Friday, 23 February 2007

Ring the bell!

A few days back I took part in my first Hospitality Club meeting. At first I was reluctant to go not knowing anyone and never been to such a thing before, but it turned out to be a very fun crowd indeed. It took place at a little place called Piaf and crammed in about 70 people. I don't think I've ever been in one room with people who have traveled more, were from more diverse backgrounds and had a wider range of interests.

Through the past two weeks I've been hosting people from the club for the first time. I had two Brazilian girls and then two Mexican guys - all very fun, well-traveled and young people with interesting things to say. When I first stayed with someone as a guest I couldn't really imagine why people would be hosting so much, but now that I'm doing it myself, putting back into the hospitality system and getting to know new fun people doesn't seem like that much of a bad thing after all.

Tuesday, 13 February 2007

Flux, Transmission, and Push

Last week my dear friend Jola arrived on a train from Krakow. We had an absolute blast catching up, drinking wine, and walking around Budapest. I've been wanting to mention though that seeing Russell Maliphant's dance group performing at Trafo really topped our weekend. His performace was like no other I've seen yet and has been reviewed in very high notes all over the world. His technique incorporates classic ballet, tai chi, and yoga. Michael Hulls also did a fantastic job designing the lighting for the play and together with their music it was an extremely elegant and intense composition of movement, light, and music. Do see these people if you get a chance!

Saturday, 10 February 2007

In sickness and in health

Working as an English teacher should come with health insurance that would provide care with an English-speaking doctor. This is the second time I am sick since coming back from the States and yet again I'm not going to work and trying to find a doctor who'd speak some English and be willing to see my for a reasonable fee. I rang about 7 offices, 5 out of which ended up not speaking English despite being listed in medical care for English speakers for Budapest; the two other ones wanted to charge me a 100 euros or more for a visit and that I just wasn't willing to pay. I imagined Budapest, like Krakow, to be just crowded with all sorts of public healthcare offices - the question was how to tap into them and get to see a doctor without speaking any Hungarian. Well, people at a pharmacies and receptionists turned out to be very helpful pointing me in the right directions despite the language gap. After several bizarre Hungarian/English/bodylanguage conversations, I finally found a doctor who perhaps wasn't the nicest, but talked to me in Russian and doled out some medication (that hasn't helped that much so far). All free and in Russian - what else could you ask for?

The construction in our building has taken to the point of drilling all day from 7:20 in the morning and producing so much dust that you can no longer tell the patterns on our courtyard's tiles. We have for a while thought that the bills we're paying on our apt here are pretty high, but well, it turns out that they are usually increased for the time of construction to help pay for it. Not only will be most probably not get to see the effects of the noise that's kept us up for the past half a year, but we're actually paying for it as well!