Thursday, August 27, 2015

Seat belt not necessary in Budapest

A few days after we visited Prague, me and boyfriend K arrive at the main railway station in Budapest. I had visited Budapest once before in the 1990's with boyfriend number 1 (a.k.a. ex-boyfriend S), but that would have been around 20 years ago. I am definitely interested to see what the city is like these days. The main taxi queue at the railway station looks very long, so since we don't have a lot of luggage, we head onto the street and start walking towards the hotel where we'll be staying.

"There's a couple of taxis parked on the road over there," I say to boyfriend K, looking around, "perhaps one of them can take us."

The first taxi does indeed agree to take us. Boyfriend K sits on the back seat while I take the seat next to the driver, and as we pull into the traffic, I start to put my seat belt on.

"No need for seat belt," says the driver, turning to smile at me, "this Budapest! Seat belt not necessary in Budapest :-)."

I look over, and to my surprise, I see that the driver himself isn't wearing a seat belt. I feel sure that there must be some European Union regulation about wearing seat belts, but decide not to challenge him on this. Nonetheless, his suggestion doesn't deter me from wearing MY seat belt.

After our experiences in Prague, I know that boyfriend K will be interested to visit some of the gay bars in Budapest, so before we go to dinner I find time to use google to do a bit of research. I find a place called Coxx club , and since it's a Saturday, there's a Gang-Bang party tonight. I see that the club also hosts events called "Sucker night" and "Nude sex party". Boyfriend K is very keen that our relationship is monogamous, so I decide that Coxx club *might* not be the best place for a couple like us! I find another place called Action Bar. Like the name itself, the images I find online suggest that it's also quite a raunchy place. Searching further I find a few others places too, although it's not obvious to me where would be best.

"So where shall we go afterwards?" says boyfriend K to me in the restaurant after we've ordered our dinner.

"I'm sure you want to find some of the gay bars!" I say, grinning at him.

"Of course :-)," he says, smiling back at me, "Do you think that there's anywhere here like Escape Club that we found in Prague? That was fun!"

The restaurant has a wifi network, so he gets the password and starts to do his own research.

"That's amusing," says boyfriend K smirking, "There's a place called Coxx club, but cocks is spelt C-O-X-X!"

"Yes indeed," I say with a serious tone in my voice, "I was looking for places earlier. I'm pretty sure that Coxx club is NOT the kind of place that we should go."

"Why not?" asks boyfriend K.

"Why not?" I say, repeating his question back to him, "well just look at it! Tonight there's a Gang-Bang party. It's presumably the kind of place that single men go to get naked and get off with each other while everyone else watches! Not at all the kind of place for a couple like us."

"Well we could just watch, couldn't we?"

"Maybe, or maybe not. At some of these events one may be expected to check in all one's clothes on arrival! How would you feel about that? And even if we don't have to do that, I wouldn’t expect it to feel very comfortable if one doesn't want to get involved."

Boyfriend K does a bit more research, and after a short while, nods his head at me. No doubt he founds some reviews which echo my thoughts about what it's probably like.

"OK, how about this place then?" he says, showing me the screen of his smartphone, "It's called Action Bar :-)".

"Yeah," I say, "I also looked at that place earlier. I doubt the clientele will be your type, and with a name like Action Bar, who knows what we'll be walking into! I'd bet any amount of money that there'll be some dark rooms."

"C'mon mate :-)," replies boyfriend K, clearly in the mood for some kind of excitement, "It'll be fine :-). Surely we can just go for one drink?"

All the other nearby bars sound quite standard, so with a little bit of trepidation, I agree that we'll go and check out Action Bar.

"But don't be upset if I end up saying 'I told you so'," I warn him, "It’s definitely not going to be like Escape Club!"

Fifteen minutes later, we're walking down quite a dark road in central Budapest.

"It should be down here somewhere," I say to boyfriend K, "and it's going to be in the basement, so look out for it."

"How did you find your way from the restaurant without looking at the map?" asks boyfriend K suspiciously, "and how do you know that it's in the basement?"

"Because I've got a good sense of direction and because I did my research earlier :-)!" I answer emphatically.

In the distance I spot a guy loitering outside one of the buildings, and as I get closer, it's clear that he's some kind of bouncer. Peering down the steps that he's guarding, I see a neon sign saying Action Bar. I smile at the bouncer, and he indicates that we can enter.

"Entrance fee tonight," he says in English, presumably working out that we're not Hungarian speakers, "pay downstairs."

We head down the stairs and go through the door, handing over the minimal HUF 1000 entrance fee on the way to the bar. None of the other guys in the bar or the bar staff look particularly attractive. Boyfriend K is easily the youngest person in the bar.

