i have adventures (sometimes)

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Zayn Malik's Face and the Humble Lángos Stand

When last we left our heroine (I use the term loosely as I have no real heroic qualities), she was debating the merits of going out to enjoy her last night in Budapest.

She did not do that.

She is switching back to the first person now.

But I did stay in and hang out with very nice hostel guests and staff, some of whom shared their broccoli with me. Broccoli is my favourite and people are pretty cool too, so all around a good choice. My sore feet thanked me.

As my flight was only in the afternoon, I went out in the morning to see the Parliament, pretty much the one major sight I hadn't ticked off my list. It is a good looking building.

I don't know who the statue is.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Arms Race; Legs Fail

I started off my day yesterday with a trip to the Central Market Hall for gift shopping.

I am terrible at gift shopping, and so it was overwhelming and upsetting. The thing is, I really do love and care about the people in my life, but I'm bad at remembering what they like (and, importantly, what they hate), and I have no idea how to find the balance between touristy souvenirs and things people might actually want.

I'm forever glad that my Latin friends and I have a tradition of buying one another key rings on our travels. Key rings I can do. It's everything else that's the problem.


So now I've spent all my Forints. On things I hope are not terrible.

Everyone gets scooter sculptures?

Monday, 23 March 2015

Creative Skin Diseases from Strangers

Budapest Keleti station.
I've been staring at a blank screen for a while, because I hardly know where to start in writing about Budapest.

It's incredible. It's both familiar and like nowhere I've ever been. I don't feel like I have any sort of handle on it yet. In Vienna, for example, I had the sense I could stay there for two days or two years (but not two weeks). Bratislava was perfect for a day or two, but I wouldn't want to live there. Budapest... I have no idea. I feel like I could stay here for ages, but I have no sense of what it would be like to live here. A lot of the city is clearly geared for tourists, but I don't have any real feeling of what it's like beyond that.

So it's great. But also still one big question mark.

I arrived on Saturday night to find my very unassuming little hostel. I only call it unassuming because I don't know the word that means less than that but still isn't derogatory. It doesn't even assume to assume. It's unsignposted (but easy to find, as they sent excellent directions), and is run out of a converted flat in a very ordinary apartment block.

This front door makes no assumptions whatsoever.
Crouching apartment building, hidden hostel.
But inside it's perfectly lovely, and the staff are friendly, and they have an ancient laptop for guests to use, which is infinitely better than trying to blog using my tablet, which at this stage is pretty much good only for hammering in nails.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Bratislava II: The Weekendening

Content note: discussion of rape culture.

I decided to stay another night in Bratislava so I could at least spend a full day there and not arrive in Budapest in the dark. The hostel I'd stayed in was booked up for Friday night, so I couldn't extend my stay. "We're expecting a big British group," she said.
I'm really bad at recognising foreshadowing when I see it.

As it turns out, Weekend Bratislava is where all the other Europeans come to have stag parties and get drunk cheaply. I do not like Weekend Bratislava.

But I'll come back to that.

So I moved my stuff 600m down the hill to my new hostel (accidentally abandoning my tomatoes at the old one - tomatoes, you will be missed), and then set out for a day in the city.

Stuff does not get going early in Bratislava. Maybe it's a March thing, but even by 10am there was just no one really around. But with the sun shining, it was nice and pretty and peaceful.

Looking good, Bratislava (population: 3).
Looking like this guy.
"Well, I'd describe my time in Bratislava as confusing and terrifying... So I guess I'm looking for the perfect souvenir to reflect that?"

Friday, 20 March 2015

The Climbing of Poles and the Kindness of Strangers

Yesterday morning dawned sunny and cold, and I headed out early to visit Schönbrunn Palace. Well, the outside. I'm not actually super interested in palaces, and nothing can ever really top the time Emily and I missed the audio guides at Hampton Court and so instead took ourselves on an entirely made up fantasy tour involving werewolves and vampires ("Interestingly, this bowl of fake fruit was placed here because the sphere is the shape most upsetting to the vampire."). We got a lot of funny looks from the attendants.

So instead I visited the gardens, which were free. Like a lot of places I visited in Vienna, I found myself thinking "I bet this looks really great in summer". It was pretty bleak and wintery, but it was still a good place for a stroll.
The outside is perfectly nice.
The Gloriette.
View from the Gloriette.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Giant Rocks and Lettuce Bombs

Depending on how much you like me and/or Vienna, you may be pleased to know that after my initial cold, lonely and sad day, I (a) wore my jacket, (b) made new friends and (c) saw a whole lot of cool things, and now I like Vienna a whole lot more.
Somewhere palatial. 
If you don't like me and/or Vienna, then I'm sorry to have disappointed you and I hope this blog gives you many happy hours of hate reading.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

I Don't Know About You, but I'm Feeling... 26?

And we're off! With Taylor Swift in my ears and my trusty £2 travel scarf around my neck. (Trustworthiness of other items of clothing yet to be established.)

Hello from blurry Vienna! 
First off, can I please just say how impressed I am with my packing skills? My usual backpack is (probably?) in storage somewhere since my parents moved, so instead I have this little guy, and I've finally discovered roll packing. I thought people who did that were just part of some weird cult, but several instructional YouTube videos later, I have a beautifully packed small suitcase in which I can actually find things. LIFE. CHANGED.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Whisked Away by Whims

I sidle back in. 

You glance up.

But you're cool. You're chilled. You don't make it weird.

It's been over a year since we last saw each other. So much has happened in that time. Am I the same person? Are you? You wonder whether those questions even have meaning in a world where memory is constructed and time is an illusion. (You heard that on a podcast and think it sounds deep.)

You stare at your browser. It stares back. Nietzsche was right. Except that there are more cat videos.

Our eyes meet, just for a second...



(Image from David Tennant News but also literally everywhere.)