(From a few weeks ago)
:: Fellow bathers I made uncomfortable ::
For boxing day we headed out in search of a bath house I’d read about which was built by the Turkish in 1565 after they began their occupation and had the Hungarians by the balls. In keeping with tradition many are still had by the balls as it is now known as a “MUST STOP SPOT FOR THE GAY TOURIST.” Fortunately on Sundays Kiraly is opened up to both genders and Andrew and I got to see what all the fuss was about.
:: Saved by the Bell leaning against the lockers pose ::
We initially passed it by until I recognized the dome and we made it through the entrance after circling the entire block. Once in the locker room a robust Hungarian woman quickly ushered us into a private changing
room closet which might have made some bathing partners uncomfortable, but painted a clear picture as to why it’s such a hot hookup spot for men with a wide stance. We quickly made out way through the labyrinth of a locker room to the rock/brick stairwell which brought us to the promised sulfur baths.
:: Andrew Anxious to Soak ::
The baths consist of one main room which holds a large octagon pool that’s household bathtub temperature, a smaller hot tub along one wall and a small cold pool to dunk in so you don’t pass out on the rocks. Connected to this main room are more intimate ones where you can enjoy a dry sauna, steam bath, or massage. It was pretty empty when we first arrived, finding only four other people bathing. These four were clearly advanced bathers as one pair was methodically rotating between the various pools and rooms, while the another pair took turns holding each other by the feet and dragging their partner slowly around the pool while they laid their arms out like an angel, face up in a trancelike state.
A bathtub (though generally smaller) enthusiast myself, I was able to get the hang of the rotation quickly, though found my true place in the large pool. As a few more people joined, the dome over us created a soft echoing droning of their voices which had the effect of the Greek Sirens, allowing me to enjoy a half hour nap with my arms and head draped on the side of the cool stones.
:: A Better Idea of the Joint - the Ultimate in Shabby Chic ::
After several hours of soaking we finally dried off with the provided
towels miniature cotton bed sheets and embraced the cold in search of hummus and strudel.
Day 1: Budapest
After waiting an antsy half hour for my luggage to arrive I finally made it out to the lobby to find Andrew waiting for me, taller and handsomer than I had remembered with a face full of scruff. I don’t know whether it was because people were upset to be traveling on Christmas or if the Hungarian people just aren’t a smiling bunch, but I stood out with my perma-grin and PDAing the entire way back to the apartment.
:: English Christmas Crackers from Nana ::
I had found an apartment to call home for the week that was located within a complex of courtyards on the border of the 5th and 7th districts in Pest. Andrew arrived two days earlier and was able to comfortably navigate from the airport back to the top floor studio that was naturally lit with large skylights, which I loved apart from when they forced us to reluctantly rise first thing in the morning.
:: Night Light ::
Though Andrew probably found the sun a preferable wakeup call to what he got the first morning. I had been having a dream about baby brother Brian in which he was irritating enough to entice me to punch him in the face (love you xox). I have a propensity to act out my dreams and Andrew got the full strength of my punch in his ribs. Perhaps this long distance setup is an appropriate way to keep things.
:: Happy Boy Enjoying his Deodorant and German Cosmo ::
Ok Mom, you’ll get your fill of Budapest-Bucharest details in a bit, for now here’s a current status report.
I’m back at what feels like home in the Bangkok Airways Lounge where they are still serving all of my favorite treats. While my body only craves coffee at the moment, I plan to leave with a modestly packed tupperware container.
On the flight here from Istanbul I had a difficult time making myself try to sleep as the inflight entertainment had over 100 movies to choose from. It turned into a New Years-esque evening where you find yourself running around from party to party constantly wondering whether or not you’re having the most possible fun where you are, rather than actually enjoying yourself. So I can’t give any film reviews but I could summarize the first twenty minutes of about a dozen.
The plane was almost exclusively filled with Turkish men off to get their fill of Thai women and upon landing they all gave an enthusiastic round of applause to the captain for a job well done.
I’m looking forward to getting settled in Chiang Mai, meeting up with Nikoleta, and getting a pair of scissors to snip off the better half of these jeans so I don’t overheat while waiting for my luggage to arrive from wherever it’s hanging out. Fortunately the clothes are cheap PLUS this way I don’t have to haul my bags myself and instead get to show up at the guesthouse with the facade of a free spirit who bounces around the globe with only a messenger bag.
Christmas Eve Flight from Boston to Zurich (please note that i’ve been drinking)
:: My Lego Christmas Tree in the airport lounge. not meant to be depressing ::
I’ve never had the privilege of flying first class before, and while it is quite the treat for Christmas, I don’t think it is something I could, or at least would care for, getting use to. Here is why…
- My favorite part of flying is the opportunity to meet people with stories and charisma, however in first class you are set off in your little booth and pampered away from the others. I essentially forced myself upon the young Swiss man across the aisle introducing myself as “Danielle, the girl from the Boston area who has never been away from her family on Christmas and would like to know the other people (just two) near her so she could at least feel somewhat connected to humanity,” Peter (paytuh) obliged and asked me about my plans to meet up with Andrew which he overheard me explaining to our flight attendant, and let me know he was headed back to Zurich for Christmas with the family. I’m glad to know the name of the person who could potentially die next to me, though I doubt we’ll have any further conversation as he as spent the last two hours watching the video screen displaying the altitude and temperature. Perhaps I’m making large assumptions based on small irrelevant pieces of evidence, but I just don’t get the sense that we will ever advance this relationship to facebook friend status.
- I only have so much (very little) self-control and I’d rather be deprived than to have to rely on my own will to turn down offers of champagne, varieties of cheese, lobster, grey goose, and tiramisu. It would be the alcoholics enabled dream though, every ten minutes or so someone would come by asking if she could pour you something lovely and when you would decline she would try and persuade you to give in, “Really? You’re sure you wouldn’t like more champagne, hmmmm, all right, but it is Christmas and it will be waiting right over here…but if not I assure you I’ll be back in two shakes of a lamb’s tail carrying a glass of port wine for you to enjoy, which you must.” I wish I hadn’t already been full/inebriated when I boarded. At least this was only the case because of what I indulged in while killing time in the lounge.
- I’m uncomfortable being waited on hand and foot. It makes me feel like too much of an overindulged asshole, especially when it’s Christmas
- I’m about to put on my PJ’s and slippers, fully recline my chair, stretch out on my lumbar supported bed and comfortably enter the slumber period of the evening which would have taken a few vicodin had I been in coach. So while this does all seem a bit too lavish, at least it’s saving my liver from the combination of alcohol and painkillers.
:: “Eat your breakfast, I’ll fluff your pillow” ::
MORE PICTURES BELOW