Big Euro Adventure
Subj: My Big Hungarian Dates
Well — arranged prior to my euro trip was meetin’ this woman… My friend Tim in Oakland, CA told me he has several workers from Budapest. It eventually gets around one of them has a friend who somehow knows this kid who’s mom is a lawyer in Budapest bla bla bla. I work in the legal field — could be interesting. Tim relays word back she’d be happy to give me some Booty tips. A rendezvous with someone in a far-away land has a certain appeal and gets me off the surface as a stage-one tourist. I have a name and a number. The day I arrive in Bootyland, I give a call. She has the type of name where the first name nearly rhymes with the last name — like Bala Balee or Betty Betlee. She rapid fires both names almost where they sound like one “ello, BettyBetlee”. Don’t parents think of these things when naming kids — I guess not. Shirhan Shirhan comes to mind. Anyway, I intro myself — “Exxxxcellent!!” is the response. At least she’s glad to hear from me.
She wants me to come over to her home later that evening. It’s up in the hills on the Buda side — rather posh from what the hotel desk clerk tells me. She sounds very assertive, very direct yet always polite — sorta what I’d expect from a lawyer. However, I pick up a dominating vibe. Hey — what else am I doing my first night in Bootyville? She tells me exactly where, what time and how to get a cab. Hmmm... a bit controlling or just being helpful? She’s busy in meetings and will be attending a function afterwards with ambassador so ‘n so from somewhere important.
Well, I clean up and follow the instructions as directed — sorta feel like the bag man dropping off the ransom. I flip the address to the cabby and he raises his eyebrows — “Is nice place — going for business or pleasure?” — No matter what I say, my fare is going to jump. He takes off. We cross the Danube and start climbing up in the hills. It’s a beautiful summer evening. The homes are getting bigger and bigger as we wind our way up the hills on these tiny, alley like roads. How do they get along with the street signs here, I’ll never know. These little oval plates scattered about, nothing uniform — u just gotta look and hope u see something. At some point my instructions say look for a huge Hungarian flag. Huge flag? Controlling and nationalistic?? Isn’t that how all those wars started? Anyway, we finally we see the address and there’s the flag — can’t miss it.
She comes out to greet me. An attractive looking woman wearing this white, snug fitting very lacy cocktail dress. She is in charge — no mistake ‘bout that. She shoos off the cabby and in I go. Nice house built in the 30's, well appointed. Very smiley and friendly yet I can’t help but feel like a client of hers. We talk a bit about her meeting with ambassador so ‘n so and what she does in general — putting together big business packages between countries, of which one is Hungary. She tells me the meeting with the ambassador was very good. I’m sure he liked the dress. Starting to get the feeling she needs me to know how important she is. Anyway, she looks as if it was a long day. I tell her several times I didn’t need to come up here. If she’s tired — we could talk on the phone tomorrow. Each time I suggest it — she cuts me off saying she’s fine. She offers me something to drink — opens the fridge and it’s filled with juice. It’s crammed with a variety of fruit juices in these cartoon containers the way we buy milk. I tell her about Los Angeles however the conversation is clearly about her. She was married, lived in Miami for a number of years and just prior to her becoming a naturalized citizen, they got divorced so she returned to Budapest.
Since she’s a lawyer — I’m curious... exactly how does the legal system work when u switch from a communist state to a democratic society? She explains — it’s done in steps however one thing will never change — the rich and powerful will take advantage of the poor and helpless. It has always been like that and it always will be. Doesn’t matter what the government is. OK, fine... moving on.
We chat up a few more things — plans for the house, her yard, her son, his fiancé. The entire time we’ve been conversing over the kitchen table. Her shoes are off and she’s got her feet up on a nearby chair still wearing this lacy, figure-accenting dress. Again she looks tired and again, I suggest I should go. Again, she insists no. She talks a bit more — then abruptly smiles and says she’s calling me a cab because she is tired. A bit surprising — however that’s fine, it’s not a problem and please don’t worry about cutting our meeting short due to your feeling tired. She cuts me off — smiles, looks me straight in the eye and says, “I never do...” That was a good one. I should’ve expected it, huh?
