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  1. #21

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    Mila…… the way you look, you can easily pass for a local. In bunch of countries, including in Eastern Europe/Russia etc., a city workers, a public transportation worker, a government employee, just some older “regular local”, if annoyed or "trying to do his job" is very likely to be less polite to a “local younger person” than to a “western tourist”.

    You know you’re a tourist walking on a train platform…. The metro employee who yelled at you (who is probably still adjusting from soviet days to market-economy system) probably saw you as a local girl who is giving him “extra trouble” by walking to the wrong train.

    And the restaurant waiter who pulled the table from you probably also thought you’re local, and that you need “extra inducement” to follow the rules….. as in “soviet days” the “rules” where in such abundance and so unfair at times that the whole population devoted many hours of inventing how NOT to follow the rules. So he figured you’re local, and if he tells you nicely, you will argue and complain (as many do), so he just pulled the table… If he thought you are a "western tourist" he would have asked... Because "in the west" people are more likely to follow rules, and accept "no", "don't go here", "it's not allowed", etc..

    Unfortunately it is the “aftermath of soviet times” in many many respects…..

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by mila19 View Post
    The infamous pizza I had was in the Pest side, in Kerepesi Uca and supposedly it was the best I could get in Budapest. Never trust an Albanian student in Budapest when it comes to Italian food
    They also served mainly Hungarian wine, proudly so
    You'd think an Albanian would have better taste in Italian food, considering how good it is in Albania!

    I understand the desire to eat Italian food in Budapest, by the way, I'm not crazy about Hungarian food.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinami Amori View Post
    Mila…… the way you look, you can easily pass for a local. In bunch of countries, including in Eastern Europe/Russia etc., a city workers, a public transportation worker, a government employee, just some older “regular local”, if annoyed or "trying to do his job" is very likely to be less polite to a “local younger person” than to a “western tourist”.

    You know you’re a tourist walking on a train platform…. The metro employee who yelled at you (who is probably still adjusting from soviet days to market-economy system) probably saw you as a local girl who is giving him “extra trouble” by walking to the wrong train.

    And the restaurant waiter who pulled the table from you probably also thought you’re local, and that you need “extra inducement” to follow the rules….. as in “soviet days” the “rules” where in such abundance and so unfair at times that the whole population devoted many hours of inventing how NOT to follow the rules. So he figured you’re local, and if he tells you nicely, you will argue and complain (as many do), so he just pulled the table… If he thought you are a "western tourist" he would have asked... Because "in the west" people are more likely to follow rules, and accept "no", "don't go here", "it's not allowed", etc..

    Unfortunately it is the “aftermath of soviet times” in many many respects…..
    Don't know about the metro guy because it was more like e monologue from his part but the waiter took the order in English and heard us speak in English so not a chance. He was just plain rude. Now I know there are rules when it comes to open air bars in residential areas but we sat at 10.30 pm and after 20 minutes he was like "Get out!" and then he just pulled the table. And it's like a trip back in my hometown, they pretty much looked all like bothered or pissed, just speaking a different language from mine
    Last edited by mila19; 04-23-2011 at 10:49 PM.

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by mila19 View Post
    Don't know about the metro guy because it was more like e monologue from his part but the waiter took the order in English and heard us speak in English so not a chance. He was just plain rude. Now I know there are rules when it comes to open air bars in residential areas but we sat at 10.30 pm and after 20 minutes he was like "Get out!" and then he just pulled the table. And it's like a trip back in my hometown, they pretty much looked all like bothered or pissed, just speaking a different language from mine
    On one hand this could be strictly “individual”, bad luck running into rude employees. I tend to think, still, that it is, at least to some degree, an aftermath of “soviet economics” – when one was on fixed salary and more customers or better treatment of customers did not affect one’s salary.

    Anything with a slight hint of “socialism” is bad for business…. Even in “western countries” which like to play with socialism….

    I remember an occurrence in Kobenhaven, on the shopping strip Stroget, in a big department store. It was closing time, 17:00 o’clock on Saturday. Store employees were literally kicking people out of dressing rooms 10 minutes before closing time, and pushing people towards the elevators. I came up to the cash-register with 4 fairly expensive items, 5 minutes before 17:00, and the register was closed. I told the sale-girl that I am buying these items, and she would not re-start the register….. The store lost several thousands of euros in sales... At 17:00 on the minute a hoard of customers and employees were outside the doors, and the doors were shot closed, and the lights went off.

