stumbling upon pear pálinka

Yesterday, on THE Fourth of July, I embarked on a great Swedish tradition:  trip to IKEA.

While the signs were as unfamiliar and perplexing as the grocery store, rest assured that the cold, organized comfort of every IKEA still translates.  In the food court, I counted about 80 percent of shoppers eating Swedish meatballs and some kind of Swedish cake.  And of course, to Hungarianize it, almost everyone also had a plate of fries.  And wine, beer, and tea.  Any country that openly encourages drinking wine and beer before 3pm in a superstore that smells like wood, ruler tape, and minimal chic is a country for me.

The first pictures in today’s slideshow are some of the architecture on the way to Ikea—
Most from my district (I).

In the second part of the slideshow, you’ll see shots of A Magyarok Nagy Asztala, which means “The Great Table of the Hungarians”, a festival I stumbled upon in the early afternoon.

This morning, as I walked around Buda Castle to plot out my running path, I ran into about a zillion tourists all flocking toward some food, wine, and palinka festival!  It was kind of a renaissance festival but with cuter costumes, faster whips, and better food and drinks.  And only a few people who weren’t actually working there were dressed in costume so hallelujah.

Anyway, I met my friends there and we walked around, waited out a thunderstorm in the Országos Széchenyi Könyvtár (the national library), and had several shots of pálinka.  I think we had peach, cherry, and my favorite, pear.  It burned a little going down, though there couldn’t have been a more perfect accompaniment to the setting sun burning away the storm clouds above the hills.

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5 thoughts on “stumbling upon pear pálinka

  1. Jess,
    We love the pictures…what a beautiful country. It sounds like you’re acclimating yourself to your new home. I can’t get over how clean the city looks. Take care of yourself and keep updating us on your adventure!
    Susan & CC

  2. jes,

    now i’m super jealous. the pictures are great! especially since the only thing i’ve seen in the past few days is the depot. now that i know that:
    a) there is an ikea
    b) they serve booze there
    c) it is possible to stumble upon people in costumes

    i’m booking my plane ticket tomorrow. i miss you and can’t wait to fire up the chat!

    love, s

  3. Yes, I’m very lucky to be living in a really fancy part of the city. Like any big city, of course there are some more sketchy areas. Basically the same places you wouldn’t want to go to at night in New York City are very similar here. But where I am living is really a beautiful part of the city where there are so many tourists coming to look at all of the buildings and history and such! And it’s old Europe–the look and feel, I mean, which is shocking and beautiful for a midwestern gal like me 🙂

    And s— you are going to LOVE the palinka. And yes, I will find a renaissance festival for us to visit when you come here and yes, you will have to wear a costume. 🙂

  4. I loved the pictures. But what is a Palinka? Some kind of pastry? Also I am very interested the cheese filled donut thing! And you took a picture of your July 4th party. Did they appreciate the irony?

    The city looks beautiful, and again, I am so jealous. Have fun today. I’m glad you got to see the language school and feel more at ease about it.


  5. Palinka is liquor. Ask grandma, she’ll know 🙂 It’s distilled with fruits, usually, and it’s customary to take shots of it. It’s very popular in Central and Eastern Europe. I’m going to send you some and you and Dad can start having a few shots before the actual happy hour begins!

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