15 April 2004

Return from the Blue Danube

Although I have to tell you, it's far from blue - Strauss was either
hallucinating, or (more likely) things have changed a lot from the days
of waltz compositions. Things have certainly changed a lot from the
days of 1988, when I last saw Budapest. Obviously, things are more
western now, which is not necessarily a good thing. The amazing
architecture is still there, but now there's a McDonalds on every
corner & a shopping mall attached to the train station. Everyone speaks
English, which made my stay a whole lot easier but was kind of
upsetting as well - the incomprehensibility of Hungarian was a huge
part of the experience last time.

This is not to say that I didn't have a great time, or that Budapest
isn't a beautiful, incredible city - I did and it is, it's just very
different now. And quite a bit more expensive as well, though I tend to
think in terms of Polish currency now, so those who think in dollars
might take a different view.

Anyway, I'm back in Poznan today, and then off to a teaching conference
in Torun tomorrow. Something about American Studies, should be
interesting. Spring seems to have decided to visit us for a while - it
was actually warmer here yesterday than it was in Budapest when I left!

I do want to mention my latest unusual food experience - the day before
I left for Budapest, we had chicken ribs for lunch at the school. They
looked just like the ribs you might get at Tony Roma's, except no
barbecue sauce & much smaller. I didn't even know chickens had ribs! ;)
Obviously, I'm kidding, of course chickens have ribs, but you don't
normally get to see them up close like that. It was weird.

OK, that's all for now, because my current connection is slowly driving
me insane - with slowly being the operative word. Hope all's good with
everyone & I'll try to write again when I can find a decent connection.