"So what do you think?" I ask boyfriend K quietly once we've bought our drinks.

"Not sure …" he replies, before adding "I'm going to have a look around."

He hands me his drink to hold and heads for the opening at the back of the bar which looks like it leads into another room. While he's away, a couple of bar stools become available so I go and sit down at the bar. A few minutes later he returns with his report.

"The room next door has a kind of platform by the bar," he says, sitting down next to me, "Not sure if they have any entertainment here, but if so, I guess they stand on that to perform."

"And are there any dark rooms?" I ask, quietly.

"Uh huh," answers boyfriend K, nodding his head, "the toilets are there too, and …"

He pauses looking a bit shocked about something.

"I'll show you later," he continues, "I still can't quite believe it!"

"So what do you think?" I ask, "Shall we stay?"

"I know you're going to say 'I told you so', but you're right," he admits, "It's not really my kind of place! We can move on after this drink if you like."

But suddenly he has a thought and he signals to the barman, who comes over to find out what he wants.

"Is there any show tonight?" he asks.

"Yes," answers the barman, "stripper at 1am in room next door :-)."

"Well we may as well see the start of the show," says boyfriend K to me, "but let's go if we don't like it."

The bar gradually fills up as show time approaches, so we move next door and perch ourselves on a bench at the back of the room. As usual in these places, the show starts late. But when it starts, it's not what either of us expected.

"Oh my god," boyfriend K whispers to me once the show starts, "that's definitely NOT what I want to watch!"

In front of us, on the platform by the bar, a stocky and slightly hairy guy in his fifties is gradually taking off all his clothes. He's good at moving in time with the music and he's not obese, but he's not particularly handsome either. However, the room is quite crowded now, and looking around it's not going to be easy to go. Ten minutes later, the guy is completely naked apart from a cockring. As I had expected, he's quite a big guy, and as he dances his tackle bobs up and down as he shows it off to the audience in different poses.

"I guess that's it!" says boyfriend K to me, but even though the guy isn't his type, he can't take his eyes off the stage.

Shortly afterwards, the stripper gets off the platform and disappears into an adjacent room. However, the show isn't over because now, two much younger guys emerge from the same room and climb onto the platform. Both these guys are considerably more handsome than the first guy. Slowly, the two guys remove each other's clothes, and soon they're both standing there naked, playing with each other. However, unlike the equivalent performance at Escape Club, both these guys are hard. They take it in turn to kneel down and take each other in their mouths, but neither me nor boyfriend K are prepared for what happens next. After a few minutes, both guys get off the stage on opposite sides, and each of them offer themselves to the nearest audience member. And on both sides of the stage, the guys in the audience oblige, by bending down and giving the performers a suck.

"I don't believe it!!" whispers boyfriend K to me, "what on earth …"

Slowly the performers move round the room in opposite directions. Most members of the audience are keen for a brief play and often a bit of a suck too. As each of the performers pass us, we both smile at them but shake our heads slightly. Luckily there's no necessity to get involved.

"Follow me," says boyfriend K to me once both performers have passed us, and he leads me through a dark passage located next to the stage.

At the end of the passage there's a small dimly lit room with a pornographic video showing.

"Have a look in there," he says to me, and walking inside, I see a long urinal with shiny metal at the back, and with two cubicles on the opposite wall. It's just the toilet area.

I feel like a pee, so I walk towards the urinal with obvious intention.

"NO, don't!" says boyfriend K urgently, "come with me," and walking back through the room showing the video, we enter a much darker area.

"There!" says boyfriend K, "that's what I said I'd show you!"

And I can't quite believe it either. The shiny metal at the back of the urinal isn't metal after all. Instead it's a one way mirror which backs on to this dark area, so that anyone here can see the tackle of any guy who uses the urinal.

"Wow," I say quietly, "I've never seen that before!"

We don't stay in the dark area very long, and heading back to the main bar, the show is now over so it feels like time to leave.

"How DEGRADING for those performers," says boyfriend K as we walk back to the hotel, "walking round the room like that, letting anyone touch them and suck them."

"And how UNHYGENIC too," he continues, "what on earth is everyone thinking, there must be diseases that could be passed on from one member of the audience to another."

As boyfriend K continues to comment and express shock about what we'd just seen, I can't help wondering what would have happened if we'd headed to Coxx club instead. And then I think back to what the taxi driver said to us just after we'd arrived, "Seat belt not necessary in Budapest". After our experiences tonight, it certainly seems to be a city where risk-taking is part of everyday life!