Before escorting me to the cabbie, she explains having made reservations for us at this blues bar for tomorrow nite. What can I say? Blues in Budapest... it does have a ring to it. She insists I will enjoy it and gives me a few pointers on what to wear. Not that it’s a small club, which can get very temp hot. Just what to wear... And, she’ll pick me up in her brand new green Nissan Maxima. It’s a custom green paint job and the only one in Hungary. Instructions for when, where, on what side of he street to be and please be on time. I gets into the cab with my head a bit of a whirl. Back down the hill to the hotel. It’s been a full day and I’m ready to turn in. However, my message light is on — a message?? Oh man — one last directive lawyer lady?
Not at all — it’s from Anna, the woman in Vienna I
Anyway — we meet up at this little Hungarian jazz club just down the street for a drink. Lousy service and cheesy drinks. I gotta learn — when in Buda, order Buda cocktails — not Los Angeles cocktails... The music was upstairs however we didn’t go for it. We talked for a while. Tells me a bit about herself—she’s from Siberia, got married early, has a teenager daughter. It was Sunday and she’ll be doing some things for Audi tomorrow and possibly the next day. Then heading back to Gyore — about two hours away. If the timing works out, she’ll give me a ride back and I can see a town I didn’t expect to visit. Cool!!! I tell her about the lawyer lady and how my trip is turning into quite an adventure. We exchange numbers and off she goes. Finally I hit the sack feeling well worn out. Here I am in Eastern Europe and in one night — two dates. When has that ever happened?? Never. Oh well — lights out...
Well — the next night after dinner with Mr. Panty Hose I’m at the designated corner waiting for my Hungarian date. Zooming from the bridge comes her shinny green Nissan Maxima. She thanks me for being on time. She approves of my shirt then explains the place is small and I will be comfortable with my choice of shirts. Hey — I go with it...
We head off to the Old Man’s Music club. Kind of an odd name... Glad it wasn’t the Old Man’s Raincoat Club or something... The place is in a cellar, very cozy and very smoked filled — totally packed with only one narrow stairway in or out. It was hot and getting hotter. All I could think of was that club in Rhode Island where all those people died. Got to thinking about fire codes and how the US really tries to enforce them and maybe it’s not such a bad idea.
Anyway Miss Hungarian lawyer tosses her name out and we’re ushered to this nice front row table. Apparently u can’t sit without ordering food. So glad I had a big meal an hour earlier. Lawyer lady makes some suggestions and we order up.
Music starts — five Hungarians playing the blues. They were hot. It must have been 100 degrees plus in the club — really hot. Food comes, I eat and lawyer looks at her food, nibbles then insists I finish it. I’m gaining weight and sweating it off all at the same time.
The live music ends at 10 and we bail. Lawyer drops me off gives me an umbrella to borrow. That was nice! She warns me not to meet any strange women and zooms off...
However, while at the club she invites me to Lake Balaton and to some wonderful lake front property along with her son and his fiancée. I’m to be at the same spot at 10am. Huh?? I can’t figure this out. Balaton is a place I read about and wanted to see however, this is my trip. The whole thing feels too biz-like.
Lawyer lady has been nice to show me around however I’m not really enjoying myself, not even taking any pics cause I’m so outta sync. She had mentioned some friction between her son and his moving out — no surprise there! That evening I read my email and get word some moron workers digging up the hill from my LA home created a mini mud slide wiping out a chunk of my garden area. I was pissed. Next morning, I call lawyer lady thanking her for time and the Balaton offer but I prefer to explore on my own. Besides I’m not gonna be good company due to the problem in LA. It doesn’t faze her; she wishes me a good journey and tells me to keep the umbrella as a memento. Hey — I’m back in charge!
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