Monday, February 26, 2007

Speaking Hungarian

I've picked up some Hungarian. But mostly I've learned how to order beer and coffee and kabobs. Budapest is a gnarly, crumbling, fluid-stained, mysterious, magnificanet, operatic city. The youth look sharp and hungry. The old contemplative. We have been waking up to piano concertos and tenors from the neighboring apartments. I have been buying used gypsy records and glancing over Hungarian poets like the tragic Attila Jozsef. I have been wondering how in god's name all these book stores can stay in business (today we saw three that were literally back to back to back on one block). How wonderful, a culture of reading.

I took just two books with me on the trip: Mrs. Dalloway and The Selected Yeats. They turned out to be great choices. I can't get through two pages of Woolf without stopping, in great humility, to consider a particular passage or metaphor. She is truly a master. I read Yeats while in Ireland, cheesy I know, but wonderful. I hadn't read him for years. "Nineteen Hundred and Nineteen" has to be one of the most audacious and powerful poems written in English.

We have been staying at hostels throughout, which has been both a blessing and a curse. Getting to meet travelers from around the world is great (even the weirdos). Getting inside tips from the hostel operators is priceless. Being in a seedy neighborhood in London for three nights above a dance club is not any kind of fun. We slept maybe 9 hours total. The only good thing I can say about our London experience is that the museums are free. Even the Tate, which is incredible. Right up there, if not above, MOMA.

Well, I'm clearly monopolizing the lone hostel computer now and I think I should wrap this up. I just want to say I'm sorry to be missing the Dynamite Blow Up! (am I saying that right?) party in Atlanta, but hope to see (or officially meet, in most cases) some of you real soon. Have fun and always tip your bartender!



p.s. I will try to post some dynamite photos from Central Europe in the next couple of days.

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