Again, the weekend has been overcast and rainy. It seems to be an unfortunate trend in Hungary. I spend all week looking out the window at warm, sunny days, and then I sit inside on the weekend.
This weekend, however, there was some excitement. I had a visitor! Another American teacher, Nephi, came to Békéscsaba to do some shopping and attend a church service. He teaches in a nearby town called Mezőkovácsháza, and it only has a population of about six thousand. Therefore, it's not exactly full of conveniences.
Our first stop was the mall where he bought, among other things, a football. I mean an actual football, not a soccer ball, and I think he bought the only one in the mall. Locically, is bright orange and says "Chicago" in green letters. Why not?
Then the rain started to pour, so we decided to pass the time in a restaurant. We headed over to a Slovakian place that I've wanted to try, and it turned out to be really cool. It wasn't exactly cheap, but it had an awesome atmosphere and some English on the menu.
It was these English words that informed us we could order brains. We laughed and wondered if that's what it really was. Nephi asked the waiter to confirm (pointing to his head to see if we meant the same brain), and it was in fact true. He even told us that these particular brains used to belong to a pig.
This is the part of the story where Nephi gains a lot of respect. He decided that he had to order them. After all, when would he get another chance? I played it safe and ordered "turkey stew in an egg jacket".
His plate of brains came out. No, it wasn't a big pink brain on a platter (although, that's what I was hoping for). It was little breaded pieces that looked like chicken nuggets. Apparently brains are best served on a bed of fries with a small side of salad.
He was very considerate of me when he took his first bite. By this, I mean he didn't spit the whole thing out spraying the table like a cartoon character. Instead, he looked like he couldn't settle on an opinion, so he gave me a little piece to try.
This was my first brain eating experience. Aside from feeling like a zombie, I wasn't overly excited. The flavor was almost non-existent, and the texture was best described as mushy. He said they grew on him by the end of the meal, but I'm not rushing out for another plate.
While on the topic of strange foods, we noticed something very interesting next to the pigs feet at the grocery store. This is just a guess, but we're pretty sure that they were pigs tails. Add another ingredient to the list of Alex's Hungarian Cookbook.
To counteract all the culture, we spoke American English (mumbling a lot), and watched college football on the internet. We spent the rest of the evening trying, and failing, to converse with Hungarian girls at a night club. The good news, I only saw one of my students while I was out drinking!
Now I'll plan a Halloween party. The Hungarians like to make it easy for you by supplying all of the necessary ingredients. They have wine called Bull's Blood, and brains and feet aren't hard to come by.