When in Budapest, look up – and watch your step

November 15, 2012 § 4 Comments

The biting cold has returned to Budapest. We had a solid week where it was crucial to don your winter best, but then it headed towards a more “balmy” cold. Skjalg and I are on our fourth day waking up at 5:00. Both of us have alarm apps on our phones that evaluate our sleep rhythm and wake us when we are at the peak of the REM cycle. This is supposed to help us feel as rested as possible when waking up, but it doesn’t always have that effect – especially when the snooze button is so conveniently located next to the dismiss button.

The sleep app for the my phone comes complete with a “CAPTCHA – Really Awake?” feature where I can choose between a number of tasks that must be completed in order to shut off the alarm. Monday was my first day using it and I didn’t choose well. For the alarm I chose ocean waves and seagulls and the sleeping sheep option for the CAPTCHA challenge. I woke in a panic that morning with the sound of birds squawking in my ear as I tried desperately to shut it off. Apparently, you are supposed to tap the awake sheep, but the screen changes every couple of seconds to keep it challenging (and to confuse the half-awake person furiously tapping the screen).  I’ve since changed it to peaceful music and a math problem.

Today is lecture day, but with our histology midterm awaiting us bright and early tomorrow morning, Skjalg and I have decided to stay in and study all day. We started off our morning with a visit to the gym. As hard as it is to get up early, I wouldn’t trade those extra hours of sleep for the feeling I have after a work out. It clears my head and reminds me that there is a whole world that exists outside of studying. Who knew?

I headed home a bit earlier than Skjalg. I’d forgotten my headphones, so I had to occupy my mind with something else, something like observing my surroundings. I looked up at one building and noticed that there were at least 40-50 holes marking the façade at the 3rd and 4th floor levels. I’ve been told by several people that there are many buildings still riddled with bullets from WWII and the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, but haven’t seen them myself. I pondered these markings, wondering first whether they were actually bullet holes and then why they would be mainly on the 3rd and 4th floors. The buildings in Budapest carry so much history and the architecture of some of the buildings is fascinating. The down side? There is dog poop everywhere (at least on the streets we walk on). There is one street especially where I always see at least two people walking little dogs and numerous piles of little dog poops – but I never catch them in the act! It’s a bit of a downer having to constantly navigate the poop minefield, but I guess it’s just a feature of city living. I remember being shocked at the dog poop situation in Nice, France. It was so bad there that they even had professional poop cleaners that drove around on motorcycles with a vacuum pump to suck up the poop piles. In areas where there are not a lot of parks, trees, or nature in general, I assume it’s normal – a dog’s gotta go right? But that doesn’t explain why people can’t just pick up after them. I feel bad for the shop owners who emerge each morning to scrub the sidewalks clean.

Anyways, enough of my tangent about poop, bullet holes and pretty buildings. It’s histology time!

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§ 4 Responses to When in Budapest, look up – and watch your step

  • LaVagabonde says:

    This annoys me, too. It’s disgusting! In the 7th District there is brand new pavement on some of the streets. It looked so nice when it was finished…and yet people still don’t pick up after their dogs. Then there’s the problem of vomit and pee from the people who go to the bars or the homeless people. They just installed a camera at the entrance of our building (a beautiful art nouveau building) to prevent people from peeing inside the entrance, because the problem was so bad. I really don’t understand this kind of behavior.

    Sorry for the rant. 🙂

    • Buda B says:

      I totally agree! I notice that they do a decent job picking up trash and cigarettes but other than that it’s a mess. It makes me sad because it detracts from the beauty of the city. Hopefully the camera helps deter people from doing that in front of your building! Horrible to meet that smell/sight when you head out the door every day.

  • Charkie says:

    a few things:

    yay for contributions to the #dogpoop tag 😛

    i’ve been wondering about those sleep cycle apps!! i didn’t know they could come with a “wake up challenge” too, that is a genius/evil idea!

    the title of your post reminds me of my dad, who looks up all the time and will stop to look at every single bullet-/bombshelled wall and historic commemoration.

    ok, now im freaked out because i don’t know what the histology picture you included is …. loose irregular connective tissue?! AHHHHHHHHH

    • Buda B says:

      The weekends would be so much better with just one more day added on 😉 No problem! I was looking for slides that we had on the exam, so it was easy to label them. I still don’t know what that last one was…

      I did see that one! Yesterday actually. Wish I had seen it before the exam, would have been perfect. Any break I took from studying yesterday consisted of browsing the gifs on that page.

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