MY TIME IN EUROPE PART3: BUDAPEST

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General Steele with Dj Nadir

General Steele with Dj Nadir

Monday October 26 2015 we arrive in Budapest, Hungary. The streets are narrow and there is graffiti sprawled on every other wall. We're greeted by DJ Nadir a slim guy with long dreadlocks. He seemed a bit familiar to me. He reminded me of someone I knew back in the states. He even mentioned how he was originally from Baltimore, Maryland. He held us down while we were in Budapest. His vibe was cool, sort of laid back but very focused.

We unloaded our bags and began to walk thru what appeared to be a city within the city laced with shops and restaurants. We entered into this building and proceeded to an office to check into our rooms. These rooms were different than the others. We would actually be staying in a fully furnished duplex apartment equipped with a kitchen, 2 bedrooms and 2 1/2 bathrooms. I was excited about this because this meant we would get to cook some real food and get to stretch out a little bit because we would we spending the next 2 days here.

We were all pleasantly surprised as we entered the apartment, none of us expected this and it was exactly what we needed. We could really enjoy our time in Budapest, I thought. Some of the guys began to roll up joints as the rest of us took a tour around the apartment. We had the night off so there was no urgency to do anything. I chose my room immediately, an upstairs loft style bedroom with sky windows attached to a bathroom with a tub.

I set up shop and joined the rest of the guys downstairs. We were all pretty hungry and it was getting late. We went to dine at this amazing Restaurant Cafe Vian.  The service was good, the food was great. Tek and I had the grilled salmon while Buck had the lamb. We all enjoyed our food and voted this as the best food on the tour thus far. We left very satisfied but it wasn’t until later I realized we under tipped the waitress.  

There was an event going on later that evening that we were contemplating on attending. We decided to stay in and get some well needed rest. I never did make it to my bedroom, I just fell asleep in the living room watching videos on Youtube with Buckshot. I eventually woke up in the early hours of the morning and went to my bedroom. Buck and Tek were still asleep so I decided to take a bath.

I haven’t actually sat in a bathtub in a while and this apartment came equipped with a hug tub positioned underneath a sky window. I rarely find time to relax on the road so this was gonna be a new experience for me. I programmed my phone to play John Coltrane and sat back under the sky window allowing my thoughts to just flow. 

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I got out of the tub feeling rejuvenated and very relaxed. The guys were still sleeping so I went downstairs to do some writing, shorty after, Buck woke up and we started building over a joint and some tea. Afterwards he left to go to the other apartment to change clothes. Yes, we had two identical apartments but we're so conditioned to being around each other, we didn’t really need the extra place but it was perfect for us to recuperate and prep for the rest of the tour, besides that, Figub, the DJ we had with us was a little under the weather and was in need of well deserved rest.

Today was an off day and although we had a meet and greet later that evening, we had all day to do whatever we desired.  I spent most of my morning writing and recounting the days that passed. When Tek woke up and Buckshot came back to the apartment we went to get something to eat. Figub was still in his room resting while we went out to explore. We didn’t have to go far because all the eateries were literally right there as soon as we walked out the building. It reminded me of when I was a kid on Delancey Street, where they would have guys stand outside every store and solicit people to come in their shop to spend money.

The only difference, besides it being years later in a foreign country, was that they used attractive women to lure you in promising the best food experience in town. We just wanted to get some good ole American Style breakfast, you know, pancakes, eggs things like that. Then we passed by a place called Blue Bird Cafe, that had infectious cakes and pies in the window and Buckshot was magnetized. I admit he has an eye for spotting certain things which remain less obvious to most of us and although I am not a heavy dessert guy, I was also taken by the display.

We decided on the Blue Bird Cafe. We all ordered the same thing, pancakes, eggs, toast, needless to say the service nor the food was satisfactory and we all left disappointed. Buckshot was admittedly frustrated, being the particular eater he is and he was sure that this spot had the goods. "How could you f*ck up pancakes, eggs and toast?" (laughs).

The service obviously wasn’t geared for full breakfast guys like us. I say that while examining the room as other patrons have their coffee, croissants, cakes and pies. It took our food a minute to come out and then we only received the eggs. Then several minutes later the pancakes arrived as if they had to have them made at another secret location.

