[Happier Budapest day = photo album.]
I think I didn’t get to know Attila online until I arrived in BP, and I’m glad I got to know this friend – that is, aside from having the thrill to hear him from the other end of the phone saying “Hey, this is Attila.” I know Attila is a pretty common name in Hungary, but the first time I heard his voice over the phone it felt like a historical (or rather, operatic) figure was calling me.
We were too early for the Synagogue, so we went for a coffee and ended up in a small, fine café in a somewhat dusty alley, even though Attila said it’s a very good (a.k.a. expensive) neighborhood. We had a surprisingly very good talk, talking about things such as how new apartments in BP aren’t necessarily more desirable since the construction quality can be poor and other things.
The Synagogue is quite a sight and worth a visit, although if I am right the prices of tickets as well as souvenirs are more expensive than elsewhere.
Attila has some other engagement at 1pm, but he still very patiently waited me while I did my CD hunt in a nearby Alexandra (and found a Hungaraton Renata Scotto issue), and told me about a couple of CD shops he knows. I suggested to have lunch together, so he showed me the two university cafeterias – and it’s funny to know that, as long as one knows which entrance to choose, one will not encounter guards who check IDs; there’re still guards, but guards at certain entrances don’t check IDs, that is.
Aside from speaking English with a very fine American accent, Attila is really someone who’s consistently gentle, agreeable, considerate, and easy-to-talk-to — in short, quite a treat and a wonderful surprise, and this is especially a wonderful thing considering how the weather was swinging between cloudy and light raining during the morning.
The rest of the day was basically about how tired I was, and that includes my feet – these days I feel them keenly even when I rest at my host’s place. Obviously I need a good masseur. After some rest at a café (with interesting furnishing style) I went to the riverbank – basically I was DRAGGING myself, only wishing I could sit somewhere and put my heavy backpack down and rest. The weather resumed sunny and hot enough, the setting sun certainly sufficiently blazing.
Met an AA, who was keen to meet me and even host me, but probably because we were both too tired and weren’t keen enough to carry proper talks, the meet-up failed to sustain. Maybe that was for the best — I guess we both needed “self” time to recuperate.
Which wasn’t the easiest thing for me: Since my host A wouldn’t return until 9.30pm or so, I had to find a place to wait. I tried to look for some of the places not too far from Blaha (near to where I stay), and the result was too much walking. There’re of course places that have “best goulash in Hungary,” and the price (and the violin that plays some Hungarian Rhapsody) shows exactly what kind of tourist place it should be. One LP-recommendation was totally full, but on the (complicated) way leading to that place I found a potentially interesting second-hand-and-first-hand CD/vinyl shop called “Concerto” – that reminded me the “good time” in the Netherlands, since a much bigger shop with a good collection in Amsterdam has the same name.
After checking out a quieter place where the owner speaks so softly I could barely hear him and moved very slowly, and the wi-fi doesn’t work for my notebook, I decided to walk away to Burger King. Yeah, Burger King. Now who cares. At least the guard was very nice and helpful.
Just as soon as I finished placing my order, the phone rang – A would be home in 10 minutes. But well, it wasn’t a worst thing to eat Burger King, even though it’s definitely pricier than in Taiwan.
CD (Scotto: French Album I)：600