Jayne Mansfield couldn’t resist the type. Afterall she married the Budapest born Clevelander (post WWII flee) and future Mr. Universe, Miklós “Mickey” Hargitay. And they didn’t do so bad with their youngest kid (Hungarian favorite) Detective Olivia Benson, Mariska Hargitay. But I just don’t get it. The beef sticks. The bodybuilders. And they are everywhere here.
Okay I’ll won’t try not to generalize, but younger men here definitely seem to fall into three categories. 1: Yuppie hipster (yupster). 2: water polo hooligan 3: beef stick (izompacsirta–muscle lark). Alright, I know. Add a few older guys, a few business gentlemen and swimmers and scholars and musicians and cyclists and shop owners and drunks and you have any city in the world. But the first three categories are quite strong in Budapest. Or, I should say, more specifically, at my gym.
Unlike some people, I don’t like to run in the snow. And even though it’s not snowing yet, if you’ve ever run on the bank of Lake Erie just before the snow, you can imagine how cold it gets next to almost freezing water (in this case, the Danube), especially at 6 am. So we’ve taken to doing a quick run on the treadmill and have found that we are the only women in the joint. In fact, we’re lucky if we don’t get hit in the head by a meaty shoulder on our way to the treadmills, which are always empty, by the way.
Of course, there are few older ladies with red caps and a few lean swimmers in the lap pool, but in the actual gym, there is no escaping it, wall to wall solarium-colored muscles. At first I was a little annoyed/intimidated by the whole thing, and visions of opening Hungary’s first Curves was swimming through my head. But now it’s kind of entertaining. It’s something kind of fun to watch instead of the six screens of German MTV. Here’s a clip of what you might see:
So, if none of my other posts have convinced you to come to Budapest for a visit, then you might be like the Jayne Mansfields of the world, envisioning yourself in a leopard bikini on the shoulder of your very own Hungarian Mr. Universe. If so, you won’t be sad you decided to visit the land of the Magyars.
Budapest Board of Tourism, you’re welcome.