Thursday, August 4, 2011


It's been a while since I did a newsy note and since I so often wonder what you think life here is like, I thought I'd share some of what a typical day, in this very uniquely beautiful and interesting city feels like.

Everything here has gotten much quieter since I last wrote. Miriam went back to school on August 1 and only having Victor with us, Jason and I have been able to be much more mobile. Mimi is in school from 8:30 to 4:00 so we've really been able to get around most in the last few days in ways we havent previously.

So far this week we drove to lake Balaton (see my blog) which I liked so much were all going back for Labor Day weekend. It's not actually Labor Day here but since it is for me I think we should have a holiday!

Yesterday I had my first tutorial on public transportation and was AMAZED at how convenient it is. Actually more convenient than driving but I'm not saying that too loud!  Gas here is about 8 dollars a gallon so every full tank is about $80 and everyone is cautious about conserving when possible.  Of course with a safe and efficient  public transit system that's an option. It certainly couldn't be translated to Miami or any other city that Ive lived in, with the operative word being SAFE.

The weather has been consistently perfect.  I'm not sure how that happened as I'm internationally known for trailing bad weather in my wake but so far so good. Not only no need for air conditioning which I don't have but also the fan I do have is superfluous.

I guess the first thing I should tell you about everyday life here, is that it is what can only be generously described as "no-frills". My flat is the essence of simplicity. A main room, fairly large, 10 foot ceilings that is both my bedroom and sitting room, a tiny kitchen, breakfast room and bathroom (with tub of course!) I have a washing machine that no one would recognise as such but it doesn't eat my clothes and seems to get them clean.  I use a drying rack in place of a dryer and can report that it works satisfactorily. Not soft but dry clothes so it's OK. No dish washer or garbage disposal but life doesn't seem to be diminished in any way by their absence.

Every corner turned leads to unexpected, sometimes startling beauty that has an attitude about it that seems to say, "I ve been here waiting for you. What took you so long to find me ?" See below,

A typical day finds me up around 8 or so, having coffee and catching up with correspondence. About 10, Jason and Victor  arrive and we explore this beautiful city.  Spent a wonderful morning in the Beaux Art Museum and Cafe and another with a drive up to Castle Hill. Today the plan is a walking tour around the old central Market ( think Les Halles but in Hungarian) and then down the walking street to find an old beautifully restored coffee house, whose reputation has made it a draw. A bit ambitious but well see. After whatever the morning plan is, is done, we usually stop in a cafe for a coffee or lemonade or palacsinta, aka crepes, or something light and then go home.

After Mimi comes home I spend time with the little ones until after their bath and then meander home through the now comfortably familiar, winding streets of the old/renewed Jewish quarter.  I either stop at one of my favourite cafes like  Spinoza or Cafe Vian for dinner or to listen to the music and watch the people go by. Some nights I go straight home and make my own delicious Greek salad and watch out the window as the pink streaked night sky begins to embrace the day and another adventure in Budapest comes to a close.

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