Leaving Budapest

First and last days in cities are always a little strange, since you’re so short on time.

Today, I realized it would probably be a good idea to take a shower before getting on an overnight train in a cabin with 5 other people. You’re welcome, strangers. The receptionist was a man today, and therefor had no problem letting me stay as late as I wanted and let me use a towel without putting down a deposit. Score.

The three euro breakfast at the restaurant next door is awesome. Hungarian breakfasts are my favorite of all the European breakfasts so far. English breakfasts are heavy, expensive, and the Heinz baked beans kinda ruin it for me. In France and Italy, it’s a pastry, juice, and coffee, which isn’t enough sustenance and is always overpriced.In Germany and Holland, it seems to be a lot of sliced meat and cheese… Which would be fine if it hadn’t been left at room temperature for god knows how long.

Hungarian breakfast is coffee, juice, a three egg omelette with paprika, toast and jam. It’s perfect! And for €3 or ft900, I’m more than happy with it. The guy at the hostel forgot (“forgot”) to give me back the deposit I left for my hotel key and kindly brought it to me while I was eating. Other than that, my morning was pretty uneventful.

My only real plan for the day was to see Vivien and her boyfriend, Aaron. I had some time to kill before then, so I went to see what time Simplabar opened. They have free wifi and cheap drinks, so I was thinking of stopping there before my train to update the blog. Much to my surprise, it was already open. I wandered around and took some pictures in the daylight. It looks different. I’m glad to have gone, though.

I hung out there with a vodka-orange (it’s a Saturday morning, that’s acceptable right?) and booked my last hostels and trains. I don’t have to worry about making any other arrangements now for the entire rest of my trip. It’s amazing to think about. I can’t believe how fast the time has flown by. I’m hurtling back towards America now. I’m going to be there before we all know it.

Another BIG thank you to Jolie for being a rockstar. I’m going to go ahead right now and name her the MVP of my six months in Europe. To reserve seats on the Eurostar with a eurail pass discount, you have to do it in person or via phone. Since I don’t have a phone, and won’t be there in person til the prices have skyrocketed, she called for me. I’m going to be seeing her on the 8th. Again, it’s crazy crazy that my time here is coming to an end so soon… But I love London, love Jolie, and I am definitely excited to see them both again.

The time came around soon enough that I needed to make my way to the Fsherman’s Battalion. I’ve actually been there at least once a day since I arrived here. It’s very pretty with great views. The walking tour ended there, the labyrinth is right by it, and today it’s where I met my friends. Vivien is a photographer and was just finishing up a small shoot. She’s incredibly talented.

This is her website: http://viviennaomi.com/index_ketto.php

You can find her page on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/VivienNaomi-Photography/141641319251143

I got there a little early and wrote some postcards. A few Asian tourists took pictures of me, which I thought was very strange. It reminded me of being in Istanbul on the Galata tower, when some Japanese tourists asked to take a picture with me. Maybe they’re all mistaking me for some celebrity? Or maybe this blog is more popular than I thought! Just kidding. It’s a strange phenomenon.

Viven and Aaron both looked beautiful and happy. Vivin had incredibly kindly brought me some toiletries, which was so perfect because I’m just beginning to run low. They had actually driven up from Kecskamet. They borrowed her dad’s car, and Aaron was behind the wheel.

They had plans in a few hours, so we decided to drive to that part of town and walk around there. Since Aaron was neither on the left hand side of the road nor falling asleep at the wheel, this was not even a remotely frightening experience. Unlike Stonehenge. It’s a good thing we left when we did, though. The city is confusing and complicated, and it took us almost all the time they had to find our way across it. Aaron is a brave man for driving here. It’s not Istanbul crazy, but it’s certainly not like being on the road in America.

We finally got to the address they had, only to discover that it was incorrectly. They needed to be back on the opposite side of the river (where we had just come from) and had about fifteen minutes. This is where we said our goodbyes. I hope they made it on time and had a fabulous night. Apparently they’re going to some kind of couples cooking class, a one night thing where all the couples cook and eat a meal. It sounds like a blast.

I started walking back in the direction of my hostel. Nothing in budapest is really that long of a walk, but at almost the first street I came to there was a tram stop for my line. I didn’t have a ticket, and they don’t let you buy tickets on the tram, but I took the risk and hopped on. I think it’s completely ridiculous that you have to buy tickets in advance, and only at metro stations. I mean, how are you supposed to get to the metro station in the first place if you can’t take a tram? I would have paid for it, I just didn’t have that option.

I had McDonald’s again tonight. It’s a time and money thing. Also, Hungarian food can have more than 2000 calories in a single dish… Which makes McDonald’s a pretty healthy option in comparison. This is not the place to be on a diet.

It was getting late enough for me to start thinking about heading towards my train station. It’s never a quick process. I have to get back to my hostel, pick up my luggage, take a tram to the metro, the metro to the train station… And I cannot be late for this one.

I think my strategy of staying up so late last night will pay off. I maybe should have gone to bed a little earlier and woken up earlier, but I don’t think it was too critical. I had enough energy to get through my day happily, and now with dinner in my belly I’m starting to feel the sleepy set in. One big glass of wine and I will be out for the night! Hopefully.

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