I would really like to start blogging in real-time more… mainly because my memory gets fuzzy when too many days have passed. And well, then it’s impossible to capture your true feelings about something you barely remember.
So even though I have a lot of catching up to do on this blog (more of Paris, Antwerp, Amsterdam, and Berlin), I’m here today with a real-time update on Budapest.
I had hoped I’d like Budapest, but also didn’t want to force expectations. (Seriously, my knowledge of European geography and research skills are both pretty horrendous, so I knew little about Hungary expect for they eat a lot of goulash). But at the same time, I put everything on Budapest.
It feels silly somehow to talk about feeling less-than-happy, since my life seems (and quite honestly, is) so charmed. But that’s exactly what happened by the end of Berlin. I guess I built it up in my mind because EVERYONE absolutely loves it, D included. He loved Berlin so much during his last visit that ever since, he’s been talking about going back to settle down for a bit. So when we got there, I kept on telling myself that I had to love it too.
The only thing is… I didn’t love it. Not even a little bit.
I felt so uninspired that I didn’t write a single word about it in my journal or take much pictures.
I wondered why I felt sad in a place that obviously so many people love for its cool, eclectic vibe. And why I felt sad when I was living the dream, period. What was wrong? Maybe I really am boring, or maybe it’s deeper issues that I’m not ready to delve into. Inevitably, this led to some squabbles with D, and errr… a semi-breakdown in the middle of Hackescher Markt.
And so I looked forward to Budapest to break the melancholy and to find inspiration again.
I knew Budapest would be different as soon as I set eyes on the city. The buildings are old and beautiful again! With ornate details! Sidewalk cafes abound! The city is large, but not so large and crowded that you feel lost. And our apartment (in a building best described as antique) is so lovely that we’ve enjoyed lounging inside just as much as exploring outside.
Every so often, we need a place to feel like home. A place that feels comfortable enough for us to relax and unpack our minds. As drifters, we move from place to place so fast with hardly enough time to absorb our new surroundings, and I soon find myself yearning for some sort of familiarity and routine. I found that here in Budapest. And so I’ve been collecting memories of little moments that fill me with joy.
During our stay, the weather alternated between sweltering heat + humidity and torrential rain (a respite I wholeheartedly welcomed) practically in the blink of an eye. When the dark, ominous clouds drift overhead and the first booming sounds of thunder begin, it’s a signal that you only have a few minutes to get to shelter. One day, with less than a block from home, we are caught in a violent downpour. We ran home, drenched through ALL the clothing items, while I laughed mirthfully the whole way. Little pleasures. :)
And thus with the half crappy weather, conveniently combined with feeling sick and fatigued, our days here have been less about sightseeing and more about enjoying the small moments. They’ve mostly been lazy and slow… peppered with sleepy afternoons, laptop movies, long baths, ice cream breaks, the occasional yoga practice, coffee shops, and lots and lots of local Hungarian food from the restaurant around the block.
There’s something comforting about having that one favorite place to eat. I find that we’re more of the tried-and-true kind of people, rather than the somewhere-new-every-night kind. We found this place our second night, and have been back everyday since. We’ve tried enough dishes to learn our favorites (spoiler: it’s the Hungarian beef stew). And we always end the meal with a Hungarian sponge cake.
I have also newly discovered the joy of bathing… especially after coming back home covered in a sticky sweat. Almost more than anything else, I look forward to drawing a bath in the large gorgeous oval tub, grabbing the iPad, and reading until my skin has pruned up and the water has become cold. It’s a luxury I didn’t even know I needed in my life.
Today, we’re leaving Budapest. And I’m polishing up this post on a train to Vienna. Our pace will quicken through the next several cities, and these little pleasures may be hard to come by again. But I’ve learned that these are often the best memories… more so than any site or landmark. And it’s perfectly OK to rest/nap/bathe, and let an exciting world happen outside, if that’s what you need to recharge.
This is where I end for today (it’s an unintentionally long post). Since I know half of you like pretty pictures and the other half like food, posts with plenty of pictures & pictures of food coming up! :P
This post is part of #SundayTraveler with Pack Me To and others, and don’t forget to support all the other participating blogs (links at the bottom of post)!