Sadly this morning while waking up I fumbled my phone and it went from cracked to shattered. In this majestic city I don’t have the means to take photos right at this moment. This, however, will not stop me from sharing my experiences and thoughts here with you. I also reminisced of my last night in Bangkok. While getting my feet nibbled by leeches a French man asked me to take photos of himself and his family on my phone and to send them to him later. I, of course, obliged, so figured I would do mirror his courage in asking other travelers to do the same for me.
I left my hotel at around 11 A.M. this morning. I crossed one of the many bridges from Pest to Buddha and saw a few people gathered around an entrance on a hilltop. Trekking the switchbacks fearlessly, despite my debilitated knee, I yolo’d my way up to the entrance of a cathedral. I sadly only had euros, and not enough change to get in, and as gorgeous of the views I knew I’d be seeing on the way to the summit, I knew that this wouldn’t be my first rodeo up the city park.
He moved on wondering how the rest of this trip would be like without a phone. He was certainly frustrated that he couldn’t capture each moment with a push of a button, but many were permanently imprinted despite a shattered screen. Pharaoh’s lens’ guided upwards, but also said that should his knee start hurting that he would have to go downwards. Luckily, this was never the case.
Many children played on grafiti infested teeter-tots and the child inside danced at their joy. The sun glowed and dimmed depending on Pharaoh’s orientation underneath the canopy. Each photo was gorgeous in its own channel. Many reticulated pythons with leaves shed lay in a convoluted maze along the path. Dry beautiful bark unknowing to the footprints of crows passing by, they laid in awe and silence.
Pharaoh stared at the pythons. He thought of his own unused python. Blue, not brown and black, spotted and hissing– many mates were scared away. They may stay for some subliminal conversation, but his fangs would always be too revealing. He’d like to think that this left him unbothered, but this wasn’t the truth. All pythons want to cuddle in their nests during the spring.
Railing separating earth from air and the Danube below were frequent. Pharaoh slowly and carefully with his knee would sit on the edge and peer down. Jumping off was certainly within the realm of possibility, but some small inkling of hope that things could maybe one day get better, and he wouldn’t have to constantly feel so alone and miserable– that his life wouldn’t continue to be a total waste was the only thing that kept him out of the free-falling sky. He took a big whiff of the bark outside– silent, and moist, and a reminder to climb back to safety in order to in-joy many other aromas throughout his life.
The tusks of the watchmen along the path were harmless. Some grew leaves while others began to bud. Buddies of Pharaoh in this peaceful place. Voices in the distant muffled in different languages, but joy inwardly stood if only for a moment in the present progressive. Pharaoh didn’t have to worry about Meaning, Form, Pronunciation for the lack of time solely being. He was grateful his phone was broken and he had no concept of time.
He reached a shelter ahead, ignorant to the decorations of the grafiti that mesmerized the audiences coming and going. He wondered if grafiti could ever be under-stood if even in his own language. Happy to the subjectivity of the art, and all art, he snapped a click in his heart, giggled at an adult sliding down a tube and reminisced back to the parks of his childhood in Michigan and Cairo. If only he could go back to the days before liquid courage and pigeons.
The sun sparkled down some more, although squinting, he basked in its glory. He stumbled upon two beautiful pigeons taking a photo shoot. He wanted to approach and joke about the model pigeons, but couldn’t model all he writes. Little subjectivity when it came to pigeons and too much objectivity, so appreciated these beautiful birds from afar.
He sat on a bench staring outwards into the city. He was on Buddha’s side, but still couldn’t help feeling like a pest every time a pigeon walked by. It had been 7 months since Seoul and Bang-cock. The orient was the only place he could consistently succeed as a bird feeder. Sad, alone, and horny he kept staring outwards.
Many pigeons and crows came and sat on benches, but Pharaoh just stared offwards in curiosity about every tiny building in the distance. He wondered how many restaurants he wouldn’t be able to try and how many pigeons in this city he would see and never be able to be at one with. Month 8 is on its way.
Like Joel in Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind, he fell in love with every pigeon he saw only to have his heart splattered like blueberries down below. He asked a pigeon on a bench nearby if she could take a photo to him. She obliged and said she would send him the photos later via fb. The sweet photographer finished her shoot, so went back to the bench to chat with her friend.
Some unknown time later, he decided to continue up to the summit. Many statues lay on the opposite side of the mountain with arms stretching. He peered over the rail and gazed as the crows continue pecking on the black squares to capture every second. Perhaps six or seven photos for each new tree or statue.
