Tuesday, August 07, 2007

tea and vomit

When you travel alone, if you don't interact with the people and scenery around you, you're left to hide away and explore the dark corners of in your own head. When you're a team, having someone to continually bounce off of, the locals turn into an exotic wall paper you admire occasionally as you joke about people and situations thousands of kilometres away back at home. But returning to a foreign city with a friend after doing the hard work by yourself, the place takes on a beautifully textured experience that allows you to be a tourist in a place that is distantly familiar. While I've loved the flexibility and freedom that travelling alone provides, there's something special about having a good friend to turn to and say: "I'm glad you're here". This was Vienna last week.

Showing Luke around Vienna was a lot of fun. Problem is, after a day of looking at the gorgeous buildings, we quickly fell into my old routine of chilling at MQ, Naschmarkets and cafe hoping. On the first night, we stayed with Daniel, a guy who plays hardball in the European Union's youth sector. We met up with Martina, the couchsurfer that kidnapped me (and eventually Rodney), up to the Tyrolean mountains a couple of weeks back. After staying with her, we jumped on a boat and headed down the Danube to Bratislava where we picked up the keys to Radovan's (another CS peep from last year), flat and stayed there for 2 nights. On the first night we chilled out in front of some European cable TV. The following day we walked all over the town, checking out the main castle and catching a bus out to Devin Hrad. Afterwards we dined on excessive amounts of Slovak cuisine, and then hit the Buddha Bar for beer and Becherovka. This triggered some sort of visceral memory within my body of the night out I had in Prague with Martine, and once we returned to the flat, I revisited portions of my Slovak dinner. Thankfully none of which landed in the toaster this time.

Once Bratislava was out of the way, we caught a train to Budapest and are staying with Vera, a Hungarian I stayed with last year. When we arrived, she had made a soup and dip for us to revitalise on and then we went for a wander around the neighbourhood. While walking near the Oktogon, we bumped into Rodney, who we knew was going to be here, but hadn't teed up a time or place to meet. This worked well for all concerned and we all walked down Andrassy and checked out Hero Square. Rodney peeled off and the rest of us went to Szimpla for a beer. The next day we climbed the hill I had ridden up probably 30 times while I was here last year and checked out the castle, sneaking a look over the other side at the San Francisco like districts in Buda. For dinner, we cooked a small feast at Vera's place and invited Rodney over for a bit of eggplant paprikash. After dinner, Vera went to bed and us boys went to Kuplung, the small bar around the corner and proceeded to get arse-holified. The next day was a write off and I spent most of the day trying to become active, only to get sick with movement. After another session of driving the porcelain bus, I felt much better and gave a couple of Budapest mates a call to work out a time to meet up. Mizik at 7. Julianna at 8. We brought the party to Szimpla, ate food and drank tea, catching up on the last 8 months of adventures. Further plans for World Domination were made.

1 comment:

danuta said...

poor dan! mum 2