Day 2 in Budapest
August 19, 2012 § 2 Comments
Today wasn’t nearly as exciting as yesterday. We slept heavily last night – partially because of having not slept a decent nights sleep in several days and partially because our apartment has these AMAZING “black-out” blinds. I’m not sure if all buildings in Budapest have them or not, but all the apartments in our building do. They are quite heavy, wooden panels that are controlled by a rope contraption located beside the inner window pane. You can choose to have a few slots with light between each of the panels or lower the entire thing for complete darkness. When Skjalg lowered them last night, I couldn’t see anything. I’m not exaggerating either – it was pure darkness. That paired with some ear plugs and a soft bed and I was out for the night.
There was so much going on yesterday that I didn’t really have enough time to appreciate how excruciatingly warm it is here. I’m sorry, not warm, but boiling, scorching hot. We had plans to spend the day unpacking the whole apartment so that we could start the week fresh and prepared, but the heat in Budapest had other plans. We got so warm that it was almost impossible to do anything other than sit completely still. Our day never really got going, to say the least. We spent a lot of time talking, absorbing this new realtiy that we are in, and sweating.
For lunch I decided to keep it on the light and fresh side and made a chicken salad. I would have loved to have avoided using any kind of heat-producing appliance, but it would have been a boring salad without some protein. I searched the bag of lettuce to check if it had been pre-washed and stopped on an image of a running faucet crossed out with a big red X. I understood that this meant “don’t rinse under the faucet” but outside of that I was totally lost. Why can’t I run it under the water? Is the water poisonous? Should we not be drinking it? Why wouldn’t they want us to rinse the lettuce?? I couldn’t decipher any of the writing that accompanied the picture. The first part was in Hungarian, the second on German, and the third in… Czech, maybe? I went to Skjalg in the living room and asked if he knew what it meant. While not fluent in German, he knew enough to tell me that it was a warning to not rinse the salad because it would wash away natural vitamins and minerals. Easy enough…
After my run in with the lettuce bag, I finished the salad and we settled down to eat our first homemade meal in Budapest.
Tomorrow we will be celebrating Saint Stephen’s Day (celebrating the foundation of the Hungarian state 1000 years ago). In the morning there will be a water show at the Danube river, in the afternoon a stroll through the Street of Hungarian Flavors, and then a firework show over the palace to close out the day.
Now it’s back to sitting completely still so that the heat doesn’t get us…