Thursday, April 27, 2006

First Meeting: Nyugati Palyaudvar (West End City Center)

The Budapest Trashspotting Club had a confused but jubilant first meeting, getting a bit lost, getting some unwanted attention, and eating some delicious snacks. All in all, a wholesome beginning.

Photo-Set Accompanies Investigation; 11 pictures total




Our first conundrum was a blaring one. In large dumpsters we found not one, but two human-sized bags of rolls. This presented numerous problems. Firstly, the fact that no matter how conscientiously we searched, we could not uncover any possible source for this large deposit of food: it occured in public trash cans, on the corner of the large shopping mall center of West Pest. One could expect such a deposit from a large grocery store or bakery perhaps, but the only stores around were clothing, book, housewares, and one very small pastry shop that we know for a fact does not sell rolls.

So the picture that is forming is like this: some nervous man, who has perhaps committed a terrible deed, strides up shakily to the busy curb of Szent Istvan & Vaci and deposits two large sacks of perhaps stale, but still edible bread? What bothered me most about this was the fact that we have such a raging homeless problem in Budapest, if one were to locate old baked goods of any sort it would have made far more sense to mosey on down to Deak Ferenc Ter or Kalvin Ter and brighten up some hobo's day. One smart homeless guy knew what the deal was, however; about 12 meters away from the offending bread-trash, he lay stretched out in a doorway with his own small stash of varied roll products. Good for you, man.


We wandered near and far, far and near, encountering the problem that most public receptacles are lidded and cannot be peered into easily from above (we must remember to take plastic gloves for such careful peekings-in next time). However, we came across an apartment building whose dumpster was full to the brim, and past. The main content was a thick piling of half-heartedly shredded papers, and we discovered quickly from the exposed text of these that www.szenzor-gm.hu played a solid part in this trash production. The lid of the trash can itself was propped up by a poorly made handle of some sort, that had been snapped in twain. The other major actor on this stage of refuse was a large juice jug, once filled with sugar-water flavored to taste like berries. It was likely that this jug had been emptied by the same poor stiffs that worked training businessmen at szenzor-gm, and that they cared not one whit about the quality of their juice. Particularly strange to be choosing sugar water, considering that 100% juice drinks are incredibly cheap here and there is usually an entire aisle-section of juice in every tiny corner store. This juice jug was further estranged by having its label hastily ripped off, and being speckled with what we determined to be some sort of potato-based paste, which put the Cardo in mind of delicious potato samosas. The Cardo surmised that this light covering must have occured when the individual/company's own trash had shifted about around the juicejug; although this was logical, I had my doubts. You see, the juicejug was much larger than my own skull, and to carelessly toss such a large item into the refuse-bin in one's living or working quarters would require a HUGE trash can. Most individuals I know would place such an item next to the trash can, preventing it from encountering potato-muck and all of that.


Most individuals I know, however, would not rake feverishly at a juicejug label with what appeared to be sharp claws.

We will attempt to return to the Szenzor-GM trash receptacle on our next outing, and see if we encounter any more clues to this end. Perhaps there is some sort of wild, passive aggressive, samosa-eating document shredder who stays after work and gets his rocks off in such a manner. Or perhaps I am quite overstepping my bounds here.



The Cardo and I then enjoyed a quick snack from an OMV petrol station, a bit lower quality than I had hoped, but the chocolate milk in this country is divine and so are the Turos Rudi, a regional chilled confection that I believe is comprised of sweetened cottage-cheese with a dark chocolate outer shell. We bought some BakeRolls, normally delicious, but going out on a branch with the Pizza flavor had us falling flat- to the manufacturers, "pizza" is a sprinkling of powder-flavored (yes, it tasted specifically like a consistency) tomato powder (redundancy needed to emphasize disgust). After indulging, we accidentally encountered our final trash scenario, this one not a mystery in the least. We found a community-created trash can under a small footbridge area, which seemed to have been serving its unique purpose for at least a few months straight. This area had up to 100 alcoholic bottle caps, 6-10 empty bottles of wine and liquor, 30 empty cans of beer, and a single slightly crushed automatic-coffee-machine cup.


It does not take a Trashspotter to spot what this all added up to. Homeless or youthful, the party had been raging here.


I apologize for the wordiness of these minutes, but it was the only way I could do justice to our long and triumphant trek through the minor slummishness of Western Pest. We will be attempting to find some rich people's houses in Buda within the next week, to see how the other half lives.

Good love and good night.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Observation Begins

This is Budapest, Hungary's first Trashspotting Club post. If you are in the area and you wish to join our humble clan, by all means you should feel free to post a comment here. We are a bit limited in our interaction with the native citypersons, as we members of the club speak a very limited amount of Magyar (coming, as we do, out of That United Country of America). We consider ourselves familiar enough with the various saleable goods in the area, and their origins, to undergo this exciting adventure.

As they stand, our members are:

Chelsea Ghost Cowboy Palmer: Boodge-Jimframe
Manoli Harold Strecker: Cardo

We hope to coax more of our acquaintances to open their loving minds to trashspotting.

First meeting will commence this evening after 19:00, details and photographs will follow.

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A Number Of Important Details:

Unless the members of this Club are able to secure its future continuity with native Magyars, it will sadly be relegated to a brief two months of action. The standing Boodge and Cardo are exchange students slated to return to the New England area at the end of June. To make up for this shortcoming, we will be attempting to seriously delve into the Trash of Budapest in our short time, and truly give the city a good once-over.

Another issue that arises, I'm sure in all city trashspotting, is that of communal trash collection. The streets near our residences are entirely comprised of apartmental structures, wherein the residents bag-N-tag their trash and dump it in anonymous dumpster bins. This is not conducive to the honored pasttime we wish to pursue, and so the Budapest Trashspotting Route will take us on foot across the Danube to the outskirts of Buda, where more suburban and quaint residences lie. We will also be largely interested in trash overspill from these aforementioned dumpsters, and inappropriate trash deposits around the city.

As the matter stands, the Budapest Trashspotting Club will meet twice a week at night for snacks and Trashpotting, and once on the weekends for Potlach. Hungarian food offers many strange delicacies, mainly pastry and meat, and we will be sharing information about these as well.

Above all, we are intrigued by the Magyar people, who live incredibly different lives from those to which we are accustomed. We hope that, through the enlightenment of Trashspotting, we can reach a greater understanding and unity with those great citizens of Magyarorszag.

For more information on Hungary and Budapest visit these links:
Wikipedia Entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budapest
Office of Tourism Pictures Gallery: http://www.fsz.bme.hu/hungary/budapest/kepek/szines.htm
Uncyclopedia Entry (Surprisingly Accurate): http://uncyclopedia.org/wiki/Hungary

Thank you for your time, happy Trashspotting my comrades!