Europe. Hungary. Budapest: Terror and depressing ballet

Wednesday, October, 18th, 2006

We went to visit the "Museum of Terror" today in Pest. The focus of this museum was Hungary's history with communism and the terrible things that happened to its citizens during the "reign of terror". The museum had a very spooky feel to it, as soon as you entered there was this very loud, catchy music playing that went with these video images of war, torture and despair. The museum was very well laid-out and easy to follow and in every room there were photocopied readings to accompany what you saw. The museum was definitely a shock, it's weird how we can live in oblivion of terrible things that happen overseas. History classes in Canada are a lot different from those in Hungary, I don't remember anyone having a sympathetic view towards Hungary. I guess that's what happens when you don't get the FULL story, only a distorted view. The museum was very educational and eye-opening. In the basement you were able to go into the prison cells used to keep those who were opposed to communism and you could even see where the people were killed. That area had an eery feeling about it as well, it gave me goosebumps.

In the evening we went to see the ballet at the Operahaus. We discovered that we were underdressed and got a few stares but we saw a few others who were in the same boat as us so it made us feelt better. And if anyone had been making snooty comments about us we couldn't have understood them anyway. The ballet itself was more confusing than we had anticipated. We thought that we were being smart in picking something without words so that we could easily understand what was going on... unfortunately it was a rather complicated ballet and we needed the help of a program to explain the basic plot. The plot was pretty depressing (and based on a real story): an unhappy royal marriage, prince with many mistresses & prostitutes, prince is feeling melancholy & gets new young mistress, they threaten each other with a gun but make love afterwards, prince almost kills the king accidentally, prince kills gun-wielding mistress and then himself. Odd story. The dancing was beautiful though. There was an amusing character in the ballet who was the prince's ex-lover and kept trying to win him back after he was married, she was so persistent and when he kept refusing she found him a new young girl to be his mistress. How nice of her.

Oh and to go with our "inappropriate" attire for the ballet, Tyler also filled up our water bottle in the bathroom at the operahouse. Aren't we classy? :)

-Jenny and Tyler, the picture of classiness

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