I’m Spanish, and I always thought that we have the most scamp character in Europe. I’m not a big fan of generalizing but, as far as I have seen, there are a lot of Spanish people that try to take benefit of the situations beyond the limits of the good conscience. For example, in some touristic places restaurants offer two menus, the Spanish one and another in English. Everything is normal to this point; but not the change of prizes on the catalog. Just for being a foreigner it is possible that you pay more for the same food. Obviously this is not happening in all restaurants, and of course that is illegal; but let’s say that a Spanish person will try to avoid the places with English signals because we know that probably the prize has been increased.
When I moved to Budapest I wasn’t expecting this kind of behavior on Hungarian people. And the last week I could ascertain that Spanish are not the only ones who take advantage of the situations. On Wednesday Ángel, my boyfriend, came to visit Budapest and we started to do all the touristic and non touristic things that we could. We wanted to take pictures around the city, so we were carrying all the time his father’s professional camera that seemed to scream “hey! We’re tourists; swindle us because we must have money”. And no, we don’t have money so we care about what we’re spending. The most annoying thing that happened to us was in a Wok restaurant. The first cheat was when the waitress (or maybe she was the owner, I don’t know) told us that we couldn’t take a small plate because that was for children, and after that we saw other adult customers with that small plate. Then I was taking sushi and again she told me to take just four pieces and again we saw other clients with more pieces in their plates… The funny point is that I had been there before, and I knew that the woman wasn’t treating us like the other customers because it was clear that we weren’t Hungarians. Even though, the food was cheap and good, so the experience was positive.
The second chapter of “good camera – you must have money” occurred near Buda Castle. There was an eccentric old Hungarian man sealing his paintings, and I failed in love with one of them, but he wanted 15.000 forint for this one, and I didn’t even have cash. After talking a little bit, I said to the artist that I was a student, so I didn’t have that amount to spend in “art”. Ángel offered him 10.000 forint, and immediately the man accepted the quantity and gave us another smaller painting as a gift while he explained us all the anticapitalism meaning of his paintings. This one was a friendlier anecdote that putted a smile in our faces that afternoon. But here is my advice: people with expensive cameras and not so much money, hide your camera if you don’t want to be treated as a tourist that doesn’t care about spending money.