Monday, 28 June 2004

Saturday Morning, bright and early

The sun is shining, and we’ve arranged to visit a local indoor market with a couple of cytogeneticists that we met yesterday. The sun is hot on our backs as we make our way there at 8.00am.

The market is held inside a huge hall, with fixed stalls. There are basically 3 kinds of stall – Butchers selling every part of the animals except the skin, greengrocers with their huge piles of pale unhealthy looking peppers (there was one called ‘eros’, although it’s hard to see why) and stalls selling cured meats, salamis, pigs trotters etc. Occasionally you see the odd stall with alcohol. Some stalls specialised in different meats, usually denoted but the animal’s head being mounted on the wall. Wandering round, we bought paprika in ornamental bags to take home, but somehow didn’t really fancy anything else. The upper level had much more touristy stuff – lacy things, carved objects, toys, Tee shirts, plus a variety of cafes and bars. I took some pics from there, plus on the ground floor on the way out.

That evening we enjoyed a cruise on the Danube, in a huge boat complete with band, dinner and shoals of waiters that really did look after their charges. Despite the bottomless approach to supplying drinks people were generally restrained, and I saw no serious excesses. It was a slightly scary arrangement though, with party atmosphere and unlimited booze – quite easy to see people pairing up and disappearing off together, me included. I have seldom felt this as a concern quite so strongly. Maybe it’s my own inadequacies and immorality coming to the surface?

I also took some pics both on and from the boat. There were a couple of technical staff that were using our products who attended the conference for the first time. I’d been asked by their rep to look after them, and since they were good fun, it was natural that we all kept each other company. That’s why you’ll see Carol and Liz in some of the pics, plus John (a Cytogeneticist at Newcastle) who we also got on well with. I have also included a pic illustrating the challenge to male pulses engendered by the fashion of tight translucent trousers and thongs that were ‘de rigueur’ amongst the lovelies here. Anyway, much fun was had: some at my expense when I was dragged (not entirely with good grace) up on the dancefloor. About 11.30 another male member of the group that we all knew appeared, and William and I made our getaway, only being propositioned once during the 30min walk back (not counting the lap dancing bars we were invited to enter). Interesting place, Budapest.

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