Buda or Pest?

July 18, 2006|Posted in: Uncategorized

From Mia:

How about.. BUDAPEST!

how about, i am IN LOVE with this city. i couldn’t be more pleased that i decided to come. it is just absolutely awesome. it was a long, crowded train ride from Prague (if you don’t reserve, you can end up standing the ENTIRE 7 hours. i got lucky and got a seat, but ack! i was scared (scarred?) for life. i am definitely doing the reservation thing now, lest i am a stander on the next round.

But funnily enough, the guy sitting across from me was American.. then Californian.. then San Franciscan.. then actually, Santa Rosa… Sebastopol! how awesome is that?! he teaches at Rancho Cotate! (i couldn’t remember, is that where shannon goes? i asked and said she was going to be a senior and he didn’t know her but maybe next year.)

Anywho, it made the train ride go much faster and it was nice to have someone to talk to. these 2 older German ladies next to us kept trying to talk to us, pulling out pictures of their kids in budapest. they were soo cute, with their mixed german and very little english. but it was fun trying to figure them out. Kathy and her family were waiting for me at the station and that was very reassuring. they have been wonderful, sorting me out, getting me maps and making me my own little space in their lovely home. (Mommy’s note: Kathy was a little girl next door to me when I was a little girl in Terra Linda — way back when…circa 1970)

I went all over today. the city is massive and just really blew my mind. each place i go to is better and better. I think i experienced my favorite church of all time today… St. Stephen’s Basilica just absolutely blew me away. it’s one of those places that makes me wish i was the most spiritual person on earth and came there to pray regularly. even though it stirred something in me, i wasn’t quite comfortable enough to kneel or anything. but i’ll admit a bit of envy towards those who could.

Huge sections of the metro are down for the summer, being worked on so i have had to sort out trams and busses. it drives me a bit mad .. i’m much more comfortable on the metros but it’s been a good challenge. and the best part is, i don’t have anyone’s schedule but my own so if i end up in the wrong side of town then i just hop back on the other way.

Wow, Mama. there is so much i could tell you. loads and loads but right now i am absolutely exhausted. (i am hanging out in Zsolt’s office, waiting for Kathy to pick me up and take me home.) i think i’ll call it a day here. i wish i could call you! i miss you so so much and the time is flying, so i will be with you home again soon.

lots and lots of Budapest love,

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Julia Park Tracey is an award-winning journalist, author, and blogger. She is the author of six books: three novels, one poetry collection, and two women's history. She was the Poet Laureate of Alameda, California, in 2014-17. She's also the conservatrix of The Doris Diaries, the diaries of her great-aunt Doris Bailey Murphy. She has a BA in journalism from San Francisco State University, and MA in Early 20th C. British Literature from Cal State Hayward. Julia's articles have appeared on Salon, Thrillist, Paste, Scary Mommy, Narratively, Yahoo News, Your Tango, and Sweatpants & Coffee. Her articles have also run in Redbook, Woman's Day, Country Living, House Beautiful, Town & Country, the San Francisco Chronicle, Oakland Magazine, Quill, and MadeLocal. She was the founding editor of weekly Alameda Sun and literary zine Red Hills Review. Her poetry has been in The East Bay Literary review, Postcard Poems, Americus Review, Cicada, Tiferet Review, and many others. Julia has been recognized several times by the San Francisco, East Bay and Peninsula Press Clubs as well as the California Newspaper Association for her blogging since 2003.

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