    Similar situation happened in a department store in Amsterdam. At the same time in small private jewelry boutiques in Amsterdam the store employee stayed with our group extra 40-50 minutes until we all finished choosing and paying for our items…

    I can not imagine being kicked out of the store if you are ready to buy happening in North America or England or Germany… or even in Italy or Spain…. In Spain at El Court Ingles department store we were advised that the store is closing, but where given time to finish shopping and paying…

    I won’t even begin telling stories about how the level of customer service changes in former soviet block countries depending on if I tell them I am from USA or from Russia…. I play with it all the time….and laugh my butt off at the differences.

  5. #25
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    I'm not saying all Hungarians are impolite. As you said, I just happened to encounter a certain type and probably the controller got angry as everybody heard from the speaker box the invitation to leave the train and so they did besides the two of us since we couldn't understand a word. But beyond these cases, I did notice there's something about their facial expressions which made me think of my fellow countrymen, they looked really pissed/stressed out. But it's totally a subjective perception.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by mila19 View Post
    I'm not saying all Hungarians are impolite. As you said, I just happened to encounter a certain type and probably the controller got angry as everybody heard from the speaker box the invitation to leave the train and so they did besides the two of us since we couldn't understand a word. But beyond these cases, I did notice there's something about their facial expressions which made me think of my fellow countrymen, they looked really pissed/stressed out. But it's totally a subjective perception.
    The Budapest Metro, for Mila19....

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-z6M...eature=related (Kontroll, Hungarian trailer)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEKcOvCY8g0 (Spanish trailer)

    http://tinyurl.com/4xpybna (Roger Ebert, English)

    Last edited by sbanet; 04-24-2011 at 02:47 PM.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbanet View Post
    The Budapest Metro, for Mila19....
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-z6M...eature=related (Kontroll, Hungarian trailer)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEKcOvCY8g0 (Spanish trailer)
    http://tinyurl.com/4xpybna (Roger Ebert, English)

    That is pretty interesting, thank you.

  8. #28
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    To get this thread back on track...

    Regarding Gerbaud in Budapest, another option is to hit their ice cream stand, on the pedestrian street a few meters down from the cafe. It's goooood.

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by mila19 View Post
    But beyond these cases, I did notice there's something about their facial expressions which made me think of my fellow countrymen, they looked really pissed/stressed out. But it's totally a subjective perception.
    I hear you..... But! In my experience this is a common complaint from people who live in rural areas or towns when they come to big cities....

    Even Russians from all over Russia complain that "people in Moscow and Leningrad are rude, unfriendly and grim".....

    People from central USA say the same about New York.....

    And yet.... I agree that in former soviet block countries people on the streets of big cities do look ESPECIALLY pissed/stressed out...... Partially because they are, and partially (my observation) is because there is a belief (translating from Russian an old rhyme):

    Giddiness without a cause means you’re just a fool, of course.
    Смех без причины - признак дурачины......

    and then there is another one about smilling with full mouth and showing lots of teeth.

    Mouth's stretching to the ears – clip the tie-strings to the lips.
    Рот до ушей – хоть завязочки пришей.


  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinami Amori View Post
    I hear you.....But! In my experience this is a common complaint from people who live in rural areas or towns when they come to big cities.
    Apologizes to Jasperboy for dragging this once again(last time, promise) but I have to disagree with you.
    I was not trying to put the black mark over Hungarians and believe me, Tirana(which is also average sized ) trains you very well in terms of urban survival. It's just that when traveling abroad I find people are more polite(even in Paris and NYC) and well mannered compared to many of my countrymen, so that was what I was expecting and didn't get. Of course, being polite often means locals have learned how to deal with tourists in a formal way (i.e. Greeks will never like us but the Greek restaurant owner helped my mother get some directions and didn't smack any plate in protest as we were expecting ), so maybe my encounters just happened to be nonchalant regarding the money tourists bring or maybe I just didn't inspire them

  11. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by mila19 View Post
    I was not trying to put the black mark over Hungarians and believe me, Tirana(which is also average sized ) trains you very well in terms of urban survival.
    I did not take it as you're trying to put black mark over Hungarians. I agree with you, but in a more general spread - my experience (being born in Russia, returning to Russia after 1991 and the rest of the Eastern European countries), that what you have exprienced, while possibly circumstancial, is partially cultural and specific to former soviet countries. I am not trying to get you "away from Hungary", and I am just extending it to the rest of Eastern Europe and Russia....

