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Published: April 16th 2015
I left America 5 weeks ago, and in 6 weeks from right now, I'll be on a flight over the Atlantic heading home. Since I wrote my paper today, I didn't do much in the way of sightseeing or cultural experiences. But a couple of things happened, and I thought I would share them here on my last night in Hungary.
First off, my paper is ... done! Well, almost. This was the rough draft of an 8-10 page paper, and I have 8 full pages, so I'm satisfied. The more I do at this stage, the less I have to do later, right? I'm going to go back in and put in the citations and such tonight, but what a load off. Smooth sightseeing from here!
So, remember when I wrote yesterday that my night train to Poland tomorrow night (Friday) was supposed to be a direct train, but it turns out that there are 2 stops, one of which is for 1.5 hours at 2AM? Yeah, well, if you don't remember, I did write that. At first, I thought, well, just suck it up. But then I thought, no, I'm on vacation. I'm not ruining the weekend
with this crap. So, when I got up this morning, before I started working on my paper, I did some searching on train websites, and I found I could get to Bratislava, Slovakia, tomorrow, and then on to Leipzig, Germany (where I need to be on Monday), more or less directly. I couldn't get the train ticket to Bratislava online, so I went to the Keleti Rail Station, which is 2 blocks from my hotel. I waited in line at the international trains room, which was very efficient, though it took about 20 minutes before they could see me. All I said was, "I want a ticket to Bratislava for tomorrow," and the lady pulled out a special Budapest-Bratislava book and hand-wrote the information on the ticket. And it only cost $18. In spite of the difficulties of train travel in Eastern Europe (see my blog from 2 days ago), at least you're not paying an arm and a leg for the experience. And this time, the train ride is just over 2 hours, not 8.
After I finished writing my paper, I decided to treat myself to the New York Café, dubbed "The Most Beautiful Café in the
World." I'll go along with that. Their prices certainly match their beauty standards. It was only a 5-10 minute walk from my hotel, and the weather was great. I wore short sleeves for the first time all day today. At the café, I ordered a hot chocolate and an "Opera" cake. The hot chocolate came with 2 small cookies, one chocolate, the other chocolate chip. The whipped cream on top was so thick, I couldn't get to the drink without eating it! Good thing it came with its own spoon! This was probably the richest and thickest hot chocolate I've ever had - Eno, it gives Fitzbillies' hot chocolate a run for its money. The "Opera" cake - a brownie bottom layer, with a layer of brown chocolate creme, white chocolate creme, and coffee creme - was pretty divine. It also came with a scoop of chocolate ice cream. I'm an admitted chocoholic, and I think I had my quota for the day in this one sitting. If I don't have diabetes yet, I may need to check soon. That's only a semi joke, since it runs in my family. Here's hoping I don't have to worry about that yet.
I was there for over an hour, partly relishing the sweet concoctions, partly savoring the atmosphere. Chances are, I'll never order anything from anywhere else so fancy. The drink and the cake cost almost as much as my train ticket to Bratislava!
I've included several pictures from the Café, just for your enjoyment. Some will think it's gorgeous, while others will consider it gauche. Whatever your fancy, I say. But it was a nice treat in an otherwise unremarkable day. On a side note, there's a sign at the door to the Café that says only patrons can take pictures. Again, exclusivity. Tomorrow, I'll enjoy my hotel's awesome breakfast one last time before boarding my choice of train for Bratislava - one leaves every 2 hours, and right now I'm deciding between 9:25AM and 11:25AM. It will all depend on when I wake up, and since I'll not be setting an alarm tonight, I have no idea when that will be...
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