Wednesday night we were to meet our friend and tenant Jeff Frawley at the Odean Theater for the Funzine Film Club. I am not even certain what movie we were supposed to see, but we had done this film club as a monthly ritual when he was here on a Fulbright accompanied by his girlfriend, the lovely Allison, and the delightful Dr. Karla Kelsey, an additional Fulbrighter. We arranged to meet Jeff at the movie by 7:30pm for the 8pm show. He had invited a fellow teacher Julius. As it turned out, the film club had been canceled do to the film not arriving or some such. We could not make sense of the explanation, but the replacement film was a Hungarian nature show. We enjoyed our beer from the lobby cafe, talked, and went our different ways.
Thursday was a holiday. It was the Remembrance of the 1848 Revolution Day – The main demands of Hungarians were: freedom of the press, and the establishing of a Hungarian parliament in Pest with its government, freedom of religion, a jury, a national bank, a Hungarian army, and the withdrawal of foreign military presence from the country. You may notice some similarities to the current situation in Hungary.
Ron and I took advantage of the weather to walk around the city. Todd Berliner, a Fulbrighter told us about a chocolate café where the hot chocolate is so thick you need to spoon it out. There are a dozen ingredients that can be added to it too. We hunted it down, found it, but it only opened at 3pm. We walked the city, noting the mobs of people disseminating from various events, carrying flags. To idle away some of the time, we stopped at Csendes, a coffee shop extraordinaire. It looks like a bomb went off inside an old antique/junk store
and everything inside was plastered to the walls. A visual delight.
Finally, we returned to the chocolateria and found it open for business. Ron had dark chocolate with orange and I had the same chocolate with peanuts, a drink I could do some spooning with.
Later that evening, we had been invited to a Beat Poetry gathering sponsored by the seductive W. Hunter Roberts, a minister of a different stripe. She holds these monthly poetry shindigs where costume is required. We begged out of it for two reasons. 1. I hate costume functions. 2. I really dislike poetry. This even could have been palatable, given it focused on the Beats. Though they were before my time by a half a decade, I had read and enjoyed Ginsberg and thought his poetry was a Howl. Instead, we had Todd Berliner, a current Fulbrighter over for the screening of the movie, Game Change. Todd alone, but also when accompanied by his wife Dana, are delightful company.
Friday, I was sick as dog in the morning. We had lunch scheduled with a former student for whom I had been the thesis adviser. He had invited Ron and I for a “thank you” meal and chose Hard Rock Cafe, since he had never been to one. This was perfect since I wanted to include it as a new entry in my Hungary chapter for the Frommer’s Europe book. For a short time, it didn’t seem I would live to eat another meal, let alone lunch which at the time was four hours into my future. I recovered sufficiently to put on a happy face for a happy meal in a happy place, so all went happily.
Speaking of Frommer’s, I shared readers’ complaints with my editor that Hungary was included in the Eastern Europe book; she told me not to be too concerned. They are no longer going to have an Eastern Europe book. Three editions and it is the end of the story, so if you have one, hold on to it.
All this and yes, once again it happened. Wednesday night when I shut down the main desktop computer, Windows installed updates. Thursday when I turned it on, it would not boot yet again. When I finally did get it to boot, it started doing a Chkdsk on drive G. It is still running and still checking. Yikes!