On Why Budapest Is Not Paris
But that is not to say that it is a bad thing at all.
We’ve landed in Budapest, and I have forgotten everything Hungarian except a spare few words here and there.
Strike whatever preconceived notions I may have had about understanding Hungarian. Because while I can pick out a few words I am still from fluent.
A girl can dream.
I sort of love that it is as obtuse a language as it gets.
That and how everyone looks and ~dresses so different from anything in Paris. It almost feels like a flashback to the 90s. People dress here more like they don’t care and the Eastern European Women’s Hair is as red as ever. A Fashion Statement that never picked up anywhere outside of Eastern Europe. Coming arguably from the most fashion forward and trendy place on the planet, it’s quite a shock to see people with their acid-washed jeans and bejeweled shirts and dresses in prints that one doesn’t find easily anymore.
People here look different and are more homogenous as a people. There are so many sex shops, I’m starting to believe it’s all a money laundering business. People here walk freely with their tattoos showing, all up and down calves, backs, arms. Today at the grocery store, there was a man blue from the neck down. And no one bats an eyelash. I tried not to stare too hard.
Paris is most decidedly not like this. (I miss Paris)
In a way, I know less about what and how I am to deal with Budapest than with Paris. There are more accents over words and they are many letters looped together to make words like antidisestablishmentarianism look small. I know that hopefully maybe the language will come back to me, as I did at one point speak it. I worry that I may start to forget my French, so in addition to searching for English books to pass the time – I fear with almost no internet and TV there will be a lot of reading – good for the intellectual in me – I will also start to look for simple French books so as not to forget it.
Imagine putting in all that hard work only to forget it. I will not allow this to happen to me.
(It’s easy to forget how easy languages can blur together and how words are forgotten)
They speak very good English here mostly, and I’ve been able to get what I need with relative ease. (The halfsies internet we have notwithstanding)
I was cornered today as we walked along the Sziget by an old man waiting for the bus, and as he spoke to me in Hungarian I was pleased to learn that I could talk about inane things such as the weather and what were the best places across the pool along the Sziget.
There is a music festival here in August; it is the biggest one in Europe and I hope that I will get to see/hear/volunteer at it. Because hello, massive street party and I cannot wait for the incredible line up of artists.
Non-sequiter: Philippe sent me such a sweet email today, and my heart swells with love for him, and I wish him forever all the warmest thoughts and I hope he sees this knowing that I read the email and smiled like a fool.
I prefer the Euro to the Hungarian Forint, as there are decidedly 3 more zeros tacked onto every transaction than there needs to be. Christina and Michael don’t seem to have too much trouble with it – and yes I know that its subtract 2 zeros and divide by two, but really WHY.
Euros are easy and simply and I like all the colors – all very good reasons I know – why Hungary needs to get with the Euro program. Dinner is always a complicated affair because I have no idea how to break things up.
(I’ve forgotten how American money looks)
It’s also a little bit unnerving – or something to get used to perhaps – that everything from the smallest transactions have such big numbers and I just wonder why. #FirstWorldProblems at it’s finest, but if I haven’t made it abundantly clear by now, math was never my strongest suit in school.
I like that there are no stupid pennies though. Everything is in denominations of 5. Lose a forint, gain a forint and have way too many coins jingling in your pockets, but no pennies to ever worry about. (This they got right)
Food here is different, with less vegetables and fruit, or at least the corner stores that I’ve visited, and so eating at home will be interesting. But when you see some of the delicious Hungarian food – heavy as it may be – you kind of come to the conclusion that the food here can be good too. Perhaps too good, but I know I am craving vegetables over more stew.
Goulash most definitely ranks top though.
Setting up the apartment has proven to be a bit of a hassle, and there are still many things to do, especially with three people living in the apartment full time now. (My brother landed this evening)
There are still lightbulbs to change, pilot lights to re-set (it went out last night and I wasn’t keen on an Ice Shower this morning), pillows to buy, and food to stock the fridge with.
Ad infinitum it feels like, sometimes.
We’ve only about a week here before we’re off to Italy, yet I would have the house looking lived-in and comfortable before hand.
This means that we have to figure out the washing machine, the household chores, and managing the money situation.
Going to ice bars and name sake restaurants are fun with Michael of course, and I wouldn’t change it, yet these are not conducive to la vie quotidian.
The zoo however, might be worth it.
(I still find zebras absolutely hilarious)
Sadly, Michael leaves back to Paris tomorrow, and then he’s off to New York come later the summer, so I am glad for our time together here, even if it may mean simply sitting in a room together playing Yahtzee.
And I do hope the swelling in his hand goes down, but that the story is as bad-ass as he can muster (and not that he jammed it tripping as he ran across the street)
I’m still not sure why my throat/tonsil swells up at night and makes it hard to talk. It’s perfectly fine in the morning.
It could be an exhaustion thing. Walking/being out of the house 12 hrs a day might do that to a person.
Still I a glad they don’t smoke with such recurring frequency as in Paris.
Although my tonsil seems to hate something in the air.