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.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Spring into 2007

So I finally got home from India and my around-the-world tour and generally took it easy for awhile. I arrived home at 5 PM on Saturday, March 25, unpacked my stuff and at 9 I was at The Stage, singing and partying with the group. No booze that night, as stomach was still sore and tender, but stayed out till 2 AM. Then died for awhile. Vacationed that week while I settled into Andrew's place, my new abode, just behind the Rakoczi Ter market. Did some long-needed laundry and ironing.

Budapest was in the throes of an early spring like we hadn't seen in awhile, so the weather was beautiful - cool and sunny. Got out and walked, saw some movies, took it easy. Picked up one of my old classes and even got one new one. My TOEFL class did not start up again until May, as I told my student his company still had not paid my for his January classes, and I couldn't teach him any more until I was paid. They finally came through in mid-April - only 2 1/2 months late!

BUT - I heard from my friend Francis at the Dublin School of English, and my summer teaching job came through! Yep, I will be teaching English to foreigners in Dublin from June 25 - August 24. Since I only teach in the mornings I can also see lots more of Ireland - Belfast, Cork, Killarney, Dun Laoghaire, Howth, the Giant's Causeway, etc. Should be a good summer. Hope I can do it again. I get to Dublin the night of June 20, and leave September 4. First thing I'll do is check out the language school and class lessons, teaching facilities, meet the school staff and other teachers, etc. Second thing is to hit the Guinness Brewery. They missed me these past eight years, but I have no doubts they will pour me a perfect pint all the same. Looking forward to heaven.

Not much to report for April. Lazy days. My flat owner Andrew moved to London late April, and I was alone for awhile. We had agreed on rent while I was there and a reasonable (to me, anyway) retainer when I was gone, both of which were at the far end of my budget, but I figured I would try it out for awhile and see how things worked out. When I return from Ireland I will re-evaluate my finances and see what the future holds.

During the spring we had some barbecues way out north of town, and I saw some more movies and walked a lot. Got myself back in the groove at The Stage and Caledonia. Everyone liked the pictures I brought back, especially the ones of me holding a tiger's head in my lap. I also handed out some Thai silk scarves to my lady friends and presented a couple of frogs to one of my former students (she collects them).


Mark Wills and Matt Bresler both visited early May, which was drunken fun. Updates on them: Matt is doing well in Kazakhstan, but is ready to get a new posting. He has applied for Montenegro, but would be content with Estonia, Lithuania, etc. His present posting is up next March, but he'd like to get out sooner. Mark will be officially a civilian again June 1st, after 20 years in the US Air Force. He has rented an apartment on Lakeshore Drive in Chicago, overlooking Lake Michigan, with his old friend Mike. After his whirlwind tour of Scandinavia and southern Europe, visiting old friends and making new ones, he'll look for honest work for a change.

Mark entitled his visit here as his "You Had Your Chance" Tour. He met up at some point with most of the young Hungarian women with whom he had hooked up while he lived here. They apparently denied him their further charms, all of them telling him, "You had your chance." A difficult time for Don Juan de Marco, so he had to party even harder during his stay.

In fact, while both Matt and Mark were in town, the party levels kicked up several notches, as we did For Sale Pub, Caledonia (on Matt's first night in town, just him and me and 10 different women coming and going), Iguana, Stage and a couple of others I seem to have forgotten. But it was good to see them both. Hope their next visits won't be so infrequent.

Spent many other fun evenings in the spring. Watched the Championship League Football finals, Liverpool vs. AC Milan, at Caledonia Pub. Too bad Milan won. Spent an interesting evening with a women's rugby team from Aylesford, England, about 25 of them. For some strange reason, they were all dressed as black and white spotted cows. (They had shirts printed up with the logo saying "Dancing Cows Rugby Tour, Budapest, 2007." Go figure. But they were a fun group, as we played "Boat Races" and "I've Never Had Sex." First one was when people got into four even columns, with everyone holding their drink, then the first person chugged her drink, then sat down, at which time the second person chugged her drink, etc. You get the picture. Our team came in last.

Second game was everyone sitting in a circle, and one person stands up and says, "I've never had sex..." and finishes with something improbable, like "I've never had sex when there was someone else in the room." Then, anyone in the group who HAS done whatever the first person hasn't done (or said she hasn't done!) has to stand and take a drink. Got some interesting drinkers. Myself included.

Anyway, in the midst of packing for Ireland, as I leave next week. I wrote my friend Francis about arrival details, and got an email back from his sister (who also works at the language school) that Francis had fallen off his bike and broken his arm and leg! Damn!! What will that do to his pub crawling? Also heard from another language school bud, Will, who volunteered to take Francis' place as tour guide, so all is well in that area. Plus, the person I will be staying with, Joe, another friend of Francis', offered to pick me up at the airport, which was really nice. Plus saving me the taxi fare into town.

So it appears all is right with the world as we know it, at least for the time being. Bog willing and the river don't rise. Hope Aer Lingus is on time, as I can taste that homemade Guinness already. Everyone have a good summer, look for an update when I get back to Budapest in September.

Ta Ta for now....