Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Budapest Day 1 - B

It is now Sept 30. I am writing this on my notepad because I do not have Internet access in my hotel. This morning I said that I will be transferred to another room. The room is smaller but it has a loft that i will not use because I am alone. There is also a bathroom and satellite TV with Hungarian shows. There's Hungarian Discovery, Hungarian HBO, Hungarian ANIMAX, Hungarian National Geographic. I appreciate it still because now, there is no more deafening silence.

I have spent the day going around. Since I am in a far away place called Budakeszi (outskirts of Budapest), I took a bus 22 to Mozka Ter. Of course I was clueless. I had no idea where I wanted to go or where I wanted to get off the bus. The final stop was Mozka Ter so I got off there.

I rode the bus without a ticket because there was no place where I could buy tickets from our hotel.

It was good that there was no inspector that time. You can get on and off the bus and not have to show your ticket to the driver, instead you validate the ticket. There is a concept of two-month, 1 week, 1-day ticket as in London and in other European countries. However, an inspector in civilian clothes can inspect randomly. The inspector shows identification after he/she catches you.

They really implement this because just this afternoon at the tram, a family was caught. I do not know what happens after but they were tourists so they should have been spared.

Their tickets here are confusing compared to other countries. For the train for example, you have a maximum of three stops of the same line, otherwise, you have to buy another ticket. There is another kind where you just have one stop. For someone like me who is still unfamiliar with all the stops, and does not know exactly where she wants to go, it's difficult so I got the 1-week ticket that can be used on all transportations. It's cheaper too than if I have to buy a book of ten tickets... I need to make ten trips to the conference venue, plus all my other escapades. Today alone, I rode the publis transpo at least ten times, Metro, tram and bus.

It was not very difficult to get around because I have a map. It's the hardest to read compared to the other countries I have been to but I was able to manage because the layout of public transpo here is I think alright. They only have three lines for the Metro here, which is too bad because I am a big fan of the subway hehe... Now I am forced to take the tram and the buses... Guess they're not so bad either.

I was thinking since last night how I will hear mass here. The first place I chanced upon was a church! I was able to hear mass! It was great! It was in Hungarian but I was still able to participate because I have all the parts memorized. Maybe that is why the mass is so formulaic... because Catholic means universal. At first I was a bit in doubt because I could not find a cross outside but seeing the interior of the church, I was sure already. The most beautiful church I have seen here so far is the St. Stephen Church.

I got ripped of by the funicular which goes up to the Royal Palace, Museum of Military stuff and Museum of Fine Arts! I was already in the area when I went to visit Mattias Templon ( a church)! I was so out of breath this morning because I hiked and climbed the hill to the Templon. Finding out later on, that there is actually a bus that goes up there from Mozka Ter, Bus number 10! I should have taken the funicular going up and I should have just saved the money I paid them to
go down... That was 600 forint too!

The people here, as in Paris, tend to kiss anywhere too. Except that I find Budapest more romantic. Really. It's not squeaky clean here, but it's not exactly super dirty here as well. In fact, in so many ways, this place is cleaner than Paris. It smells better too! I also love the people here, I swear they are always smiling! Even the babies like to play with and smile at me. I would normally initiate the peek-a-boo with kids. This morning, a baby in her stroller, started playing with me! :) She was soh cute!

Even the elders are nice! I still love the Philippines but Hungary is also a beautiful place. Maybe it has something to do with their difficult past as well. It made them humble. I think it also helps them find happiness in simple things. Like a concert in a park.

I wanted to stay late and watch the concert in the park but I could not wait 'til eleven before coming home because I might miss my stop. It is so dark in where I stop so it would be difficult if I get lost and there are no more buses available.

Today, I felt the hands of God shoo me in the right directions. He led me to the church so I can hear mass. He sent someone tonight to tell me where to get off. I was not even asking. Thank you Father because you are looking after me. I feel Your love.

To those praying for my safety, thank you very much!

To my baby, I miss you soh much! I wish you were here with me! You will go crazy taking pictures! Let's go to Budapest someday!

I love you!

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