At the top of the mountain Pharaoh smelled the sausages stewing on the grill. Assuming they weren’t too expensive he fell into this touristic trap. A Hungarian beef sausage stew, far more massive than French onion soup, along with some potatoes somehow managed to cost 30 euros. When the gorgeous pigeon veiled in her uniform handed him his change back, he looked perplexed, but returned to the pigeon he had been walking with and now was eating with.
Getting to know her he found out that she’s studying to become an environmental lawyer and called her a genuine Marshall from How I Met Your Mother. She giggled and they talked about the ending, how they fell in love with Ted’s late wife and how the show should’ve been called How I wound up with Robin. Pharaoh couldn’t relate to anyone more than Ted Mosby in TV, except when Mosby got laid all the time. She actually reminded him that while looking for that perfect pigeon that Mosby was no different than Barney. Her friend’s project revealed that both men had sex with similar amounts of girls in the show. Pharaoh could always relate to both men in the show, but more heavily identified with Ted.
She needed to get going towards her free tour of Buddhapest. He didn’t want to ignore his 30 euro Hungarian sausage stew, so continued munching away. She told him to enjoy his 30 euro meal, and the saucy beef and green peppers began to taste like fried paper. He finished and headed back down the way he came. Tired and in need for some ice for his knee and a couple of beers he went to the bar of his hotel and then took a short nap.
Pharaoh woke at around 4:30 PM. After quickly responding to his delusional, enabling mother’s e-mails, he let go of technology, but sadly couldn’t shake the pain she’s caused him over the years by her indifference and fueling of his suffering. A genuine apology would make worlds difference, but he knows she’s self-assured as long as he continues gaining pieces of paper that say he learns shit, and she goes to work everyday. Although she has a PHD in education, he considers her words and thoughts the most putrid of any person he’s ever met and vomits at the fact she is responsible for the youth of America. Anyone can get a college degree he figured. They must hand them out like 30 euro Hungarian stew.
He left the hotel and wandered aimlessly through a catacomb of calles. He stopped for a beer on a couple of corners. Inevitably he saw an Asian girl glued on her phone walking forward and figured to try again. If 100 girls reject him maybe the 101st will be the lucky one. He never knows what to say or how to open with randoms, so simply said “hey hows it going, where are you from”, as she ignored him and continued passing he noticed Kakao talk on her phone! “Wait, you’re from Korea, you’re using Kakao talk!” She continued on her path as he did on his. Maybe the 102nd will be the charm.
He stumbled upon a nice restaurant with colorful umbrellas and ornaments hanging in every which way, but wasn’t hungry yet. He browsed the menu, and of course, couldn’t do so in peace, and had to deal with the spam of the server.
Waitress: So why are you in Buddhapest
Pharaoh: Well I’m here traveling after my CELTA course in Barcelona.
Waitress: Oh whats that?
Pharaoh: I learned how to teach English and am now looking for work.
Is finding work hard here?
Waitress: Well you need a certificate and a degree
Pharaoh (aside)- are you fucking brain dead?
Oh well I just told you I took a course to learn how to teach English.
And I have a college degree.
Waitress: Well schools want someone with an English degree. Or someone who knows others languages, so can relate to what students are going through.
Pharaoh: Hmmm well I speak Japanese, Spanish, and French.
Waitress: Oh maybe you could find a job, make some phone calls to some language schools.
Pharaoh: I broke my phone. Sigh.
Waitress: Well go by a new one, you need to make some investments if you want to relocate
Pharaoh (aside): Too bad I spent 4,000 euros on wine, shisha, and whatever other BS I spent it on last month in Barcelona.
Maybe Asia would be better for me.
Waitress: Yeah they take anyone as long as you’re a native speaker.
Pharaoh: Well anyways, thanks for the help, I’ll come back and eat here again sometime.
Waitress: Thank you yes please
Pharaoh: (aside) lol
A few miles of aimlessly walking, gazing at people, crying inside whenever a beautiful girl walked by knowing he would be rejected if he tried to talk to her, he continued. He stumbled upon a massive ferris wheel. He thought that it would be so much more enjoyable with a girl than by himself. He would likely see couples and friends on it, and thought of all the single-serving friends that came in and out of his life while on this trip. Real friends truly are hard to come by.
He found a massive shopping center. A couple of boys threw a neon nerf ball like a crystal torpedo illuminating the black sky. The stars were veiled, but the full moon appeared. He thought of Tango and Aomame in 1Q84. Staring at the moon he wondered if Masami was also staring at it off wherever she was. She didn’t reply to his yearly e-mail to her since they broke up. He was in a public place, so had to restrain the tears, but internally a waterfall plunged from head to toe.
