Thursday, June 11, 2009

I had a one night stand with Budapest

...the duration of which was sadly insufficient. Despite its being the least vegetarian friendly city I have maybe ever been to, and that it's dirty enough on its outskirts that it can be hard to take a step in a patch of grass without making contact with half a dozen cigarette butts, it had been non-stop fun and I look forward to returning one day. The city is also very affordable, though the Forint's denominations are bewildering... I accidentally withdrew 75,000 ft. when I guess I intended to extract 7,500, which is enough for a few square meals and a couple of museums entries. While there I bought and drank a lot of juice, which I must have sweat out pretty rapidly as I somehow decided that I could get to know the city more intimately if I stole it by foot. I didn't once step onto a metro line, and I have blisters to prove it. My tendons are now made of beef jerkey. I was nearly delirious when I returned to the Keleti Pu station and had temporarily forgotten the one language I know.

In just 24 hours I had caught up on 15 centuries of Hungarian history (don't test me on it), toured a building that had once been the headqaurters for the Hungarian National Socialists and then the Soviet secret police, climbed two mountains (practically), relaxed in a century old thermal bath (I had never been so at ease among pruny naked gentlemen), stopped by the coolest bar I had ever been to (a kert is a bar set up in a building scheduled for demolition - this particular kert was so popular they canceled demonlition and now the bar is a permanent fixture with all sorts of crazy crap like a seat cut from a bathtub and a spring loaded revolver on display), I learned the ropes from an experienced solo traveler from Quebec, added to my increasingly massive photographic collection of cross Jesus-es, crawled down a hole to a restaurant run by white Hungarian Hindus (maybe the only vegetarian place for miles), previewed the expansive Hungarian brand of night life (they know how to party and they do it well), split a bottle of wine and talked film with a pair of locals (my first Couch Surfing experience (the first of many, I assume)), and still had time to take it easy in a cafe in Buda with a pot of Earl Grey all to myself.

If anyone has any personal news or just wants to say hi, please fire me an email at . Make me smile. I would appreciate it. Ciao.

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