Aug
02
2009

Friend with a capital F.

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Two weeks ago one of my oldest and dearest friends, Sarah, came to visit us here in BP. She dropped by after fabulous stays in Paris and Amsterdam, the top two cities on my list of cities I want to visit and STILL haven’t, even though I am literally a cheap, two-hour plane ride away. And for beating me to the punch, I will from this day forward hold a grudge against her. Which now I have to drop, because how can I hold a grudge against someone who LEFT Amsterdam to come visit her slow, large-bellied friend living in a strange Hungarian city? Dear Sarah, you are a saint.

The poor girl also happened to come visit us on four of the hottest days we’ve had here. And yet she happily followed me, her snail-paced tour guide, around the city as I showed her the sights and the sites in the crazy heat. First stop was the Castle District, full of castle ruins, Gothic churches, fountains with naked-people-statues, and amusing drunk musicians playing for money on every corner.

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These guys were the most entertaining, for sure. We sat down on the steps for a rest and a listen after dutifully throwing a few coins into the violin case. Violin Guy asked us, “Where you from?” and when we replied the U.S. he exclaimed, “Aahh!” and the two of them promptly broke out into the worst version I have ever heard of “If I Were a Rich Man” from Fiddler on the Roof. It was so bad it was beautiful. My question, however, is this: why was Fiddler on the Roof the first thing he thought of when he heard the U.S.? Wasn’t that play about a Jewish family in Russia? If I knew any more that Toddler Hungarian I would go back and suggest he learn something like “God Bless the USA” or anything by Lynyrd Skynyrd.

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We seriously ate ice cream every day that Sarah was here. Okay, truth: Sarah ate ice cream every day she was here visiting me. I have been eating ice cream every day since the start of my third trimester.

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We also went to the thermal baths, walked down the famous Vaci and Andrassy streets, saw the heroes at Heroes’ Square, toured the House of Terror Museum, had our photo taken on Freedom Bridge by a guy who had apparently never used a camera before, and ate more ice cream.

The last night Sarah was here, we went a club called Szimpla. There are these crazy bars here in Budapest that started out as basically squatter joints run out of old, abandoned buildings. They are hopefully up to code at this point, but there’s really no telling. That’s the excitement and danger of going to them, I guess. You never know when you’ll fall through the floor. And since Sarah was stuck at a bar with a pregnant woman, her funny artist husband and a camera, this was bound to happen: instead of pints of beer, bottles of water. And instead of dancing the night away, stupid photos of us shaking our heads as fast as we could so that our cheeks took flight.

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Written by Laura in: Slide Shows |

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