On the Road

On the Road: 2002

Budapest: Child of the Revolution Gets Steamed
28 July 2002

"There are no phones in Western Ireland but there are computers in Kazakhstan?"
- Liam, barkeep at Beckett's

- sketchy notes follow -

Highlight: the thermal baths of the Gellert Hotel
65-70 C
55-60 C
45-50 C
38 C Pool and 36 C Pool
Plus the steam bath, so thick with steam, you can barely see a couple feet in front of you and the benches have to be washed down with cold water in order to avoid burned biscuits. It was actually suffocating in there! Therapists are on hand to watch people and make sure they don't over do. After a few minutes in the steam bath, the therapist recommended I leave since my face was turning red
Modesty apron; big bruiser with a curly mustache directs me to a changing room and locks up my clothes
Float about in the pools - arms and legs are virtually weightless

Sweaty afterward

Paris of the East? Not quite. Graffiti is everywhere. At first I didn't pay it much mind, it gave the place a "big city" urban feel, I guess. But after a while its pervasiveness grew obnoxious. This wasn't urban art, it seemed more like a one-man assault with a can of black spray paint

EU ambitions
Beckett's - With or Without You
Trabants - so many still in use!
night: chain bridge lights; Parliament; Buda Castle

Pizza Hut drivers - teenagers behind the wheel
long walk to a closed market; synagogue; boat ride - Blue Danube/Strauss -
Second largest Parliament; use only 12% of it!
World's largest Burger King
Largest Colosseum?
Absinth (Abszint.hu) 60% alcohol, a French version; there's a 72% version out there, but at that level, does 10% really matter? Blue absinthe, lit afire on the sugar cube
2-hour delay in taking off for Amsterdam; Kazakh pilots speed up on landing; KLM has good pilots and good landings; the flight goes from Hungarian to Dutch - and it's a different world

Statue Park; Young Pioneers; inspiration and motivation of the statues; nice guy drives us there; but back

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