Courtesy of Choice – an Unheard of Option Today

My wife and I flew into Budapest and caught a ride to our hotel – the Hotel Budapest. It was a great cylindrical building on the Buda side of the Danube. We checked into our room and after unpacking set out to explore the hotel a bit. We needed some dinner and were interested in checking out the pub at the back of the hotel.

We looked through the gift shop, enjoyed the amazing embroidery and jewelry that were on display. Picked up a few postcards for the kids and then made our way back to the pub. Being from Canada we had no expectations about firing up my pipe but I had it in my coat pocket anyway. We went into the pub that first night and were quite astonished at what we saw and smelled! There were folks smoking pipes and cigars in half the room and the other half was non-smokers. The laughter and conversation was lively and loud. The two groups seemed to be quite oblivious to each other and were enjoying their evening.

The bar was in the middle of the room. So we picked our drinks and made our way to the smoking area – literally over half of the room. We put our drinks on the table and our coats on the chair backs and sat down. Sitting in the middle of the table there was a great card – I liberated one as I expect it will be a thing of the past – if it isn’t already! I read over the words below and enjoyed the sensibility of them. They were printed in Hungarian and English. Certainly very Canadian sounding to me – but certainly very foreign to the Canada I knew.



Here is what the card said on the inside in English:

Courtesy of Choice
The concept and symbol of Courtesy of Choice
reflect the centuries-old philosophy that
acknowledges differences while allowing
them to exist together in harmony.

Courtesy of Choice accommodates the
preferences of individuals by offering both
smoking and non-smoking areas in the
spirit of conviviality and mutual respect.

International Hotel & Restaurant Association

I packed my pipe and lit it while I settled back with my wife for a quiet evening before we headed up to our room for the night. Needless to say we spent nearly every evening in the pub during our 17 day stay in Budapest. The spirit of conviviality was alive and well in the pub with a courtesy of choice.

4 thoughts on “Courtesy of Choice – an Unheard of Option Today

  1. Dave Cooley

    Thanks for sharing your trip with us. Our countries could certainly learn from our European friends. I don’t know why we just “can’t get along”. This seems to happen with “everything political”.

  2. upshallfan

    Very nice! My mother fled Hungary as a refugee in 1945 (well, twice, once from the Nazis, the 2nd time from the Russians). I hope to make it there some day.


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