Can’t life be like this always?

Charley just looked down at me from the top bunk and said,

“Nap or read? I’m just so busy right now,” while rolling her eyes for emphasis.  We both giggled.

“I’m writing a blog post about that right now,” I told her, as I stood up and crossed the room, headed for the open locker where my most valuable items are locked away while we’re gone.  “You inspired me.  That doesn’t happen so often.”  I smiled back over my shoulder at her, resolving to put on a sweatshirt cause it’s cool in our room despite the intense heat outside.  I laid my laptop down on the brown covered couch in our room of six bunkbeds and one queen size that Fati and I are sharing.

“Can it be the title?” she asked me.

“Maybe,” I answered her, pulling the Redskins hoodie I stole from my mom over my ponytail which hangs loosely to the right side of my head, “but it’s definitely the opening line.”

It’s three in the afternoon in Budapest, our first morning in another new city.  We’ve been gone for three and a half weeks, but we only just made a shared album on Facebook so we can share photos (I’ll post the link at the bottom).  It’s been awhile since we fucked anything major up, like getting caught hopping trains without tickets or missing a connection all together and being stranded at a nowhere train station for the whole night.  I dare say we’ve got a good routine figured out.

This morning we all woke up around 9:30, stirring quietly amongst our three suite mates who came in well into the morning, now snoozing, the backs of their heads and various limbs hanging out from underneath each one’s single flat sheet.

We were out of the house a little after ten and headed to a park on the corner of our block, that we’d noticed on the walk from the train station last night.  It proved unsuitable for exercise.  The only open patches of grass were being watered by a gardener and adorned with signs that I could only assume said “Keep Off Lawn” in Hungarian.  The rest of the small park was just a very well designed playground teeming with kids and parents.

So we headed for the National Museum, which appeared to have a lawn on the map our receptionist gave us last night, across one of the major streets in Budapest’s city center.  The high metal gate around the building, our rumbling stomachs, and the heat of summer sun cooking the sidewalks below us nearly nixed our workout plans, but we’d finally gotten in a groove and I wasn’t willing to let it go.  The girls bucked up and we found a patch of grass and the coolness of shade under a cluster of trees, next to a statue of someone important to Hungarian history.

Doing ankle PT, I wasn’t sure if I’d offend anyone by using his base for calf raises, but I peaked around the ground and decided it was worth the risk.  There didn’t seem to be anyone around to offend.  An hour later, we’d sweated enough, and went on the hunt for food.

Following the receptionist’s advice, with our map, we headed back towards the hostel and towards the river, passing numerous restaurants with mostly outdoor seating.  On the way back, I noticed kebap for 450HUF (about $1.75) and promised to have some later. [Mom, you need to come out here if for nothing less than authentic tsasiki] But now, our hearts were set on breakfast

Approaching the river, our stomachs grumbled the last of our patience out, and Charley resolved to check Google for a market.  I stood next to her, pointing out to Fati the shiny ceramic tiles on the massive building across the street from us that were similar to those on the Viennese cathedral.  Charley’s map loaded.

The building was market! With various meat and produce and textile vendors through three rows, a loft upstairs, and an Aldi downstairs, we spent the equivalent of 10 bucks on fresh food for breakfast and dinner, and headed back to the hostel to cook.  After a plate full of potatoes, peppers, cheese, over easy eggs, and couple pieces of toast, some yogurt and a banana, we were back to ourselves, feeling full and fine.

“This is the life, man,” I said to Charley, as Fati cleaned up our plates.  She nodded in agreement.  “Why can’t I live my life like this always?”

The three of us brainstormed for a little while before retiring to our room for showers and afternoon naps, not coming to any complete answers.

There’s one thing I do know, though.

I won’t stop until I figure it out.

 

 

 

 

Amsterdam ~ Berlin ~ Prague ~ Cesky Krumlov ~ Vienna ~ Budapest

Posted by Sus Kitchen on Tuesday, July 18, 2017

 

 

062417: to Amsterdam

Things we learned today:

1. It’s true that you can sit in a cafe for hours (even in the airport) after ordering and finishing food and be no bother to the wait staff.  They don’t mind you using their internet to try and finagle a place to stay for the night.

2. Book stuff earlier (and don’t rely on an AirBnB host to not unexpectedly cancel on you) or you’ll end up in a half-swanky hotel for the night, determined to get and stay at least a few steps ahead of your wandering feet for the rest of the trip, if for no other reason than your budget.

3. Hostels are cheaper and easier to find online when you’re in the actual city, although hard to get same day (see above lesson).  Most I looked at online in the States were more than twice than what we found for the next couple nights.

4. Public trans is great as long as you’re paying attention to where you’re going and not joyously ecstatic about finally leaving the airport and heading to a place with a shower after six hours.  Otherwise, you may or may not miss your stop twice while figuring out how to indicate to the bus driver that you need to exit.

5. The Amsterdam airport may as well be a suburban center- a mall, train station, and airport packed into one- where you can find good food cheaper than outside the airport in Denver.  Also, the coffee packs a mean punch, in both flavor and caffeine boost, but for you’re only served one creamer pack.  The kick made the bitter 110% worthwhile.

6. The bathrooms in the Iceland airport are glorious- single fully enclosed toilet-sink combos that feel more private and clean than the one in my old apartment, where I lived alone (lol).  Also, the crisp, clean, beautiful modern architecture thematically spread into the food market where we sought out breakfast- fresh salmon subs, chia power boost yogurts, and the vegan breakfast option (baked beans below a fat farmhouse tomato covered in pesto).  It’s hard to feel clean after seven hours on a plane, but that place did it.

7. I should pack before the day we’re leaving.  At least the night before, because inevitably, the Iceland air queue will be unbearably long- stretching to Bridge Security around the corner from the kiosks, giving me enough time to repack the clothes and supplies I’d literally thrown into my backpack forty five minutes before.

And last, but certainly not least,

8. The Dutch are handsome, tall, and well spoken men who work at waterside restaurants inspired by Hemingway (which just make me super happy inside) who will tease us about asking where to find a gay club in Amsterdam and for eating appetizers as dinner.  Our inner meal schedules say dinner and a beer at 10:00PM though it’d been telling us to eat at every airport junction while traveling all day.

BIG SHOUT OUT TO ZORRO FOR DRIVING US TO THE AIRPORT! [you da best fr fr]

Tomorrow, we (hopefully) find our way easily into downtown via train, to our hostel for the next two nights, and then exploring museums and markets.

And from my Danish seed scientist seat neighbor flying out of DIA, the quote of the day-“Ah, yes, because flying is transportation, but the train is travelling.”

More tomorrow.