Meeting Katie

Today held a great treat for me. As many of you regulars know, I have had posted comments from reader Katie. Katie lives locally for the time being, but is planning on making the great escape to greener pastures. Having mentioned the UK in one of her notes to me, I ASS-U-ME-ed that she was from the UK. Her disparaging remarks about about Hungary and Hungarians led to the veracity of the assumption.

We decided to meet and share war stories using Szentendre as a midway point for each of us to be equally inconvenienced by travel to mid-way spot. Katie knew what I looked like, but even a search on Facebook did not produce a person living in Hungary, but rather one Katie Mc… from Ohio and the 4 others that had to be befriended before they would share their country of domicile. Note that those Midwesterners are so friendly they will list their country and State and if you ask kindly will probably offer their address, phone number and have coffee waiting for your arrival.

I dragged Ron along with me to Szentendre and we found a young blond, attractive woman standing in front of the TourInform office just as we had planned. My first thought that went unshared was “How impressive that a young woman would be reading my blog.” Sorry, Jennifer, but you are in the friend category, so you don’t count. I was go to bring my camera, but when we left Budapest, it was pouring rain, so I left it behind.

We quickly decided on the Marzipan restaurant/museum/cafe for a coffee and dessert. Within minutes of placing our orders, the conversation started and never begs for a filler, it flowed like Niagara Falls, never missing a beat. The second surprise after finding Katie to be so young, was that she was not British, but Hungarian. Born and bred here, but having lived in 4 other countries, she has had it and is ready to move on. But I don’t want to share much about her life, because I never asked her permission to share it at all.

What I do want to say is that Ron and I had a delightful time. We pummeled her with questions, but Katie kept saying “I have talked enough; what about you?” Then I would start to tell a story while noticing Katie smiling. When I would hesitate, she jumped in with “I know, I read it in your blog.” It really struck me as funny as in ha! ha! and disconcerting for a moment, in that someone who was a stranger sitting across from me, knew so much about my life. After a moment, the feeling passed and I was fine with it. After all, I write it and put it out there. When this blog first started it was meant to be a way of communicating with former co-workers and friends who repeatedly said, “E-mail and keep me up-to-date on all of your adventures.” Little did they anticipate then that it would be years and years of updates. Little did I realize I would gain a following. I will write a note about that later.

After 2 1/2 pleasurable hours in the coffee shop, Ron and I both needed to stretch. Katie offered to walk with us to the shop I wanted to stop at to buy a ceramic sun for one of the guest bedrooms. I wanted the moon too, but could not bring myself to spend that much money at one time. On the way back, we stopped at my favorite store in the town, Hand Pets. Hand Pets are handmade puppets that utilize all five fingers. They come in adult and child sizes. The designs, the quality and the imagination that goes into these have landed them in all of my tour books. My inner child cries and throws an inner tantrum each time I see them, wanting one and then adding to the collection. My outer child, Ron, has learned to parent those instincts, so I have none of the five finger models. Two guests who found the store because of me, bought a bunch for their grandchildren and bought two of the goats for us. Mmmm…the expression ‘old goat’, getting goat puppets…what is the message here?

Katie then walked us to the HÉV or suburban train. Leaving the coffee shop did not inhibit the conversation in the least. When we finally said good-bye, it was like saying good-bye to someone we had known for ages.

We wish you the best in your new adventures, Katie!!!

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