    Come to Moscow and try out your Tirana-survival skills there..... You'll have fun!..

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinami Amori View Post
    I remember an occurrence in Kobenhaven, on the shopping strip Stroget, in a big department store. It was closing time, 17:00 o’clock on Saturday. Store employees were literally kicking people out of dressing rooms 10 minutes before closing time, and pushing people towards the elevators. I came up to the cash-register with 4 fairly expensive items, 5 minutes before 17:00, and the register was closed. I told the sale-girl that I am buying these items, and she would not re-start the register….. The store lost several thousands of euros in sales... At 17:00 on the minute a hoard of customers and employees were outside the doors, and the doors were shot closed, and the lights went off.

    I can not imagine being kicked out of the store if you are ready to buy happening in North America or England or Germany… or even in Italy or Spain…. In Spain at El Court Ingles department store we were advised that the store is closing, but where given time to finish shopping and paying…

    I won’t even begin telling stories about how the level of customer service changes in former soviet block countries depending on if I tell them I am from USA or from Russia…. I play with it all the time….and laugh my butt off at the differences.
    I had the same situation happen in San Francisco. I went to a Russian deli store and it was 7 minutes till closing time. I wanted to get some deli items that required assistance from the cashier, but the woman (~ in her 60's) refused to serve me saying that they were closed. I just wanted to get 2 items which would've taken less than 5 minutes. But she wanted to be out the door by 2000 which she was able to do. Talk about bringing bad customer service from the old Soviet days to the US. That just does not work in the US. I don't know if it has something to do with the fact that I'm Asian, so I get the inferior treatment. I wonder if she would treat me the same way if I was Russian.

  13. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by moebius View Post
    I had the same situation happen in San Francisco. I went to a Russian deli store and it was 7 minutes till closing time. I wanted to get some deli items that required assistance from the cashier, but the woman (~ in her 60's) refused to serve me saying that they were closed. I just wanted to get 2 items which would've taken less than 5 minutes. But she wanted to be out the door by 2000 which she was able to do.
    .....
    I wonder if she would treat me the same way if I was Russian.
    I knew it! This woman is obviously a product of "soviet system" - socialism! It does not matter if she is in San Francisco or Novgorod.... She is in her 60's - she does not know better. America won't change her.

    She would absolutely treat you WORST if she thought you were Russian... You would get an ear-full of emotions and assumptions of your personality:

    "how stupid are you are not to see that's it's closing time! don't you look at the hours posted on the door? can't you read plain russian/english sign? you look old enough to have gone to school!

    I am not a slave! I have family too to go home to, just like you do! I am not here to stay 24 hours..... You want to eat? and I want to go home and eat!"... etc.....

    And believe me. We, Russians who are not agains "free market economy and decent customer service" are fighting this. I know every San Francisco deli-store owner.

    Can you do me a favor. Can you please let me know which store you went to in San Francisco.

    - 9th and Geary?
    - 23rd and Clement?
    - 6th and Anza?
    - etc....
    - the name of the store (they all have names like "Mishka", "European Deli", "Cinderella", "New World Market", "Elyseevsky", and few others.

    Tell me when it happened, and describe the sales clerk (more than older woman in her 60's).

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    I also enjoyed just walking around town. Beautiful for sure

    I found the subway system easy to take and quick

    so jealous, Vienna is my favourite place I have been to
    I really want to go back since I just had a few days. It was my husband's choice, and I am so glad we went. Not only was the subway easy, the people were so nice - they would show where you needed to go on the subway map, show you the side you needed, and make sure you'd figured out the tickets. I found everyone to be like that in Vienna. Just a fabulous experience in every way!
    I think I will have a snack and take a nap before I eat and go to sleep.

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