With this extended festival time we are forced into relaxation mode. Closed museums, galleries, and interesting shops prevent us from whiling away the time while being cultured simultaneously.
The overcast weather on Saturday and Sunday makes long walks less enjoyable as well. After coming from the heat of Mexico and then Colombia, this climate transition is something we need to adapt. Staying indoors for the most part has forced us to find ways to entertain our minds.
My choice was spending the time struggling over reviews for a new camera. I had started the process back in Mexico City, but set it aside. After reading dozens of reviews, I had finally narrowed the field to six choices, but then I was stuck. Utilizing the free time, using Google Plus and YouTube, I was able to find more compelling reasons to choose one camera over another.
With the reoccurring and current problems with my current camera’s mirror, going mirrorless seemed to be the best option. Knowing which brand and model I wanted, the search was on for the best deal. Amazon and many other online stores had identical prices, but by using Invisible Hand, Compsource.com had the same item for $80 less. Of course, the issue of shipping to Hungary is a non-starter, but even if it were possible, the 27% VAT negates the savings benefits. Therefore, it is being shipped to a friend in Oregon who will mule it over to me. The sales tax was zero!
Saturday night was a highlight of the weekend. A private supper club called Joe’s Secret Garden offers set menu dinners at ridiculously low prices, but on Saturdays only. With a weekly change of menus, it is possible to go weekly for a couple of months and never have the same thing twice. Howard and Mike made the reservations for us to join them.
Joe’s sells out quickly, so you have to be vigilant when getting the announcement on Mondays. They can seat close to 75, maybe more. Social time starts at 5pm where cocktails, beer, and wine are available. Dinner arrives on the tables at 6:30pm. This week was Southern fried chicken, mashed potatoes, coleslaw, biscuits, gravy, rich chocolate fudge brownies and coffee or tea all for $12. It is an all-you-can-eat menu. The food prepared scrupulously was scrumptious and the company was great as well. Howard and Mike invited three other friends, but we had an additional four at our table. We all left satiated.
Sunday, we walked along the river looking for a place where Ron could watch the Super Bowl. This is his annual need to be part of Americana: there is no denying him. After going to one suggested restaurant, it had not opened for the day yet, but the seating looking uncomfortable for sitting for hours. We happened upon the Mayu Smokehouse & Bakery where the dessert menu outside tempted us inside to investigate further.
The cinnamon roll was majorly disappointing, but the fact that they had multiple televisions, somewhat comfortable booths, and they were going to be showing the game, gave them bonus points. Ron asked to reserve the booth we were in and the young man wrote it down. We decided to have dinner there to support their willingness to share their televisions with others and us.
As we were leaving, another American couple was having a coffee and jokingly asked if we were stalking them. We had seen them two other places over the last three days. They, like us, come here for periods at a time, but as the man said, “I am not ready to cut the cord yet.” Chatting some more, Ron asked if they were returning for the Super Bowl. At their apartment, they have an American connection on their television, so they will watch it at home. We told them we would share our booth if they changed their mind. Ron was hoping to be part of an enthusiastic gathering since he knows his comments have no impact on me.
Regrettably, situated on the river at the restaurant is, means climbing 88 steps to reach the high ground where we live. The salvation happens to be that graffiti covers the walls along the way providing a bonafide excuse to stop along the way to admire the artwork. Of course, this works the first and perhaps the second time you use the steps, but after that you are exposed as a fitness dropout.
From then until our returned to the restaurant, we floundered with not much happening. I have never been as current with the news as I have the last few days. Trying to fit in a nap did not happen. There was some drum and bugle corps going on nearby. It kept me awake, but did not entice me to investigate.
Returning to Mayu, we had a nice dinner and Ron watched the game. I enjoy football about as much as having a hole drilled in my head. After reading 200 pages of the novel Pompeii by Robert Harris, that niggling feeling that I had read it before really became reality, but with the only option being watching the game, I kept reading. Almost five hours sitting in the booth, it turned out it is not that comfortable after all.
That sacrifice is over for another year.