The pancakes were small silver dollar style which I love, with fresh fruit, which was the best part and a tiny ounce size cup of syrup. Buckshot wasn’t as pleased, he was a bit disturbed as to how late the service was, how cold the eggs were and how much syrup they gave him or should I say how little they gave him. We laughed as Buck began to rant on. Although I agree with Buck, I knew we were far away from the comfort of what we were used to and I was enjoying it all. 

We met up with the rest of the guys back at the apartment and began to map out the plans for the day. There was a meet and greet scheduled as well as dinner and radio. We had some time before our engagement so we rolled up some weed and began conversing on several topics and landed on the topic of food. Buckshot is very particular about what he eats, whereas Tek and I are a bit more flexible even daring.

We told them about our recent encounter at the Blue Bird Cafe while Buck stressed the lack of syrup. Dj Nadir and his partner began talking about their experience with various cheeses and honey. I admit my experience with cheese is extremely limited let alone putting honey on it, so while I was not totally tempted I was still intrigued. Although we joked about their weird choice of taste, we were the ignorant ones, I thought.

They were speaking about cheeses I never cared existed mostly because I was content with what I thought I already liked, but being a student of life, I began to wonder what it be like to try something outside of the box and besides, we’re only talking about cheese and honey.(smirks) 

The meet and greet was held at this bar where they had an area set up for us. We signed autographs, took pictures, sold some PNC tee shirts and a few CDs, had a few wacky drinks since they didn’t have Hennessy, overall, it was pretty cool. These were the people we would see front stage at our show the following day.

When it was time to eat we walked to a spot which DJ Nadir had reserved. It was the holiday season and they were filming what appeared to be a Christmas production on the streets needless to say the scenery was very movie-esque. When we got to the restaurant which was reserved we were disappointed. I forgot to mention that DJ Nadir is sort of a health nut and he doesn’t eat certain foods. Im not sure if he is a vegetarian but he spoke of healthy eating and the place he took us to reflected that, well sort of.

They only had a few dishes on the menu and it was more like a sushi bar with out the sushi. It was stuff like brussell sprouts and hummus which I love and thats just what I could recognize, I personally need a little more in order to call it dinner besides that I knew Buck and Tek weren't gonna eat any of this stuff.

We went to a spot called Spiler which had quick dishes like assorted hot wings, fries, fried shrimp, etc. and tons of drinks. This was a safe choice for us as it was getting late and everything was closing. We went back to the apartment, ate our food then Buck and I proceeded to go to the radio while Tek stayed behind.

When we got to the radio they had some dope old school gear that reminded me of D&D Studios back in New York City, needless to say the guys weren’t prepared. None of the gear actually worked or maybe these weren’t the regular guys who operate it so we had to wait on another guy to bring in equipment to record us.

I was a bit frustrated because they were rushing us to get there and they weren’t ready. We finally decided to work with what we had which was our best bet considering that the other guy never showed up. We made it work then retired back to apartment. 

Tomorrow night is the show at Godor and I still haven’t seen any of the sights so I asked DJ Nadir to show me around before the show.

clockwise from top smoke & chili, wine, almond

clockwise from top smoke & chili, wine, almond

Around noon DJ Nadir came to our apartment with the cheese, honey and bread. He had three kinds of cheeses, Almond, Wine and Smoke and chili flavored. I tried each cheese without honey at first and then with and found it surprisingly good. Tek was reluctant at first but he eventually tried it. Buckshot wasn’t going anywhere near it. 

DJ Nadir, his friend Tomek and myself went out to see the sights while Tek and Buck stayed behind. They asked me where would I like to go and I responded, "I don’t know Im not from here, I just wanna see something other than the inside of my room". They took me to the Parliament and then to Heroes Square.

Im grateful for that experience because we travel to so many countries yet never get to see the sights, inner city or its Monuments. I was determined to change that this trip and I did if only for a short moment in time. We only had very little time before the show and there was a lot of traffic so we decided to head back and get ready.

Smif-N-Wessun & Buckshot, Black Smif-N-Wessun, Sean Price Tribute Live at Godor Budapest, Hungary

The show was a great turn out. The energy was electric and the fans were pleased. Another win for the home team. Tomorrow we drive to Linz or should I say later today and we have another show tonight. May the force be with us.

 

By General Steele