Jó nap Pest

I’m living for a few days in a small 26-square-meter apartment near Margaret Island in Budapest. To get to it, you have to open a gate with a buzzer and take the elevator to the 3rd floor. Yet the apartment is not on the third floor. When you take the stairs, you need to stop at the second, turn, go down a long corridor, take a left, and be there. Magic.

Today I was awoken by somebody singing, as in opera singing. It must be a person practising for his next play in local opera - I thought to myself. I started searching for the source. It wasn’t my neighbour, although the walls here are thin as the giant pork chop I ordered yesterday in a local restaurant. When I opened the door, the voice resonated in the corridors and the tiny courtyard, yet nobody was in sight. I promised myself to solve this mystery in the coming days. Little did I know that it would solve itself in a moment.

Although it was 33 C, I decided to hit the streets a few moments after and here my luck came through. The opera singer was a lady on the 3rd floor (or maybe 4th depending on your means of transportation) on a balcony facing the street, singing in her leisure clothing. All while hanging the laundry. I stood there for a second as a solo man crowd, yet the sun was unforgiving. I hope we meet again, miss - I made a mental note and continued my walk. 

 During the said walk, I made a couple of discoveries and some things I re-discovered. The latter includes my favourite bench in the whole city overlooking the Buda side that makes me want to sit there all day long, read a book, and enjoy the leaves swaying in the wind. That always reminds me of the saying that “the best things in life are free”.

Turning my head to the Buda side of the city uncovers a different perspective: an open gym under the bridge with people exercising no matter the heat. I’m staying a bit longer today, ending my solo trip with myself. Each year I tend to hold at least one such retreat to sort my thoughts and open myself to whatever awaits.

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