Missing Budapest

I wanted to write a blog post today, because I didn’t write one yesterday, but I’ve spent all my internet time responding to emails and doing my banking. (What did people do before online banking? How did they go on long vacations? I just don’t know.) So here I am, with ten minutes of wifi left, and I don’t know what to write.

I think I’ll write about what I’m thinking and feeling right now, which is how much I don’t want to leave Budapest. When I first arrived, I wasn’t all that enthusiastic about being here. I had loved London so much, and returning to Debrecen was depressing. So the first day in Budapest, all I wanted to do was go back to London. But in the next few days, I started getting used to the city, knowing where things were, realizing that I could get literally everywhere from the apartment. That I could take the metro or walk all over this city. Also, that I could function well even without a great deal of Hungarian.

This is a picture of my favorite restaurant, the Épitész Pince Étterem, which is just around the corner form the apartment. It has stood in the same spot for at least the last hundred years, I think. This is a picture of the courtyard, where Cat, Ophelia, and I usually sit when we go there.

So I’m already nostalgic: I already miss Budapest, even though I still have almost a week here. But that’s not enough. I will miss the flavors of the food, the fact that even the tomatoes from Tesco taste like actual tomatoes. It’s different to describe how food in Hungary is different, but perhaps it will make sense if I say that everything has at least one more layer than it would have in the United States. The flavors of the food are more complex. And everything tastes fresher. I will miss having a little bakery across the square, and a large market down the road. I will miss the fact that the food is smaller: the yogurt here is in smaller packaging, for example. I will miss the variety. I will especially miss the plums and sour cherries everywhere.

This is another picture of my favorite restaurant.

I’m also having a wonderful time seeing friends here. On Tuesday, the writer and editor Csilla Kleinheintz took Cat, Ophelia, and I to the Ethnographic Museum, and on Friday two friends of mine arrive from Sarajevo. We’re going to have fun showing them around the city.

I will miss being able to go all over the city by metro, but almost as soon as I get back, I move into Boston, so I will have that experience next year. I will be able to do my marketing several times a week, rather than in one large grocery shopping trip, and I will be able to get on the metro and go to the museums. I’m looking forward to being a city girl again.

Today, we have a museum visit, the dinner with Hungarian writers and editors, and then Cat’s reading. It’s been a wonderful visit. I just don’t yet want it to end.

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6 Responses to Missing Budapest

  1. Jane Yolen says:

    Boston? Really? I live two hours west.

    • Hi Jane! Yes, I’ve lived in the area for a while, but I’ll be moving back into the city from the suburbs. If you’re ever interested in having a visitor, let me know! 🙂 (I’m always very hesitant to bother busy writers! But I love that area, and of course I know Kelly and Gavin and Jed, who I think are all out there.)

  2. Jane Yolen says:

    And Holly Black and John Crowley also live in my area. Others. And who is Jed?

  3. Jane Yolen says:

    Don’t know him. My loss.

  4. Andrea S. Michaels says:

    I’m so very happy to read this post. I live in Belfast, NI now but I’m originally from Budapest and there are a lot of things that I miss from there. The sunshine, of course, but also the public transportation you mentioned (although it’s not that bad in Belfast to be fair), the lively cultural life, the evenings out sitting outside in a restaurant, the smell of the flowers and the Danube and the old buildings put together…
    I’m just really happy you liked this place. Thank you.

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