My one and only New Year’s resolution is to whittle away at my bucket list. I’m increasingly conscious of the limited time we have on this Earth and the danger of putting off until tomorrow what could be done today, as sometimes, quite unexpectedly, we run out of tomorrows. And I don’t want to be caught on the hop. There’s little danger that my bucket list will ever be cleared in its entirety as more often than not, each time I strike something off, I add something to it. But hey, it keeps me active.
For six years now, I’ve been promising myself that I would go to the races on New Year’s Eve in Budapest. I’m a semi-regular at the track during the summer, when entrance is free and temperatures occasionally bring more than the horses out in a sweat. On Wednesday last though, temperatures hit minus 12. It was bloody cold. Considering the last time I was at Kincsem Park it was in the high 30s, this was quite a change and somewhat of a shock to the system.
Usually the crowds are pretty sparse. I’ve often wondered how the track keeps going, operating at what is so obviously a serious financial deficit. On New Year’s Eve, though, they charged 1000 ft on the gate (am not complaining; compared to €30 or more in most parts of the world, €3 was insignificant). And it seemed as if the world and its mother had braved the cold to see the races. Attendance is estimated at around 20 000 and most of them were betting, as the long queues for the tote and the loos attested to.
Mulled wine and live music contributed to the party atmosphere as the Budapest skyline across the track lit up with fireworks and a cacophony of horns and bugles added to the general noise and melee. The atmosphere, so different from the quiet of the summer’s racing, was electric. I’m not a huge fan of trotting as I prefer to see my horses parade around the ring before I place a bet. But given the temperatures, reason was cast aside and I went for a 2-7 befutó (reverse forecast) on all races – it’s not a strategy that worked but it kept me interested.
Looking at the Kincsem Park website for some photos, I was amused to see how ingenious it is with its English translation.
Many things, however, can be easily understood even if they’re in a different language. Knowing the basic vocabulary of the context helps a great deal. With that in mind, we provide here the most common expressions and words along with their meaning in the hope that with the help of these you can navigate through the site more easily.
Now, that’s my kind of logic.
So, 2015 has begun and my quest to eliminate random entries from my bucket list will continue as the opportunities present themselves. God willing, I’ll get my 365 tomorrows this year.