Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Be Careful What You Search For

I use Google Analytics on my blog to see how many people are reading my blog and from which countries.

It also tells me how they find their way to the blog, and if they got there through a search engine like Google or Yahoo, it tells me what 'keywords' they typed into the search engine which led them to my blog.

Every now and again I get some weird ones. I guess people type strange things into search engines when they think no one is watching. Today I saw that someone found my blog by searching for this:

A closer view:
I'm guessing Google directed them to this post about a baptism in our church - but why someone is looking for pictures of Pastor Nick bathing...that's just weird.
I just hope that they were looking for a different Pastor Nick!

Monday, July 05, 2010


About a year ago Balázs got robbed on the train on his way to Szihalom. 3 young guys started harassing him and pushing him around, demanding his money and mobile, as well as his jewelry. It got to the point where Balázs decided to go in and report them to the police.

At first, it seemed to us that reporting it would mostly just be a waste of our time, because Balázs had gotten his phone back from them, and had only lost a small amount of money and a necklace - but we reported it anyway. And it did take a LONG time. We spent about 12 straight hours at the police station filing the report - only finishing at 6 in the morning - just in time to get ready for church!

But it turned out that filing the report was worth it. We found out that Balázs wasn't the only person they had done this too - but in fact these 3 guys spent all day every day riding the train between Miskolc and Füzesabony, bullying people and stealing mobile phones and money. So, when Balázs reported them, although it wasn't a huge crime, it was the final straw.

Over the past year we have had to go back to the police station a few times and went to a court hearing where Balázs had to testify. And last week we got a paper from the court informing us of the sentencing that the 3 guys got. They were charged with a 'gang robbery' (tömeges rablás) against a minor, and the older 2 got sentenced to 3 years in jail, the younger got 2 years.

I have to say that I was impressed with the Hungarian justice system throughout this whole thing. I know that other people have had bad experiences with them - but in this case I think they did things right.
I think this story is a good example of how it is worth it report crime to the police, even if it is just for seemingly small crimes. I only wonder how many other people these guys robbed who didn't think it was worth it to report it to the police.

Anyone else out there had experiences with the Hungarian police - either good or bad?

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Starbucks in Budapest: A Report

On our way home on Saturday from a conference in Vajta, we stopped in Budapest to eat and feed the baby, and we figured since we were there, we might as well try out the new Starbucks in the Westend mall.

The long and short is this: It's expensive. But that's probably not a surprise to anyone.

I got a solo espresso for 420 HUF and Rosemary got a caffé latte for 620 HUF. My espresso was good - but certainly not amazing. Rosemary said her caffé latte was very weak and tasted mostly like warm milk.

For anyone who likes Starbucks memorabilia - the mugs or thermoses, they have them there. They also have lots of expensive pies and cakes.
The atmosphere is very hip, and the place was packed. They do have free wifi, which is a major plus for any coffee shop - and an improvement on the US Starbucks, where there is wifi, but it's not free.

They also sell coffee beans for making at home - the espresso roast was 1500 HUF for 250 grams, which isn't bad for gourmet coffee. Illy costs at least 2000 HUF/250 gm.

So, if we go back it will probably only be to buy beans - or to stand outside and use their free wifi :)

The thing is that there are so many other cafés with coffee that is just as good and an atmosphere that is just as good at far better prices. The prices were all the more shocking since we had just come from Vajta, where we spent our days drinking espresso which tasted just as good for almost a third of the price.

One of the only things Starbucks offers which is unique is that if you want - and are willing to pay for it - you can get a GIGANTIC coffee. But I think we've been in Europe too long to appreciate that :)