So Much PASTA….and the Horse’s “Crown Jewels”

So, in my eternal effort to spend as little money as possible on as much food as possible (which has, so far, been radically successful after a little planning), I got my hands on a bag of pasta. I figured that bag, which is relatively small, would probably be two meals for me. So, I cooked up about a third of the bag (after discovering that, if I used half, it wouldn’t fit in the pot) and made some carbonara sauce. That bowl of pasta that I thought would be one meal turned out to be three.

I’m sick of pasta right now.

In other news, the prize for winning the Budapest Amazing Race was a candy bar made of “alpine chocolate and white chocolate.” It’s quite good. 🙂 I’m nibbling at it slowly, to savor it.

I also took a solo trip to the airport and back (an hour and a half each way), just so that I was sure that, when it came time for a flight and I was on a time limit, I would be positive of where I’m going. Trams, metros, and buses later, I successfully arrived at the airport with no problems.

Today, I took another tour of Budapest with some Hungarian friends and my roommate in order to discover more about the culture and history of the city. Did you know that no building in Budapest is allowed to be more than 98 meters tall? Both the Parliament building and St. Stephen’s Basilica are the tallest, at 98 meters each. Of the many highlights of the trip was a new look into Castle Hill, where we saw a building still riddled with bullet holes from World War II.

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After that, we made a stop at a statue of a horse. This statue, to be precise —

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But what’s interesting is not so much the horse itself, or even the rider himself, but rather the horse’s…ahem, “crown jewels.”

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In Budapest, people believe that the horse’s testicles bring good luck. So, people from all over the city would climb up to the statue in order to hold on to the poor horse. For students especially, climbing up the statue and holding the testicles with both hands supposedly guaranteed success on a test. Eventually, so many people were doing this that the national government had to get involved, and it actually passed a law. It is now illegal to touch the horse’s testicles. Apparently the rest of the statue is touchable though?

Anyway, I learned a lot of interesting things today (did you know that the inventor of the Rubik’s Cube is still alive? He lives in Buda). Aside from all of the comical things, I also learned a lot about the formation of Hungary out of seven nomadic tribes, as well as Hungary’s consistent issue with other nations wanting to occupy them. It was a very educational experience!

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