Thursday, 30 May 2013

The road home

Adam drove me to the station after breakfast: it was pouring with rain, otherwise we would have gone by the  very efficient tube - easy to access from where he lives, and the whole public transport system is free for us elderlies: no tickets or passes seem to be needed.

From Budapest, there are trains to Munich every two hours: arriving at Keleti, I find that my reservation is in fact for the train two hours later. Problem: but overcome by Adam's tact and the inspector bending the rules. I wouldn't want to have been in Hungary without an interpreter at my side.

Last time I was there, I remember Adam walking me to Margaret Island in order for us to be able to converse without fear of eavesdropping devices: this time, his concern was about gypsies... and more particularly socialists: there is a much misguided European conspiracy against Fidesz, the conservative party currently ruling Hungary, he thinks.

However much standards of living have risen over four decades, I still find Budapest an uncomfortable place to visit, the beauty of the place and the kindness of its people notwithstanding.

After a crowded journey most of the way to Munich, I have four hours to kill here (more rain, an inhibition to sightseeing this time round), mainly in the station restaurant: it's called a tapas bar, which gives you an idea of how it feels. Nobody would of course know that I'm today celebrating (?) my 70th birthday.

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