Funny Stories About Being Hit On By Hungarians
Traveling alone as a female means that, whether you like it or not, you get a lot of attention.
Any girl will attest that unwanted attention from men is at best, annoying, and at worst, infuriating. However, I was fascinated by how men from different cultures approach women and turned my annoyance/infuriance (not a word but should be) into a social experiment.
And so my “Funny Stories About Being Hit On By Europeans – Arranged By Country” series was born.
This particular article is about the extreme persistence of Hungarian men.
Please note that this is a meant to be a silly, tongue-in-cheek article about candid observations I made during a solo trot across Europe and not meant to be of any offense to anyone. Also note that, as with all sociological studies, generalizations are made.
Like I said, Hungarian men are persistent.
And they’re not simply your run-of-the-mill, won’t-go-away-until-you-give-them-your-(rejection-hotline)-number type of persistent.
They’re the follow-you-around-town-for-hours-selectively-ignoring-every-word-you-say-that-involves-you-trying-to-get-rid-of-them type of persistent.
I was in Budapest for about 10 days in August mostly at a music festival with a highly international crowd, yet still managed to collect stories about unfortunate but rather hilarious encounters with Hungarian men.
The guy at a music festival with his dad
It was Day 2 of Sziget Festival in Budapest. The city was a scorching 37 degrees and Margitsziget (Margaret Island) was dry and dusty.
I had just arrived on the festival grounds and pushed my way to a decent view of the main stage when a tall, skinny Hungarian kid started chatting at me.
Within a minute, he wanted me to kiss him for a photo. I declined and tried to move on with my life.
Or so I wished.
The kid was at the festival with his dad and was shocked/appalled that my parents would let me go to a music festival. By myself! So far from home! Heaven forbid!
He asked me how I thought he was. I said 20 to be nice. He was 25. Regardless, I will still refer to him as “the kid.”
I was dragged to the bar, bought two drinks, and made to chug both.
If you know me personally, or have an idea of what kind of person I am based on my rather snarky tone of writing voice, you will know that I am in no way a pushover.
Perhaps this gives a better idea how persistent the Hungarians can be.
I was then dragged to the main stage where the kid kept trying to dance with me and making me kiss him for photos.
It’s been about 30 minutes by this point and I had been trying to get away since the moment I met him.
Then, the kid’s favorite band came on stage.
“I have to use the restroom,” I said.
And I ran.
The guy who wouldn’t let go
As I was running from the aforementioned kid, another guy, presumably also Hungarian, grabbed me by the wrist and wouldn’t let go. He then tried to grab other parts of me with his other hand.
I yelled at him to let go. He wouldn’t let go.
Thankfully, women usually have each other’s backs when it comes to harassment of this nature, and two nearby girls fought him off for me.
The guy who followed me around Budapest
On one of my later days in Budapest, I decided to visit the Szechenyi Thermal Baths. I soaked until I got bored and pruney, showered, and left.
As I was walking to the metro, a Hungarian guy approached me and told me I was beautiful. I accepted the compliment and tried to keep walking.
“What are you doing later?” he asked.
“I need to buy some travel supplies,” I replied, hoping the idea of shopping would deter him.
“Oh, I just got off work and have no plans for the rest of the evening,” he said. “I can come with you. Afterwards, we can take* dinner together.”
*Hungarians tend to use “take” as the verb for consuming any food or drink.
“No, it’s okay. I should get going,” I said.
“I will come with you.”
And he did. He followed me across town on two metro trains and one tram until I reached a shopping mall where I actually had to buy travel supplies.
“Have you ever had a Hungarian massage before?” he asked.
“No, I haven’t,” I replied.
“You are staying in a hotel? After we take dinner, I can come give you a Hungarian massage.”
“No, thank you. I don’t need a Hungarian massage.”
“Oh, we don’t have to have sex!”
When did we get on the subject of sex?!
I looked at him and said, “I am not interested in you. I need to go shopping. Don’t come with me.”
“I have your Facebook since your phone isn’t working,” he said. “I will message you and we can take dinner after.”
He didn’t actually have my Facebook.
**By the way, the cover image on this article was of Hungarian troops on their daily march to lower the flag at Parliament. One of them proposed, tears were shed, photos were taken, then the entire brigade marched off, flag still high on the pole. Persistence pays off! (Or, more likely, I was just one of the unlucky ones).