I’m a week late on this post since I got back to the states last Tuesday. I haven’t really had much of an urge to write lately, and have been readapting to being back home after being abroad. I have a couple interviews over the next couple days for schools in Japan and Thailand, so hopefully will get back out there again sooner than later.
This whole situation without a phone was pretty mortifying at first. I was in Budapest, an architectural masterpiece– gargantuan chess pieces set throughout the city connected by incredible bridges over the Danube– all gorgeously illuminated at night. At first I was pretty frustrated that I wouldn’t be able to click away, but it made me more conscious as time was literally taken out of the equation. It also made me more inclined to talk to people since I din’t have a phone to shield me from directing my eyes somewhere and a quick smile is never difficult. If we vibed, I would ask to exchange FBs, and they would send me photos they took of me or of their own later.
On one of the last few days prior to the day I will describe next I was lucky enough to find Nightmare in Budapest, an interactive haunted house. The maze took about 20-30 minutes to get through and actually involved conversations with the zombies and tasks to unlock next parts of the haunted house. Coming from America where people just jump out at you and don’t really scare me it was nice to actually joke around with the Hungarian spooksters. I had to assemble a rubber dead body and look through a neon-dark room for all the organs, I had to shock a dead family member several times, and run when her cousin got mad– it was by far the best haunted house I’ve ever been to. Highly highly recommend if you’re ever in Budapest and like haunted houses!
A couple of days later I got up early to go sightseeing as I made my way from the Liberty Bridge to the Chain bridge. I feel like a massive whale in admitting this, but in a previous post I thought the museum, Buda castle, overlooking the Danube on the Buda side was actually some sort of government building. When I crossed the Chain bridge over to Buda and hiked the small hill of switchbacks up to the peak I was thrilled to go inside this museum and wander around for what felt like a couple of hours. I wouldn’t know though without a phone 🙂
The view from Buda castle beautifully depicted Parliament on the other side as well as showed the ferris wheel I would go on on the way home. It also showed the bare tip of the tower off a half mile away which was St. Matthias Cathedral.
Out of the three massive tourist spots I visited this afternoon, St. Matthias was the one that I actually regret not going inside of. It was surreal from the outside and pacing back and forth with my gaze in the clouds, in the moment, sufficed, but I still am curious to how the insides differed from the other churches I had seen while in Europe; Sagrada De familia, Catedral Barcelona, and a few of the freebies here in Budapest. I slowly traveled the stone wall separating the church from the smaller buildings below occasionally taking a seat on the cliff and gazing out at the Danube. Although it would’ve been cool to go inside, I’m grateful for the views from across Pest and beneath this beautiful church. I also now have a slight hint of mystery along with everything in this city to keep me wanting to come back one day.
I stayed for a while on the castled perch giving that amazing Danube panorama. It reminded me of FFX. Tidus never knew why Yuna would gaze out into the distance for extended periods of time before happily carrying on. He never knew that her pilgrimage meant her life, and that she should appreciate more while she casually strolled. Looking back on my travels I can identify with this. Time spent traveling is a rare treat, so letting go of all that doesn’t matter while thousands of miles away and in-joy with all that is here and now should be the main priority.
I retraced my steps down Buda castle through the park and made my way to the switchbacks which led me back to the chain bridge. I took the bridge across and then made my way to parliament and St. Ivans Bazilika. As incredible as parliament is, I might be the least interested person in politics or govt. that you’ll ever meet, so didn’t feel guilty at all just strolling around its perimeter. It turns out Hungary’s parliament is the 3rd biggest in the world. Found this out from a single-serving friend at drunken gyros at 3 A.M one night after leaving Ssimple Kert ruin pub!
After having some cookies and cream and strawberry gelato and hanging outside of St. Ivan’s Bazilika I decided to go to the one tourist spot I knew I would have to try before leaving and that was the ferris wheel. It was still light out and I know this would have been far more incredible at night, but after this last night I knew I would just want to relax and take it easy my last day tomorrow at the time, a Monday. In pure blissful joy surrounded by all the sights I had ventured to during the previous days I felt like I had made a great deal of my time in Budapest, and whether it was day or night was of no importance to me anymore. Only the short breaths and the wind on my cheek as I oscillated in and out of the sky.
While icing my knee on my last day I talked to the two guys at the restaurant in my hotel I ended up becoming friends with. They told me to be careful as it was my last day, but then also gave me directions I couldn’t make sense of to how to arrive at a small Hungarian village on the outskirts of town. I thought it sounded like a lovely idea, but involved an hour long walk, an hour train, and then managing to get back. I feel like in optimal health that nothing would be stopping me, but with my knee and having had such an awesome time the past 7 days that I would just relax, buy a few souvenirs, and Netflix and Chill. Yes, I actually spent my last day in Budapest Netflix and Chilling.
Now that my Eurotrip is over I definitely have some regrets with respect to my attitude abroad. Coming out of my blogging hiatus I am seeing that a lot of my problems are due to having overly high expectations for everything while continuing to remain ignorant to all the miracles brewing if I could just let go of everything that does not matter off elsewhere. The trip didn’t go anywhere near as planned and I am now back in the states looking for work in Asia instead of starting my teaching career in Barcelona through the summer, minimum, as planned.
While traveling the best plan is to have no plan. I have no idea where I’m going to end up in the next month or so, but the obscurity of my path, now, is exciting opposed to terrifying. I can’t wait to start teaching, start immersing myself in a culture completely foreign to me, and cultivating myself as I collaborate with my students. Meaning, form, pronunciation will be involved, but with a few mimes and CCQs conveying and checking meaning shouldn’t be a problem.
Until next time