of-factly.

Okay, bitch.

James is really not that bad–he doesn’t steal from us (which does in fact happen later on in our trip), lie to us, or eat our food–he’s just really annoying. Being embodiments of our country/before discovering what an Intolerable Troll he is, we are cheery, welcoming, and friendly. Although, Winda and I are generally very cheery, welcoming, and friendly (trust me, you would love living with us. We are nothing but delightful.)

We invite him for a drink and an explorative walk around the neighbourhood. We chat. We get to know one another. Winda and I giggle a lot, because we giggle a lot. We get the sense that the Intolerable Troll thinks he’s too smart for us due to our relentless giggling–which when you think about it, is quite the uneducated guess. He tells us about his intense mancrush on John Mayer–the dude waited like ten hours in layover to Heathrow just to see him for one night. I get slightly creeped out. After discussing his promising career in mechanical engineering, he insults Winda’s major majorly on our first night:

“You know what I think the most useless major in the world is?” he offers. I’m not sure if anyone had asked.

“Something in the liberal arts?” He seems like the uppity type that would think so.

Business,” his voice drips with disdain. “The absolutely most useless major out there.”

I clasp my hand over my mouth to avoid laughing too loudly. Winda keeps her composure because she’s a classy lady, whereas I burst, “Winda studies international business!”

The Intolerable Troll gets somewhat flustered, as he’s just embarrassed himself in front of his new roomies. “Oh.. oh…”

“It’s okay,” Winda is polite–graciously forgiving–of his recent outburst. She doesn’t delve too far into his last comment because obviously he’s one of those hopeless elitist pricks.

Like I said, we are pretty friggin’ delightful. As the Intolerable Troll is traveling alone, we invite him on our excursions for the next day: breakfast, baths, a walking tour, and etc. He doesn’t like baths. Ooooh, quelle fucking surprise, didn’t see that one coming. He agrees to meet us at the communist walking tour. It’s all starting to make sense now.

Can I Just Live Here? 

Behold.

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First of all, can I just live here? Just leave me behind in our second week of backpacking and let me revel in all the splendour that is poolside lounging–or when in Budapest, bathside lounging.

The baths are ridiculously ridiculously good-looking: an oasis of marbled perfection, Art Nouveau that feigns living in a different era, delicately staine glass, ornate mosaics, and the classiest of fountain statues. The atmosphere is basically my calling–relaxed, half nakies, the sweet sound of waves crashing (in the wave pool), some fine ass surroundings, and hot, hot heat. Budapest, you kill me slowly but so sweetly.

We are internally freaking out over just how palatial this place is, whilst being surrounded by Hungarians who do this on the daily. They’re sauntering about, all unfazed and ready to chill the fuck out on this hot summer’s day. Then there’s Winda and I ruining everything.

“I think there’s a cut on my foot,” Winda says for the 158th time. Symptoms of her particular form of OCD is being very much concerned with her feet. It’s special.

We’re sitting in the outdoor heated pool. It is super serene in here–cute old people are outlining the entirety of the pool, draped beside us in a languid daze, and bearing their tanned leathery skin to the heavens. There’s even the simulated sound of cascading water coming from...somewhere probably equally majestic as this entire establishment.

“Let me see,” Being the good friend that I am, I fully accept Winda for who she is. And I need her to stop talking about feet before I start hating her. So you can imagine my displeasure at what she does next.

She raises her foot in the air towards me. “You may kiss my feet,” she says jokingly and laughs.

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Lo and behold, a circa 1997 (6-year-old Kaylynn and Winda) splashing war wages out between us because rude. We are in no survivors mode and are splashing the shit out of each other–as well as the previously unperturbed bath patrons encircling us–in the crazed way you would only behave in a girls versus boys water crusade. We really should be arrested for disturbing the peace.

Our pool fight eventually dissolves (after lots of girlish screams and Hungarian frowns), and we have to rush to make our communist walking tour. We contemplate staying and skipping the tour altogether, but James. We fucking have to go meet with James.

Because A Communist Tour Sounds Fun

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We find James. We embark on the communist walking tour, and subsequently leave five minutes into it because the contemptuous vibes are cramping our style. We do a shit ton of walking despite not actually being on a walking tour. We drink out of public fountains because you can do that in Budapest. We visit the parliament buildings. We have Hungarian food (potato-ey as well). Winda nearly falls off an ocean edge and into a pit of rocks. We take a lot of pictures and indulge in Tumblr-approved novelties.

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James conveniently reminds that our names are unconventional.

“So do all your friends have funky names too?” James asks.

Winda and I exchange glances.

“What do you mean funky?

“Yeah funky like how?

Clap your hands because James has reached the peak of his quest for self-actualization–he has fulfilled his identity as an incarnation of snark, the Intolerable Troll. With an onslaught on snide commentary during the whole damn day, remarks laden with condescension, and repeated belittlement of our enthusiasm…

We’re just so tired of his shit. God damn it, James. Winda and I exchange a telepathic agreement that we will no longer bless James with our simply delightful presence. We’re tired of your shit, James/will see you at home later. 

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xx, k

*Names have been changed to protect the identity of the annoying.

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Things I Learned About Camping

Casual glamour shot in Chilliwack

Casual glamour shot in Chilliwack

I’ve been camping before.

OK.. with schools, supervisors, and teachers and all that but I’ll have you know that I’ve done a camping trip that comprised of 8 hours of canoeing across the Salmon Arm (I might be exaggerating but it was definitely in the 6-8 hour ballpark.)

Anyways, this was the first time I’ve gone camping sans age 25+ chaperones. This time it was just my friends and I, and honestly.. I know next to nothing about camping except for you need a tent and a sleeping bag. And that a cot is a good idea.

Although, I do know that you can use Doritos for kindling (thank you, Tumblr.)

Bacon-centered weekend

Bacon-centered weekend

The second night, we were rained out. This mass of angry James and the Giant Peach-esque grey clouds hovering above our campsite spurred our suspense to level 100. Uh, who knew it could rain so hard for one hour? Everything was in complete mayhem for that one hour–we tarped our tent, Nicolle and I had to pack everything in our tent, load the camping gear in to the pickup, tarp everything in the pickup once the tent was taken down, etc–honestly felt like the apocalypse  was upon us (which, judging by how poorly we reacted to the sudden torrential downpour, we would never survive.)

So here are some things I learned that weekend:

  • bring two tarps–even if the first one is the size of a high school gymnasium
  • you need two tarps–one for under and over the tent–because if it rains, water pools under the tent (so logical and smart, and why the fuck didn’t we bring two tarps?)
  • Ellen Degeneres has saved us all (please refer to an Apple App Store and search “Heads Up”)
  • tents aren’t waterproof
  • citronella is holy
  • three packs of bacon is not overdoing anything by any means
  •  floaties are integral
  • the geese at Cultus Lake are most likely on a high-fibre diet
  • fire ash does not take away from the wonderment that is s’mores
  • you will need ice
  • Doritos can be used as kindling…
  • don’t steal anyone’s campsite parking because they will tell on you
  • one word: gazebo
  • don’t anger the park ranger because he takes his job very seriously
  • red and white checkered table cloths would have been everything
  • communal naptime should always be on the agenda
  • don’t panic in times of panic

pickuptruck

  • In Hawaii, Jason and I laughed at how dangerous it is to ride in the back of a pickup truck. Especially since we were driving behind this especially melancholy-looking couple on a highway (they weren’t looking too happy as it had started to rain). But I realized how fun it might be to just lie there (on a sunny day), and watch the clouds pass by. It’s like lying in a field and staring at the sky, except now you’re the one who’s moving.