“The pilot is sick,” the Hungarian in front of me said. I’ve always kind of assumed that major airlines had contingencies for what is presumably a common occurrence among jet-flying folk (at least as common as among the rest of us). It turns out they do have a contingency: they cancel the flight. So I got a bonus day in Budapest. Normally, I would consider this a particularly sweet deal, but I had absolutely ruined myself in a forced march around the city the day before. I had only one free day after a work conference and I figured that I’d better see every square foot – err… meter – of Budapest. So I did. No goulash peddler went unseen by my eye. But my carefully laid plans called for a just-short-of-death exhaustion to set in only seconds after finding my seat on the plane. Delta deviously foiled those plans.
After sleeping past my alarm and awaking in the airport hotel, I had two choices: take the long bus and metro ride back to Budapest to take advantage of my few remaining hours in Hungary or join the rest of my canceled plane compadres and enjoy the BBC and complimentary dinner until morning arrived. As you have likely deduced by the fact that I am writing about it, I chose the latter option and ended up at A38. I won.
Click the link to read about the one and only The Pannonia All Stars Ska Orchestra.
The A38 is a retired stone-carrier ship sitting on the Danube River. Depending on which deck you choose, you have the option of jumping around with some Hungarians to some crazy music, dining at a respectable-looking restaurant with a view of the Danube, dancing to some funky DJ beats, or enjoying a cocktail on the bow of the ship. I chose option one and was treated to what I can only assume is the finest ska in the land of the Huns. The Pannonia All Stars Ska Orchestra (or PASO, as the cool Hungarians call it) just so happened to be celebrating their seventh birthday on my bonus day. This band, which seemed to be composed of half the population of Budapest, was fronted by the ever-smiling, white-suited Lord Panamo. And even though I can only understand one word in Magyar (“kosonom” means thank you), Lord Panamo and his horn-wielding posse thoroughly rocked my world. Although I think I accidentally cheered when he asked for just the girls in the audience to cheer. So a few Hungarians think I’m a girl – oh well, I had a blast.
I’ve posted some pictures from my trip on the LGA Flickr page. When you’re done with that, check out this video of the Pannonia All-Stars playing at A38.
And here’s their video for “Hungarian National Dish,” which features a giant mustachioed Hungarian beating the living hell out of the personification of every other national dish. Awesome.
Kosonom A38 and kosonom Pannonia All-Star Ska Orchestra.