In the name of research, only for the book, we went to Esztergom yesterday. Really, there was not a spark of desire to return there. Afterall, we had been there once seven years ago in the dead of winter, how much different could it be now?
Michael Gans and his latest ‘friend’ joined us for the 1 1/2 hour train ride. How could I have forgotten the train took so long? On a positive note, the train was new and beautiful. From the station we took the bus to the cathedral, the highlight of the town and really the only reason for going. This is the seat of Hungarian Catholicism.
As I gathered the data I needed, the others played tourist. It worked well.
Strangely, Michael repeatedly stated how poor he was and how he could not afford a thing, but yet he was able to pay the way of his friend the entire trip. So it really worked my nerves when we went to a restaurant that Michael suggested, but when the bill came, I had already tallied our items on my phone’s calculator using the menu for guidance. When the bill came, I gave it to Michael, along with our portion and told him how much additional I had included for a tip. He still perused the bill like an etomologist who just discovered a new variety of a pesky insect and wanted to know why his portion was so expensive. Well, it is because you gave your friend free reign to order whatever he wanted and you, dear had two diet cokes. After he did the math, he was still a bit disgruntled, but it passed.
I cannot say the town is lovely. There are pockets that are, but for the most part, the cathedral is the draw. If you are not interested in this, then it is not worth the time/energy to go at all.
Later, we decided to stop at the main square. They happened to be having their own wine festival, but we were wearing down and opted for a coffee instead. Again, we went through the same tired routine when the bill came. When he complained that he was too broke to pay our bill, I retorted that I understood that unless he were dating us, we would not get a thing from him.
He is leaving on Tuesday, eventually to go to Victoria, Canada to pursue his fourth Masters degree. In some ways I will miss his company, but it will be a relief to my blood pressure. After almost twelve months, we still have not been invited to his place. Reciprocity does not seem to be in his vocabulary.
Now that I let out that loud “MEOW”, I feel much better.