Photo of the week: the fatal restaurant

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They say choosing the wrong name can be fatal for a business. If so, the Fatâl restaurant in Budapest, Hungary seems to be defying fate with its head-scratcher of a name. I noticed its eye-catching sign daily while walking Váci Utca, the downtown pedestrian street that attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists every year.

Apparently “fatâl” means wooden platter in Hungarian. But for all the English-speaking tourists walking by, it must raise doubts about the safety of the food. Having an angel on the sign doesn’t help, either: is this the angel of death, and what kind of potion is she pouring from that big jug?

Maybe it’s all just a case of languages colliding. According to the restaurant’s website, some famous people have eaten there — names like Antonio Banderas, Ralph Fiennes and Queen guitarist Brian May. As far as I know, they’re all alive and well. So I guess the Fatâl restaurant isn’t that fatal after all — just ignore the sign on your way in …

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Note: I’ll be co-hosting the #CultureTrav Twitter chat on Thursday, Sept. 8 (that’s tomorrow) along with Jessica Lipowski and Nicolette Orlemans. It’s at 2:30 p.m. ET and the subject is souvenirs — are there any special ones that bring back memories for you? If you’re on Twitter, take a few minutes and chat with us! Just type in the #CultureTrav hashtag, add the column and join the conversation.

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Paul Marshman is a retired journalist who spent 30 years as a writer and editor on Canadian newspapers, while travelling to the ends of the earth. Now he continues to travel while passing on his travel experiences to you.

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