Monika’s Musings

miscellaneous tidbits on marketing, advertising, and life in general

Xmas craze


Today, while smoking, I was making small talk with one colleague I don’t know too well. We started to chit-chat about the upcoming holidays and I shared with him that I am already stressing out about my Christmas shopping. Especially now, that I will have to do it all in Hungary.

See, I love, love, love Christmas. And every year I want to get my loved ones something that they would reaaaaaally like. So come October, I start fretting about it – and I usually don’t do much (but fret) by December 20th …

He looked at me with childish bewilderment and said But it’s really easy for you. You’re in Hungary now – so you can get everyone a salami roll and some Balaton wine.

Right. Though I can totally picture myself handing out salami with a joyful Merry Christmas cheer, that conversation still did not do much to relieve me from the gift-shopping stress. But it did get me thinking…

Petya is asking for Bulgarian-related gift ideas (if you have any, that are subtle, yet charmingly Bulgarian, drop her a line). I guess I am just asking – how much importance do you place on your Christmas gifts?

Gotta try it once


I am a firm believer in fully exploring the culture of the countries which you visit/live in. And in my book, food is a big part of a nation’s culture.

There is a wonderful Christmas market right in front of my office building. While shopping for hand-made beauties, you can also grab a quick bite.

Today my colleague Vera, fully aware of my eagerness to try everything that is typically Hungarian, suggested we have our lunch out in the market. She also told me what she had in mind which produced quite a laugh in the hall to the dismay of colleagues who passed by.

So at 12, we went down and here you can appreciate the looks of incredulity on Vika and Masha’s faces while Vera is telling them what we are about to eat.


And this is me. About to try – for the first time in my life – rooster balls in tomato sauce. I kid you not.

Now, frankly, I am having second thoughts about placing this post under the Tasty Treats category. But what the hell.

And I keep smiling about it…


Vesko and I really like Thai food. Unfortunately, we do not have Thai restaurants in Bulgaria, so every time we are abroad we look for one. Needless to say, one of the first Google searches we did when I learned I would be living in Hungary for half a year was “Thai restaurants in Budapest”. Luckily, there are a couple.

If you are in the city, I would recommend the Bangkok Thai Etterem which has excellent Pad Thai (do not be tempted by the spring rolls, though).

This weekend we tried another one (unfortunately it has no web site). It is situated right next to the Intercontinental hotel on the bank on the Pest side, with a splendid view of Buda. We were the only ones in the whole restaurant (with the short-lasting exception of an elderly American couple who came in, made a big fuss about there being smoke where you dine, and left – all in all in about a minute and a half).

The food was nothing to rave about (though decent, and with better spring rolls), however the waitress did the cutest thing ever. She was really quick to serve us and take our empty dishes away and one of the times she passed by our table, she casually dropped this note in front of us:
It was so spontaneous and – for lack of a better word – cute – that I saved the note. And every time I look at it, I cannot help smiling.

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