Budapest, and back to Buje

I spent a couple of days with Klaudia in Budapest to start the New Year. It was not the first time I had been to Budapest, but I had one new experience, as it was my first time couchsurfing. A good experience, one that I will repeat, though Budapest is not the most active couchsurfing city, which made finding a couch a bit stressful.

We stayed at the apartment of Stig, an experienced Norwegian couchsurfer, who had spent the previous 18 months travelling the world in that way. He was a good host, happy to talk about his experiences, and to explain his philosophy and predictions for the future of the economy. He was only in Budapest briefly, to try and sell his flat, which, for the size and location, was ridiculously cheap.

Bridge to the future?

Grey, grey, grey…

We spent a day trying to see the city, though this was difficult to do in dense fog. We did go to my favourite place to eat in Budapest – Hummus Bar. Which serves up big plates of hummus with a filling and soft, fresh, hot laffa breads.

'Complete' hummus plate

‘Complete’ hummus plate

Despite not yet reaching the halfway point of our EVS experiences we spoke about our plans for after it has finished. We had previously considered moving to Berlin together and hanging out there for some time, but this depended on Klaudia gaining a scholarship to study. In reality, not knowing what I want to do means my vision of the future is about as clear as the Budapest air.

Bridge to the future?

Bridge to the future?

After our day of sight fog-seeing, we caught an early morning train for Zagreb, which trundled through foggy Hungary, and at one point doubling back on itself – something I will not take as a symbolic prediction for my future course. Once in Zagreb we changed to the bus station, and after eating lunch in a bakery we said goodbye as Klaudia headed east, and I was coming west.

I was the first to arrive back in Buje and was told not to worry about going into the office before Alessio and Monika returned at the weekend. Instead I spent my days not doing much. Plans for high productivity were of course not fulfilled, but I did manage to fix the heating after a cold first night – ‘turn it off then on again’ doesn’t just work for computers.

The grey continued in Istria, but you could see boats

The grey continued in Istria, but you could see boats

On Friday evening I went out with Maja, Ana and Elisa to celebrate Maja’s birthday. We had dinner at a local restaurant, Nono, where I ate good ravioli, drank good wine and had good conversation, even if it did keep coming back to the topic of Maja’s toes.

Perhaps it was due to being alone, but having returned from Bristol I began to realise I miss being in an active city, with all the events, culture and people that come from that. I know that living in a small town, in a sparsely populated region means that there is never going to be that much going on, but I get a real feeling of isolation, from people and culture.

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