Sure enough, in a splatter pattern familiar to many CSI viewers, several small drops of blood had been left to harden on our car window and door.
Perhaps this would be a good time to describe the neighborhood we live in. Akácfa utca (which translates to Acacia Tree Street) is located in the very center of downtown Budapest. I mean, we are really in the thick of it here. Up above is a photo taken on my street during the 56 Revolution. That's a statue of Stalin being torn down.
The first thing people notice is that our building’s basement houses one of the more popular pubs in the city, Old Man’s Music Pub. While we don’t hear the noise from the bar itself, we do feel the effect of being close to such a hot spot. There are the occasional bursts of noise out in the street, but the bouncers (who are huge) consider keeping the crowd quiet one of their main tasks. And of course there are the bottles and glass which are cleaned from the sidewalk each morning by a little old lady with bad posture, who I believe has some kind of mental disability. She is kind, but seems to be a bit detached from the ah… well, everything really. She wears a vacant expression that is both harmless and creepy.
The next attribute of note is the presence of homeless drunks. Quite a few of them find a place to sleep somewhere on our street, mostly in the doorways of stores that have closed for the evening. Many of them are the piss-soaked incoherent men that make one wonder how a person can fall so far, but there is one gentleman reminiscent of the much-romanticized American hobo. He plays a bad harmonica and talks to every passerby with a half-drunk smile. The good news is that these men are harmless. They knock down the quality of life meter, but they don’t want to cause trouble.
If there ever is any trouble, it starts in the wee hours of the night. And that is probably when the blood found its way onto our car. Downtown Budapest is a lively place, and lively often translates into drunk. And for so many, drunk often translates into fighty.
I don’t want to posit any definite guesses as to how the blood ended up where it did, but its presence gave me a reason to describe some of the more unique aspects of my neighborhood.
It may even help to explain my previous post.
But don’t take any of this as a complaint. I do feel safe where I live, and I feel excited to be in a part of the city that is changing for the better. After all, if the entire world was clean, law-abiding, and void of gruesome street fights, what kind of drama would we seek to get our blood flowing?