As I have mentioned, our friend Kim has come to visit after not seeing each other for about 12 years. We are still not certain exactly how many years it has been, but her daughter who is now 26 years old, was only a pre-teen when we last saw her.
Kim is what friendship is all about. When I was living in CA we spent a lot of time together doing things both fun and supportive of each other. When I had a partner dying, Kim was there for me every day without fail. She was my rock and support. I never needed to worry about being alone or even explaining my feelings; she intuitively knew what I was feeling and how to best support me. When it was time to plan the memorial, Kim was there helping me along. We cried together and laughed together.
When somehow our lives diverged, I felt the loss and mourned it, but never understood why it happened. There was never a moment in those twelve years that I did not wish it were different. As I have mentioned, we picked up where we left off without skipping a beat. Magically, that gap in time has dissipated, bringing us back the old times. Neither of us can drink bottles of wine and laugh hysterically like we did in years gone by, but we have found that we never did need that wine to laugh and enjoy each other to the fullest.
Our agenda has been full. Having Kim to take around has been a great help for my researching my next book. Monday, after her arrival, she decided to by-pass a nap to get in sync with the 9-hour time difference. We went to the Kossuth Museum Boat restaurant for dinner, sat on the outside deck overlooking the well-lit Castle Hill across the Danube. The stars peeked through enriching a perfect view.
Tuesday, we ventured to the Museum of Applied Arts to show her an example of Hungarian Secessionist architecture from the outside, but the museum was not open until 2 pm, so we missed the Ottoman style interior. We went instead to the Central Ervin Szabo Library, one of the most beautiful I have seen. From there we ventured down Raday utca stopping to shop and get a quick bite at Pink Cadillac restaurant. Later that evening, we went to Paprika, where we were given dinner on the house.
Szentendre was our Wednesday excursion. After taking the HEV there, we wandered around the town. I reviewed the museums, restaurants, and shops once again, but we had plenty of time to browse new shops and galleries. It saddened me to find my favorite store, a unique puppet shop had closed, but was replaced by the Old Goat Gallery, which is wonderful. I am adding it to the book. Of course, we had to stop for a langos at my favorite stand there, and I brought her to the Blue Folk shop so the woman there could enchant her with her stories. Kim being a shopper, I found some great little stores that I had not discovered before. Normally, I am with those who have an aversion to shopping, so getting off of the beaten path to look for fun things is not on the agenda. Now I will have to return alone to make some purchases.
We took the ferry back to Budapest, something Ron and I have never done before. It was lovely and peaceful. I imagine in the autumn, it would be spectacular. For dinner, we went to Wasabi, the Running Wok and Sushi restaurant. All food is delivered on two conveyor belts with hot items on top and cold on the bottom. They removed the doors on the top, so the food was only tepid, but still it was fun and a new experience for Kim.