He then peered back up at the moon. Unlike Tango and Aomame, he only saw one moon. It was reddish orange and a goal at the posted path in this printed image towards the Danube. After the last few beers he really needed to pee. He considered doing it behind a bush in this central garden adjacent to the Danube, but a person always walked by. If only he could be Ezio Auditore and zip line up one of the many architecturally fascinating buildings that surround him. Would be easy up-top. Sadly he wasn’t a video game hero, and just a Pharaoh, so decided to stop by the Hard Rock for one more beer before sitting back at a bench on the Danube and staring into the sky.
Crimson orb in the sky
Together more fair
Pharaoh can now fly
Soaring through the air
Never falling to die
Failing to question why
Many pigeons walked by as he stared off at the moon. A cold breeze sharply scraped his cheek, so he put his hoodie on. He wondered if the girls in their elegant and classy pea coats thought he was a bum. He also wondered why he didn’t think to bring his pea coats from back home and instead pack a bunch of blazers he hadn’t worn once. Oh well, even bums can stare up at the moon. Not having a home wouldn’t be the worst of things, and could be an opportunity to be reborn into a different life away from his mother. He wasn’t far from this birth in the real world.
Pharaoh wished Manami could be there with him. He wished he could hold her hands and she would ask him to hold her to keep her warm like old times in her tranquil angelic voice. High-pitched, giddy, but firm and strong. He still hadn’t met a girl like her until this day. Maybe he holds her on a pedestal because she’s the only one that he created love in. Other girls had accessed love in him, but she was the only he was ever able to reciprocate that access gate. He couldn’t be more grateful for her time in his life, but more morbid that she’s gone. No matter where he goes, who he sleeps with, she’ll always be there in the deepest corner of his heart.
He saw the statues of the park on the opposide side of the bridge, but saw two other bridges leading to a towering government building. At night both the moon and the lights illuminated the 50 shades of the government. His knee felt fine, so decided to yolo it some more.
Pharaoh walked in the opposite direction of his hotel and came upon a colossal bridge. Lions perched on their thrones in stone and massive christmas tree ornaments were spread across the arches of this titan. Footprints never left on this man-made Gaia.
Pharaoh continued on this bridge across the Danube. He often peered down into the grayish swirls below. Like Aomame and her pistol pointed upwards to her skull from within her mouth, Pharaoh contemplated jumping off the bridge, but instead fell back into a trance by the proceeding crashing of the waves below. They casually made love to one another– splitting, but always uniting in the flow of a source unknown.
He stared back at the moon. Only one moon, but equally beautiful to Murakami’s minute green moon. The green fields in his mind and the crimson orb merged like a christmas tree in space. The lights of the city kept him slowly scurrying across the bridge enamored by the iridescent glows as they traveled alongside him. They remained fixed, but his continuously changing orientation allowed them to dance as if he were playing We Control The Sunlight by Fadi from Aly and Fila.
Back on the Buddha’s side he trekked on and gazed at the statues above from the hike he went on earlier. He paused while a man clicked away on his tripod. The shady government building sparked by lights and the blood shaped moon in the sky were the only sources of hope for government. Not that Pharaoh knows anything about Hungarian politics, but politics and governmental affairs were always things he tried to avoid speaking about. Oops he just broke one of his rules.
He reached the gorgeous green bridge he crossed earlier. On the opposite side of the bridge on the same side of the bank he saw a boy crash on his scooter. He wanted to run and help him up, as the foreigners did to him in Bang-cock last summer, but he couldn’t run yet. The boy triumphantly got up and limped onto the sidewalk carrying his scooter. Pharaoh prayed that the boy would be ok and not have to go through what he previously did after tearing his ACL.
Pharaoh reached his hotel and iced his knee again before having dinner at the odd waitresses colorful outdoor restaurant he visited earlier. He ordered Goulasch and chicken Paprika with a big glass of Sobroni as part of a deal for 14 euros. The goulasch was slightly spicy, but there wasn’t enough beef in this stew. He figured he would have to pay 30 euros in order to receive a fair amount of beef, but enjoyed the savory potatoes in the thick and bloody broth. The chicken paprika didn’t have much taste but he slowly nibbled at each piece with the potatoes in some sour cream sauce as if honoring the dead chickens sacrifice. He paid his tab and went home to trance out and fall asleep.
He hopes that this long stream of consciousness can be the first of many the following week given he has no pictures to share with his audience. He also has decided that asking random strangers to take photos of him and send them later would be a possible avenue of making new friends.
To be continued–