"Blogging isn't journalism, it's graffiti with punctuation."

>cat-calling the pretty girls

>although budapest is known for its high crime rates, i feel safe in my hostel room, because i’ve got that chain that goes from the wall to the door of my room.

cough.

when you put that chain on at night, that just says to criminals, HEY. you’re not getting in here . . . . unless you push . . .

with your hand.

yesterday morning, i was close to tears as i suddenly felt the power of hatred, greed, and trickery that spinal-taps this city. fellow hosteller James and I got swindled out of 2000 HUF each by a guy on the bus claiming we had invalid tickets and that we had to pay a fine. then as soon as he had our cash, he jumped off the bus. then we saw him doing the same on other buses. my first city, and i’ve been had. james and i put on a brave face, but i am now ready to move on through to vienna. after snappy train station employees kept me waiting in a limousine-long line, i finally booked my reservations for my train to vienna, and my later train to paris. getting thoe finalized lifted my spirits somewhat, so i decided to treat myself to more adventure.

i skipped lightly across the bridge to the Buda side. i climbed the citadelle hill sans water, and i’m sure my thighs will hate me soon. but the feeling of unspeakable accomplishment won me over like a marathon. the view of the city was breathlessly splendid and the breeze of the Danube was rich with fragrance. i descended down the dirt paths with clumsy skips and walked along the shore to catch my breath.

i swaggered acrossed the suspension bridge with the tongue-less lions. past parliament buildings, side streets with peep-less sounds. i sang my songs to gilded façades and barred baroque churches like a criminal. i ventured around unknown areas just to wander and see what i could see.

i munched on falafel and finished my first roll of film. i saw stoneage men bringing home hookers, photographers inhaling frescoes on digital film, and european alcoholics cat-calling the pretty girls.

plenty of men oggled my boobies. great idea with the spandex top, christine.

i sat on a smooth bench on the corner of andrassy and nagymezo utca, the site of my almost-earring-loss (i smartly retraced my steps and found both earring and backing!). the moulin rouge sat quietly with locked afternoon doors. west side story was dark across the street. i wonder how they sing “la la la la la, America!” in Hungarian. the outdoor cafés are picturesque, but obviously touristic. cool cobblestones and marigolds line the area.

the buses on wheels draw power from above like the streetcars. the hustlers follow the ones with palmed-cameras. i will be back here in 5 weeks to fly to beirut, and a few days later, home. the turkish baths can wait til then. right now, i feel nothing but anticipation for western europe.

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