Saturday, April 9, 2011

Central Market, street fair in pest, and Busted by the transit police

We went downtown to the central market Saturday. It’s a cool place and was full of tourists like us, checking out the food stalls on the third floor, eating langos, palicsinta, and cabbage in various incarnation.  It's a little overwhelming, and there were a lot of people, making it hard to find a place to eat our Hungarian delicacies. 

Here's a store with all things Paprika. They put paprika in almost Everything here, and sell it by the kilo. 

 Jack and Mimi checking out the candy choices.

Nate's dessert- palicsinta with Nutella and bananas.

Afterward, Kent, Len and Nate went home and Mimi and Jack and I went to a street fair on the Pest side. I'm not sure of the street, but it's kind of an "antik row"- lots going on. 

This woman was part of a mini opera going on - we only caught the tale end

Then came the Latin dancing exhibition. 

On the tram, I tried to punch the ticket, but the ticket punch didn't work. And sure enough-- the Transit police came up to me to ask for my ticket. He heard us speaking English and figured he make a quick 6000 HUF- $30 USD. I told him it didn't work, and he tried it for himself. (luckily, it didn't work for him either) and so he just ripped one of my tickets. Then he motioned to Dot- "Only ONE ticket?" he demanded.  Since my mother has been here, I've learned a few things. One is "Pensioners" don't pay for the tram or the train. I think that the caveat is that EU pensioners don't pay, but I was not going there with him. I looked at him with my best "isn't it obvious?" look, and said "She's 84 years old." He walked away, off to bust someone else. And he found a few girls who didn't have tickets and made his money off them. Jack was sitting a few seats away, didn't say a word, and didn't get asked. Kids 6 and under don't pay for the trains either, something else we didn't know at the beginning when we were buying train passes.
The transit people are not wearing uniforms. They look like regular passengers, and then they take this "official sleeve" out of a pocket, put it on their forearm and start asking people to produce their tickets. It's kind of creepy. They kind of sneak up on you.  And I've been told that if there's only one of them, then they're kind of "unofficial"- scammers I guess. Maybe off duty, looking for a couple extra bucks.  As soon as they get out their sleeve, then people scramble to punch their tickets before they're asked or head for the door.  The man seated right behind us, got up immediately and pushed the button to get off at the next stop.  That's why there's usually two or more of them- they spread out along the tram and start asking from all sides.  

Busted... He pulled her and her friend off at the next stop to give them both a ticket. They had gotten on right after he walked away from me, and didn't notice him until it was too late. 

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