We decided to go to the Bakats feszt with our neighbour and her family.
Like every weekend in Budapest, there is a festival going on somewhere.
Our neighbor happens to be the manager of the MÁV in charge of booking events.
BUDAPEST SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA MÁV
The Budapest Symphony Orchestra M.V (M.V Szimfonikus Zenekar) was founded in 1945 by the Hungarian State Railways. Since then, it has developed a wide-ranging repertoire from music of the baroque era to works by contemporary composers, and is currently ranked among the best professional ensembles in Hungary. The orchestra has performed throughout Europe, and also with the Three Tenors Production in 1999.
Before the show I had a meeting, so we arrived relatively early to grab a quick bite. I hit the Chinese buffet and asked for a stir fry with chicken. The rest of our group had gyros next door on the street, and Daniel went on a scavenger hunt trying to find something he would eat. (picky eaters ugh!)
After my shanghai style noodles appeared, the girls sat down with me and we all ate our dinner on an outdoor terrace.
It was a beautiful warm night, and the streets were full of people from all over the world. You could hear many different languages being spoken as people strolled by. This concert however is a favourite among the locals, and this festival was being performed on a stage in the open air on the footsteps of a giant church giving an extrordinary backdrop in the neighbourhood known as Ferencvaros, that meets the east side of the Danube on the Pest side.
I knew our friends had already made it through the line, and looking back i should have just gone but I couldn’t wait through two and a half hours of concert without a bathroom break.
Daniel and Alfonz were nowhere in sight so I handed the girls my purse, I climbed down the stairs of the Chinese restaurant to a very strange untidy area with chairs piled up in a corner, and a hallway leading to the dodgy kitchen.
The lady mentioned they had just opened their restaurant and they had not finished all the renovations. The food was very food so I didn’t care.
I rushed into the bathroom and slammed the door behind me when I noticed the front of the handle was on the ground. I thought crap. I already shut the door. I finished up and washed my hands and tried the door. My fear came true… I WAS LOCKED IN.
I looked around and there was an opening between the men’s and women’s toilet stall, so I closed the lid and climbed up but it was too small to climb over. I started to call for ‘HELP! I am stuck inside the toilet!!’
After about 5 minutes there were two people shouting at each other in Chinese right outside the ladies bathroom door. I was imagining them saying ‘You said you fixed the door since the last time someone got stuck inside!’
I spoke to them in Hungarian but their Hungarian was limited to restaurant jargon. On another occasion I would have thought how adorable their accents were speaking Hungarian with a Chinese accent, but instead I tried very hard to communicate between Hungarian and English clear and loud so they could hear me.
The woman finally went into the men’s bathroom and slipped a key over the wall. I tried to unlock the door from inside, but it was entirely the wrong key. It looked like a generic room key with teeth from another century, not a regular door lock. What was she thinking that I had time travelled in the lou.
I threw the key back over with the part of the door handle trying to tell them that I had thrown the handle for them into the men’s room to attach back on the door. All they had to do was attach it and open the door. But the lady had gone.
By then the man was pounding on the door. They didn’t understand me. I said ‘Get my children, they’re upstairs and they can phone my husband. He can fix this.’
But they starting hitting the door with an axe or something large. But the man wasn’t very strong and couldn’t make contact.
I found out later that the women went upstairs to find my family. She did find our homestay student sitting there waiting for me on the terrace, but the woman was shouting at her in Hungarian and Célia smiled and said, ‘I am sorry I don’t speak Hungarian.”
I was right in front of the door and I started to sweat buckets. My hair was curling, my makeup was streaking down my face.
Now honestly, I am not one to panic, but panic I did.
I couldn’t figure out why no one had come to find me yet. 10 minutes in a small bathroom with a man screaming at me while pounding the door. I felt claustrophobic in the small space…
Then I heard ‘Mommy! What’s happening?’ It was Angelina and her voice was shaking.
She told me later that they thought I must have passed out.
‘Go get your father immediately!!!’ 5 minutes later they found him watching the line-ups, waiting for me at the front gate.
When he arrived he shouted through the door, ‘Eva?!’ and asked the owners, ‘Is she alright?’
Still stuck inside, I said very clearly, ‘I’ve thrown the handle of the door over the wall into the men’s bathroom. Find it and put it into the door handle.’
He did. Later he told me he thought, How did the handle get way over here?
When he opened the door I burst into tears.
15 minutes of pure crazy!
The relief I felt the moment I saw him was so overwhelming. I had never in my life appreciatively my husband more.
The owners were so sorry, chattering away, very worried for me. They were stroking my arm.
I said, ‘No problem. I just got scared, I’m all right.’
Then we ran straight for the door to make the show on time.
It was obvious our friends were very annoyed with us by then, but quickly they realized something was off as I had not stopped crying yet. My hair was soaked and I had smears of black eyeliner running down my face.
As I recapped the story I started to laugh that hysterical laugh people do when it is not quite funny yet. I was still shaking. We managed through the children’s choir which was lovely, and half way through the operatic piece when I finally started to enjoy myself.
The show was relaxing as they had a sand artist drawing which was being projected on a big screen telling the story in images as the performance took place. There were folk dancers, a full choir and MÁV orchestra who performed Hungarian folk songs. It was very well done.
After the show we took the children for stir-fry ice cream and chimney cakes.