It’s been a while I translated anything for fun, and it was usually the other way around, from English to Hungarian, being only native in the latter. This time though I read a blogpost of Brainoiz about how foreigners might have experienced the night bus ride from the Budapest Airport to the city and I felt it would be a good idea to make it more accessible to international readers.
I hope I did the text justice.
by Viktor Juhász
They step out into the dark. Somewhere far through the dawn there must be a city but in front of the airport terminal there is only a lit up coach, the night bus.
At night every foreign land is dreadful. This too, the smells are all wrong and they cannot make sense of the signs. The bus slowly fills then starts its journey through sleeping suburbs, houses, gardens and derelict buildings, then takes a steep turn to a no man’s land resembling a disused railway station and there it stops for good. The mustached man stepping out from the driver’s booth keeps repeating something articulately and loudly. They take off, because everyone else takes off, then the bus leaves and they just stand there in the nondescript street of the unknown slurb, on a concrete strip adjacent to a pair of rails. By the time they get confused though another bus appears, old and battered, but this must be it, so they get on. Bungalows are replaced by dark concrete towers. At one of the stops suddenly some like a dozen thickset men in yellow visibility vests board the bus, with IDs hanging on neck straps, and tickets must be repurchased even though they have no idea what was wrong with the ones they had. ‘No! No! No!’ reply the controllers to every inquiry, shaking their heads and pointing animatedly while talking loudly and hoarsely to each other, in general looking quite frightening. The problem with the tickets is never revealed but in the meantime the bus arrives between tall buildings bathing in the morning light where there are people and cars in the street, so downtown does exist after all – they have really arrived to Budapest. They take off in a hurry.