Travels With Myself

A Personalized Periodic Update, just for my family and friends, of the Ongoing Adventures of Your Favorite World Traveler

Location: Budapest, Hungary

After nearly 30 years in the financial industry in the US (mostly California and New Mexico), I decided it was time for my second life. I sold my house, sold my car, sold all my furniture, took a TEFL course and moved to Budapest to teach Business English to the business people of Hungary. Amazing mid-life change! I taught for about eight years, then pretty much retired. Since then I have traveled extensively, and have been to nearly 75 countries. I have had six books published, mostly about my travels - see my author's page on I have made friends all over the world. Becoming an expat is the best move I ever made and I plan to continue my travels indefinitely. Come join me on this blog and enjoy the places I've been and the people I've met in the past and present and hopefully will meet in the future.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Pre-Trip Jitters

Well, the new year started off with a monster round of dinners, parties, gatherings, etc. Kicking off 2007 was an invitation to see Die Fledermaus at the Erkel Opera house. My friends Krisztian and Kati, who know one of the lesser cast members, got us all in for free - and we even had 5th row seats. Cool.

I had previously told my landlady I would be moving out by January 20, 2007, so I had to begin my move to buddy Andrew's place in the Eighth District. After several trips, I was finally all moved in by Jan 15. For those of you who don't know, the old Eighth District is not the best in Budapest. It still has quite a bit of trash in the streets and a lot of homeless and lower class population, but Andrew's flat is nice, recently remodeled and just around the corner from Rakoczi Ter, the former park hangout of most of Budapest's hookers. The clientele these days is mainly older people and homeless, but a covered market is adjacent to the park.

After the opera it was party, party, party until I dropped. Kicking off the festivities was the monthly meeting of the Viking Club at the Caledonia pub on Jan 4. Dinners and parties then included: dinner at the home of some Hungarian friends; a birthday dinner at Pampas Argentinian steak house; dinner with my doctor and her friend; a sushi party at Hiroko's new flat (she's the concert pianist mentioned in previous Blogs); Friday nights at The Stage (of course); a sojourn to Fat Mo's with some newbies in town; preparation of some long-promised New Mexican red chile for my newest roommate and another friend; drinks with some former students at Caledonia; a special (Robert) Burns night at Caledonia (complete with pipers and haggis); a Bon Voyage party for me at For Sale pub, the Stage, and Irish Cat II; the annual Little (Robert) Burns supper at the Scottish Mission; another Viking club on Feb 1. Whew!! I think I need a vacation.

A couple of interesting points. My doctor's friend, heavily into astrology, informed me that countries also have Zodiac signs, something I never knew. So, if you live in a country with your sign, you should be very happy and well-matched. Turns out that the only two countries in Europe having Sagittarius as their sign are Spain and Hungary! Yep, I've made it home. How about that! Also, on a sadder note, Fat Mo's has been completely remodeled into a nice, new, modern restaurant and music club. It's pretty, but has lost every bit of atmosphere and ambience and character the old venue had. Too bad - even the Hot Jazz Band members don't care for the new decor. Of course, they now have to wear ties when performing, and there's no place for the young followers of the band to gather, so we probably won't be going there as much anymore. What a shame.

I am now down to only two English classes, which meet on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday afternoons, so I can sleep in for a change. Nice. I also finally closed my Hungarian company, since I'll only be teaching for cash from now on. My new residence permit is based on my being a retired person rather than a businessman. Ah, well, all good things... Also, for those who are interested, please check out for my expat interview. There's even a fairly decent recent picture of Your Favorite Blogger.

Ooopps, I almost forgot! How could I possibly forget something of such significance? My fourth book is now available from, and will soon be on the other Internet booksellers, like, Barnes and Noble, etc. It's a cheapy, but fun nonetheless - I hope! Anyway, for those of you who are on my around-the-world path, and who have recently purchased this newest effort from the pen of Yours Truly, I WILL personally inscribe any copies, with my own pen, and (one hopes) in a reasonably sober condition. I just keep churning them out! And Number Five is on the drawing board!!

So, my final week in Budapest was spent getting ready for my trip. I was READY to hit the travel trail again.


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