Budapesti is the city of dogs. It is impressive how many dogs live in the city and their owners walk them out every day, sometimes few times per day. This is nice because most of people live in flats. It is rare to find a house with nice garden, specially in the central districts.
Not only in Hungary, but in many countries in Europe the dogs are allowed (almost) everywhere. So do not be surprised if you see a dog in a restaurant under the table. They even could be served by the waiter and have a meal next to his “family”!
Also is good that most of the dogs have a home in Budapest. I am not the best person to talk about dogs in town because I spend most part of my time locked in an office, but what I see or even better, what I don´t see is homeless dogs wandering around when I walk in Budapest or even in the country side. It might have, but it is not so usual as it is in my hometown in Brazil, for example.
The only real urban problem is that the owners not always make their duty and clean the street or the grass after the dog is done. I guess there is a law requesting the owners to clean the path walk or grass, but sometimes they don´t and then the sidewalks in Budapest are not the cleanest in the world.
What explains another fact: Hungarians never keep the shoes on inside the house! Everyone take the shoes off right at the front door, even the guests. Sometimes the host offer to you some sleepers, sometimes they don´t. So my advice is: if you go to a Hungarian house, put your best socks on, otherwise everybody will see your roll! 🙂
At the beginning I thought this ritual strange. After the first snow time, I´d changed my mind! The snow is beautiful at the beginning and through your window. When you have to walk on the streets, specially after the men spreading salt on the streets and sidewalks, you start a second thought about the snow. Sometimes it is disgusting when the snow gets brown…. believe me, it is true, the snow don´t last white forever! And nobody wants to wear the same shoes inside the house. Now I totally agree with this habit and we can´t stand on walking inside the house with dirty shoes on.
Sorry to make this round, but I think the dogs, the snow and the shoes are completely related and my advice is: watch out your socks!
*this was more or less the slogan used in a campaign sponsored by the VI District´s Management to convince the owners to clean the dirty of their dogs.