Brace yourselves, dear readers, because the writer has returned with the soapy part of its(because the writer is an entity) international experience. Even though I am really not in the ‘butterflies and rainbows’ mood (but rather aloof, ‘might say) I’ll try to keep the tone of this post as accurate as possible. Here it goes.
The aftermath of travelling abroad went straight to my bones. Once I made contact with a different culture from the one I grew up in, the whole international experience was perceived like escaping the cage in which I’ve been held captive for the last two decades. And, it seems that even if the surface of that cage is 92 thousand square miles, I really felt a bit claustrophobic in there. For some time, I felt like being the traveler type of person and this brief trip abroad confirmed my assumptions. I love being on the road, discovering places, talking to strangers and why not, making a new friend or two.
Since we were starving and ridiculously tired, I quickly helped my Spanish friend and fellow photographer (Maria) to pack up her tent, we left the Island of Freedom, headed straight to the city center and crashed into a McDonald’s restaurant. Both of us had booked tickets for the next day which meant we would have to spend a night in Budapest. So, while stuffing ourselves with junk food, we started to look for vacant hostels. Soon, panic set in. There were no vacancies. Fatigue got to Maria and she kept on complaining with her funny Spanish accent about being tired and wanting to sleep, after picking on me because I abandoned all hope and was laughing like an idiot. But suddenly, a wild link appeared and in a blink of an eye we booked what seemed to be a cheap hostel, right in the city center. A few minutes later, Maria was complaining and picking on me again (with the same funny Spanish accent): ‘You do not get it‘, she said, ‘this is a PARTY hostel! There will be no sleeping! I have to get some sleep!’. After further reading we realized, I mean, she realized that the hostel is in fact, a PARTY hostel, and it was clearly stated that ‘if you are looking for a place to rest, you should definitely check some other hostels’. Ooopsie!
Fortunately, that place was awesome and we had no trouble sleeping. Well, except me. Why? Because I got fucking sick! Yeah, that’s right. After 6 days of eating mostly pizza, heavy beer drinking and few sleep hours, in the evening of the 7th day, my body collapsed. I caught the ugliest flu, got really dizzy and felt like fainting. Thus, spending my only night in the beautiful city of Budapest, in bed! Nevertheless, earlier in that afternoon Maria and I had time to wander around the city center and also pass the bridge to the other side (Pesta). It was amazing. I fell in love with that city. I even got into a Japanese shooting rage, snapping everything around me, while the fellow photographer was photobombing my frames, haha.
After a long walk through the city, shooting lots of buildings – cause it appears that I was really fascinated by the architecture
(but now, all I see are some boring tourist-ish pictures, so here’s a shot with a garden dwarf on a swing:
we got back to the hostel and got ready to parteh. I was all busting moves (in my head), getting dressed, being very hype about my upcoming night in a beautiful ruin pub downtown. Once I got ready, I went straight to the bar, downstairs, and bought myself a well deserved beer. Why? Because earlier that day, while Maria was taking her long desired sleep, I was finishing processing my last batch of photos from the festival. After 6 days of running around, shooting this and that, being careful not to miss any concert and writing reviews, my work was done. So yeah, I really deserved that beer. Unfortunately for me, that beer was also my arrow to the knee. The great collapse also happened during a chat with Maria’s Hungarian friend, whose name sadly I have forgoten. ‘..yeah it was a really wonderful festival, lots of internationals and also the atmosphere, man!, the atmosphere was priceless, with all those things you could do and… (gut shitstorm) …uhm, I’m sorry, whoah… I’m not feeling too well, I think I’ll pass this night out. Could you tell Maria that I’m feeling really sick and I’ll be upstairs, in bed? Thanks!’ And that was that. Nausea, shivers, fever, dizziness, headaches, stomachaches, all in one. Called it a night and hoped for recovery.
The next day I barely woke up and it was NOT a good morning. More like a ‘hey, I’ve been hit by a bus‘ morning. Even if I was feeling like shit, I had to pull myself together and head to the national art gallery which happened to be in my favorite place, the Buda palace (up). But guess what?! Yes, my shitty body didn’t get better, despite taking a fist full of pills. Everything else is history (well, not really, we didn’t spend much time there, and after that Maria and me parted ways, me to the train station and her to the airport). Except that time when Maria showed up with a beautiful postcard with that place below and gave it to me. Very, very kind of you, thanks once more ^_^.
As soon as I reached Keleti Palyaudvar, I bought some strong antibiotics, took one or three and fixed myself some drinks at the local restaurant. ‘One Campari Orange, a glass of white wine, a glass of tonic and a cup of hot tea, please!’ I really don’t get what was with that strange mimic on the waiters face. Can’t a man drink his weird mix of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages? After spending some time taking notes and finishing my drinks, I finally felt better! ‘What is to be done?’ I asked myself. I took a quick glance at my watch (phone) and figured out that I still have time to visit one place that was on the ‘must visit’ list. Stuck my luggage back into the locker, took out my cameras and headed back to the city’s center.
And so I went into this wonderful ruinpub called Szimpla Kert. A wonderful place decorated with anything your mind could think about. Chairs, cupped bathtubs, barber seats, bikes, cars, swings, garden dwarfs, you name it! I bought a beer, put my cameras down and bought myself another well deserved beer. Why well deserved? Because I ended my trip in one piece.
I took some time looking around. I shot that garden dwarf you saw earlier, I also shot this bohemian girl
and then I texted somebody dear. ‘Nice trip’, I told myself. ‘Good job, Dragoș, good job’ and self pat on the back (no, not really, I didn’t do that, but that’s what I was thinking about!).
All in all, screw you puny human body! and special thanks to Maria, who was my trusty companion in this wonderful journey.
P.S.: fortunately, no soapiness ended up in my story, after all