Now that everyone’s sharing stories from the road, I thought I’d share a funny incident that happened whilst I was touring Budapest, the capital of Hungary, a few years ago with a friend.
For those of you who don’t know, Budapest is really made up of two areas, Buda and Pest. What separates the two is the absolutely scenic River Danube. We were planning to go up Gellért Hill in Buda one evening to get a bird’s eye view of the entire city. However, it was starting to get dark and we could see ominous clouds looming over the horizon. At that moment, I had to make a judgment call – either go up the hill as planned, or call it a day. I chose the latter.
It turned out to be a wise decision on my part, but the day was not over yet. As we proceeded to cross Elizabeth Bridge (one of the many bridges) on foot to return to our hostel in Pest, it started to pour. Like, REALLY, REALLY POUR. A strong gale was gushing from our left, and we had to seek refuge behind one of the beams that made up the suspension bridge. That was the only shelter we had, and there was no place to retreat to. The storm grew stronger by the minute, and the last inch of daylight disappeared, leaving us in nothing but tungsten luminescence. Being seasoned travellers, we did not have any umbrellas/ponchos with us (snigger).
This was not getting anywhere, I thought. So I made another call. “This isn’t working! Let’s get to the other side ASAP!” Thus began the exodus into Pest.
As we were halfway through our journey, I peeked over my shoulder and past the rails of the bridge. What used to be the tranquil River Danube was now a scene from Armageddon (minus the fire and brimstone), with mighty frothy waves that could probably swallow an entire sailboat and send it into oblivion without even flinching (if waves could even flinch in the first place). It was dark, with the sky set ablaze with lightning every now and then. My goodness, it was my first official rendezvous with Death. Alright, I am getting carried away with the descriptive writing.
ANYWAY, we made it to the other side of the river in one piece in the end. The storm abated as if it was mocking us for not staying put. Right then, in the middle of assessing the damage, my friend started laughing.
Why, you might ask? Thanks to the strong winds that were hitting us, I was completely soaked. On my LEFT SIDE. The entire right side of my body was pretty much dry. It was quite a sight I must say, and we stood there laughing for a few good minutes. Wished there were pictures to show you how ridiculous I looked, but our cameras wouldn’t have survived the rain if we tried taking photos. I’ll simply leave it to your imagination.
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