University Watering Holes
By: Gregory Partay
Throughout the year university students stu
dy hard to get good grades and, in the end, finally to receive that diploma. The countless books read every week and words typed onto the computer is immeasurable, not to mention notes taken during lectures. When the students go home they study for the finals and finish writing papers, that seem to be due in a matter of minutes. Every student though needs downtime, somewhere they can go and unwind.
It is Thursday or Friday night and students slowly shuffle from one class to the next hoping for their final class to end. They await that moment for the week to end and the weekend to begin. As darkness creeps over the sky and eerie change begins to take suit. These students shuffle back to their flats or dorm rooms and adorn themselves with the finest of their clothes. They then proceed to gather every forint they have left from the week, shove it in their pockets crack open an alcoholic beverage and let go. The question is where do they go once they step outside into the cool sweet air of freedom, and let loose.
The first stop for all university students is a cheap bar with great deals. Where there is no need to spend a huge amount of money to feel lightheaded and care-free. These pubs and bars are not known for their appearance or the crowd they bring in, no sir. There is one reason for these places, the drink. The first stop of our night is Ördög Sarok Söröző (Devil’s Corner Pub).
Just like any of the other pubs of the Ördög chain (including Ördög Gödör and Ördög Katlan) or any pre-game bar for that matter (Akácfa Söröző, Blaha Söröző) it has all the necessities of a university student. The beautiful girls behind the counter are only one of many reasons to visit, the cheap beer may be a bit more important, and of course the cheap shots cannot be ignored. Sitting with a few friends it feels like we are cattle, crammed into a small place to maximize efficiency, but as long as we have the alcohol we don’t mind. The jukebox spouts the same music, either some metal head’s number one choice, or the biggest pop song … of the 80s. One can even still smell the cigarette smoke from before the ban came into effect and it has the feel of a village pub, which hasn’t been cleaned in years. This chaotic feel could make a any student feel more at home and allows the boys to see what they are up against during the night. After downing as much as we can of the cheap drinks, or the football game has finally ended, we decide to meet up with the whole gang at the next spot, the meet-up.
Depending on whether or not you are at the top of your game, or the football match ended in your favour, an entourage of new acquaintances follows you to the meet-up. This is where the group of students come together and discuss their plans for the night. These bars usually appeal to different tastes. Some would go to Mélypont to sink into the feel of the retro days, sitting in armchairs amidst the rubble of a bygone era. It feels as if you were sitting in your grandparents’ living room, without them there.
If this is not your taste then maybe Könyvtár Klub is where the clean environment and continuous 2 for 1s and half offs interest even the poorest of students. Although true that one cannot hear the sound of their own voice when the bands are playing, but, if you are lucky, you will get a very talented band and not even want to talk. Just sit and listen to the music or grab the nearest girl and give her a whirl, or let a guy give you a whirl, depending on your wants and needs. The fact that this bar is located on school grounds gives the atmosphere of intellect as well as brotherhood against one enemy, essays.
The common denominator in places such as these is that they are more clean and less chaotic in their feel. It allows the student to delve peacefully into one last sip before entering out into the night, not knowing what to expect.
The Hunting Grounds
Now we see the student outside in the wild. Its movements are different of those we can see in their everyday lives. For one night a week they become nocturnal and enter a realm of delights.
Now for a good night we need three major ingredients; friends, alcohol and music. This is where the third comes into play. We can find a student in one of three places. First and foremost the typical party hot spot.
Instant is an example of one of these hot spots. Always crowded, be it a Monday or a Saturday, it is full to the brim and with what can be defined as good music in the state they are currently in. The music is generic, the DJ is someone who you have never heard of but the feel of the place is rustic and reflects the mind of a University student, crammed with some nonsense and a whole world of creativity and intellect. If Instant is not in your taste then Corvintető must be.
Located on top of a shopping center it looks out onto all of Budapest and if it’s the music and dancing you came for, you will definitely get it here. The music is loud enough to make your ears ring for hours on end and makes the floor shake as if an earthquake were destroying the city around. The music though has variety and DJs whose names you may not be able to comprehend, but you can recognize the Drum and Bass blasting onto every fibre of your being.
If the summer is slowly approaching and the beginning of the festival season has kicked off, why not go see a concert. There are a wide variety of scenes to choose from. For those with a background in rock, then Zöld Pardon is the place to be. Although the stage is small it still packs a punch when it comes to their line-up of heavy hitters, both local and international. If a large variety is your cup of tea then Park is the place you need to be. With a variety of stages and assortment of styles, it is the Disneyland of the adolescent age.
Wherever you start out from tonight, one thing is for sure, you can find a university student almost anywhere. Whether it is to discuss the latest texts to be read for Monday or to dispute whether or not the girl, or boy, just winked at you or your friend, you can never go wrong with an ELTE student.