DISCLAMER: I’d like to make it perfectly clear that I think Hitler sucked. So, if you’re looking to join a Nazi fan club, I suggest heading back to google and trying your search again. This article has the intention of making fun of that angry little man.
So, I recently spent some time around Lake Balaton which is frequently referred to as the “Hungarian seaside.” It seems to have a wide range of things from palaces to tourist traps to wineries, and it all blends together in a strange way. This keeps you on your toes because you’re never sure whether to feel like an aristocrat or a redneck (or, a Nazi, but keep reading for that…).
Last weekend, I was bumping around the town of Balatonlelle, and it had that feeling that can only be achieved by a town which people visit until they’re too sunburned to remain. There were a lot of beach town essentials around: restaurants with greasy food, hairy men wearing nothing but a speedo on a public street, and plenty of junk shops.
We had a brief period of aimlessness between our morning coffee and our artery clogging langos brunch, so we decided to look for souvenirs and have flashbacks to our childhoods in the trinket stores. Shockingly, the boy in me wanted the bow and arrow while my female companion was much more interested in the elaborate bubble making toys.
Anyway, we stopped at one shop where I was drawn in by a cultural lesson on some “very Hungarian” little clay pots that were suggested as souvenirs for my friends and family back home. Then we drifted past the matchbox cars, more bubbles, and wandered into the Adolf Hitler section.
I’m not joking, you could by your mini Adolf in whichever outfit you preferred, and he even was locked into his famous saluting pose. Next to him, for the man who wants to complete the set, was Rommel and some other members of the Nazi All-Star Team. Charles de Gaulle and other less controversial figures were further down the line, but they obviously weren’t what draw in the customers.
Now, it could be argued that I shouldn’t pass judgment because I don’t know what they’re for. They were very small, so they weren’t any toy (sorry young Nazi children, you have to look elsewhere for those), and my guess is they are used for creating some kind of historical diorama or something. Perhaps my friends are boring, but I’ve never been sitting on the beach and heard someone say “I’m heading over to the shop for a Coke and I’m going to check if they have the khaki-uniformed Hitler, do you want anything?”
So, if you know what these are for, I’d be happy if you shared it. Until then, I’m going to be reading up on beach etiquette out of fear that I’m missing some critical part.
Hungarian word of the day:
This is slightly different because it’s a name – not just a word. But, it’s said to be the biggest lake in Central Europe, and it’s a pretty popular summer spot in Hungary. So, if you need a place to cool off in the summer, or just want to by some mini Nazis, you have found your destination.