Sunday, January 22, 2006

Newbie Weekend

Song for the moment: 50 cent, In Da Club. For both the awesome bass and the irony in the lyrics today.

So... yet another weekend in Budapest. Actually, this might have been my favorite Bp weekend yet. Despite our supposed goal of meeting thenewbies, a majority of us oldies spent very little time with them. Eh, oh well.

So it went like this: Friday afternoon, Chadwick and I hoped a train to the City. Conveniently (and preplannedly), it was the train Gaines was on. We made it to the hostel, the Mandragora. Yerik had recommended it. If I can describe it in one sentence (one very long sentence), it would be this: It was two beautiful rooms (the Zen Room and the Indian Room), a huge bathroom, nice kitchen with free coffee and tea (although only two kinds, which Gaines proclaimed was “not very Zen of them”), wonderful kind owners (lax, in both the positive and negative connotations), extremely reasonable prices, and one of the nastiest, most painful, springiest mattresses I’ve ever had the agony of sleeping on. But beautifully decorated. And the others informed me that the beds were tolerable.

We headed over to the Kollégium in time to catch the end of Hajni’s Cultural Differences speech. We sat in the back and studied the newbies. At the time, there were six (three more with visa problems are coming later): Jennifer, Jillian, Bill, John, Nicole, and Tara. After answering some of their questions, without scaring them too much (I hope), we met up with Janos and all of us (except Bill) went out for dinner. After stretching our legs a bit, we ended up somewhere over by Vista. Best part of that dinner: when Nicole asked for “beer. A big one” and the whole side of the table said “me too.” Oh, they’ll fit right in.

Later we went to Irish Cat (which, just for future reference, is on Kálvin tér, NOT Astoria. I had to buy Janos a Guinness for being wrong on that one). As we stood in our circle talking, the weekend’s oddest event (from my perspective) happened: in my mind I’m referring to it as The Auction. This boy standing behind Mariah (his name was Bahran, but I’m going to call him Iranian Boy) insinuated himself next to her and asked if she or one of us would teach him to “Spanish dance.” Mariah gracefully declined, but suggested that one of us other girls might help him. She made a gesture in our direction, more specifically at whoever was standing on my left. “No,” Iranian Boy said. “Not her... (pointing)... her.” Because apparently I have a sign on my forehead... of what a good dancer I am.

So that was Friday. Wow, three-day weekends take forever to write. Anyway, on Saturday, other oldies straggled in. Ambitious Kat arrived pretty early, not much later than 10. We went to fortify ourselves with lángos before hitting H&M. I picked up 3 sweaters for about 30 bucks. Two are black and gray, but one is in a Gaines-inspired “happy color,” pink (tame dark pink, not bubblegum or anything impossible like that). Very happy about sweaters in general, since it’s going to be frigid this week.

We met Harpswell there, reconvened with the boys, and after a failed attempt to visit Chad’s Writers Store, walked home. Met up with Laura, Liz and Mariah. Met up with some wine and snacks, and spent a good chunk of the afternoon lazing around the hostel. Hey, it’s what we do best.

Later in the evening, we got productive and made it to the Kollégium... or only to the front steps of the Kollégium, for some of us. Then back down the hill to the Snooker club. Then to a place on Kálvin tér. Then to a place on Ráday utca. In retrospect, the evening can be boiled down to three elements: lots of beer, lots of pizza, and lots of calling everyone whose number we had to try to make them make the newbies come out with us.... unsuccessfully.

So, Sunday. Birthday. It wasn’t particularly celebratory. On the other hand, I do a lot of celebrating other weekends, so I don’t feel in any way cheated. I did get an awesome birthday SMS from Juli (thank you!) which almost made up for the non-birthday-related phone call I got at 3:41 AM. Grrr.

Later this morning we did That Which We Do Best at the hostel until 11 or noon. Laura and I struck out Kollégium-wards in order to find Hajni and pay her, and so Laura could meet the newbies. Hajni wasn’t there. So after talking to newbies and Mária for a few minutes, Laura and I spent the next few hours jaunting around the City. Got lots of exercise. It was a little cold, though.

After meeting up with the others, we found a hole in the wall, Rókalyuk (I have another story for another time about another bar called Rókalyuk in Transylvania, where the Demeter brothers and I taught Heron NOT to yell out, “meleg vagyok” or “kurva vagyok”). The point of that aside was that places named Rókalyuk have been good to me, and this one didn’t fail. After finding out it was my birthday, a kind, slightly drunk old man (not Janos, I mean actually old) named Sanyi took it upon himself to play for me a variety of Hungarian music. At one point, Chad and I danced, much to the delight of Sanyi, the bars owner, and the two other patrons.

On the train home, Chad, Mariah, Tim (friend of Yerik, thus friend of CETP) and I hung out in the dining car and made yet another friend. This one was a young Kisvárdan named István. He did not speak much English, thus most of his conversation was directed toward me. On the plus side, I’m proud that I managed to carry on a “conversation,” if I can use the term loosely, in Hungarian for over an hour. Yay, Emily.

So that’s all I can remember to write right now. I’m sure more will come later. I realize that this entry, like the weekend, has remarkably little on the newbies. But really, we spent very little time with them, other than Friday night. And I’m hoping they’ll appear more in later entries. I feel like many of my entries end with the following sentiment, but it’s valid here: time will tell. The End.

1 comment:

indiana said...

HELLS yeah can emily salsa. i used to, voluntarly, don white polyester pants with suspenders and soemthing called a cumberbund and, stylictically, walk around with a feather sticking up from the top of my head wear, playing a polka-related instrument, and occassionally, singing or humming (this part was less voluntary) such selections as it's a small world after all.

Despite this, i may have never felt geekier than announcing the beats of some sexy latin music that SHOULD cause some shakira-style hip-shaking, but instead caused MORE THAN ONE near miss on the knocking heads together.