I was planning to start the post with a diatribe on how, since we attend the Budapest Saint Patrick’s Day Parade each year (it has just turned the respectable age of seven), I will run out of subjects to cover, but, alas, this is exactly how I started the post last year- congratulating myself here on having exactly as many pints of stout as to be jolly, but keep both short and long term memory intact. You can therefore read last year’s introduction here, and apply it for this one as well.
I will however dwell a bit on the weather, because it is simply fascinating: it was raining cats and dogs on Saturday, perhaps to allow for a regret free comedown after Saint Patrick’s Day proper on Friday, then it cleared out for Sunday morning, peaked with sunshine right at the time when the procession was snaking its way through town, and then it duly rained in the evening.
So, then, I will try sum up some new and exciting (?) elements: Guinness selfie sticks are gone! I would say that someone in the PR department sobered up, but is that desirable for a drinks company? Who knows, point is, this year the stick was replaced by a rather practical Guinness bottle opener, much more in line with the brand’s philosophy and also much less bothersome for the universe in general.
Wolfhounds! Okay, they have been there in previous years too, but given that I am not a dog person, and they seem a bit large even by pony standards, I kept my dignified distance and they kept their, let’s say dognified distance too. This year though some of the more inquisitive and dog-friendly people of the lot went closer and found out that despite their size they are pretty peaceful, though they do eat a lot- but not as much as one would imagine, apparently, as they need to pay attention to their figure.
More kilts! Some of them a beautiful shade of green similar to that of my coat- I know you really could not live without this bit of information here, that is why I am sharing it with you, and, as always, you are very welcome. Besides the now usual Budapest Highlander’s Pipe Band, this year the parade also welcomed the Irish Prison Service Pipe Band. Further to said kilts, having more bands is also becoming necessity, as it allows the ever-growing procession to have different musical backdrops for its entire length.
New end point! The traditional final stop of the parade, Instant, moved this year (about this move I am more than doubtful, but that is perhaps fodder for a different blog entry), so instead of turning left from Andrássy onto Nagymező street, this time we turned right, and then meandered through the party district to Akácfa street, where the new Instant, fused with the old Fogasház, was awaiting with the familiar offer of various Celtic themed musical experiments.
The route itself felt like a definite improvement- as the old Instant was a bit too close to Andrássy avenue, many people got stuck on the corner to the dismay of organizers, traffic wardens and clueless drivers. This time around the narrow streets seemed to streamline people, and when faced with the corner of Akácfa street they either wandered off to alternative destinations or made their way to Instant.
We ran a quick check of the place, discovered very many toilets and some questionable décor, then felt tempted to join in some shamrock cutting and sticking activity in the children’s area- I myself decided against it only as I cannot cut along lines for the life of me, not even when having consumed less stouts, and it would have been slightly unfortunate to end the otherwise successful enterprise making a fool of myself in front of people with an average age of six. We therefore wound the day down dropping in on several concerts- as usual, many, varied, at times odd, but always thoroughly entertaining- just like the whole day itself, so, all summed up, spring can really start now and I’m already looking forward to next year’s parade as well.