So then Budapest. I’m sorry that I haven’t written earlier but I’ve been really busy. Since I last wrote we went to Budapest for the long weekend (the Ascension) and then went to a concert festival the next weekend. Then there was a bunch of work in between. So I have a lot to say.

Last week I was standing on the bahnsteigen and I saw this woman whose breasts were so large they hung to her waist. They wrapped around her sides. She was playing a Gameboy and had her elbows resting on the top of her tits. It was really disgusting looking. Funny thing is the rest of her wasn’t obese. She was heavy but not that heavy. She didn’t look like one of those huge Americans who walk bow legged because their thighs chafe. If she was more healthy sized she would still have huge, though quite beautiful breasts.

All these biz trips have been hell on my body. I’ve gained 5 kilos and lost a lot of definition. I know people that workout when they go on biz trips. I usually bring my gym clothes but I am always afraid I will fall asleep on the treadmill and hurt myself. Then when I get home I have jet lag for like a week and have lost yet another week of working out. Things should be better through July but I start the travel thing again late July, early August.

My new personal quest in life is to erradicate dry elbow. A good number of men and even a few women have elbows that are so dry, they look like they are going to crack open. For whatever reason it makes me queasy to see. Roller coasters don’t bother me. Surgeries on The Discovery Channel don’t bother me but dry elbows do. My plan is to walk around with a bottle of Clarins Young Hands lotion and offer it to the afflicted. This may not work so well in Germany. But who cares? Did all those famous people that fought against ill conceived social standards let that stop them? No! I shall persevere.

So my friend Gaby works at a hospital. She was telling me that when she started and took the “safety” class, she was instructed to wash her hands for 10 seconds. This is not an easy thing to do. You start to count too fast because it just feels silly to stand there washing your hands so long. So then a nurse gave her a tip, sing the Happy Birthday song. Apparently, if you were to go to this hospital you would hear the birthday song all over the place. And of course if you visit me, you will now hear me humming the song from the bathroom. I promise I do it quietly though.

Speaking of birthdays. I love my birthday. It is my favorite holiday next to Halloween. I even dress up on my birthday (sort of like Halloween). Last year I was a Princess. I wore my big flowing purple dress I got for my 30th birthday. I also handed out chocolate Kinder Uber(insert German spelling here) eggs to just about everyone. I shook their hand and thanked them for putting up with me for another year, then handed them an egg. They thought it was typically weird Heather, but liked the egg. In general my birthday is just a special day. Everything seems to go right (knock on wood). The weather is beautiful (being in August helps). And my favorite people win on game shows. At least they did when I was a kid and watched game shows. People are nicer to you when they hear it is your birthday. I’m never afraid to tell people it’s my birthday. I’m not particularly big on gifts, but I like the attention.

Did I ever mention to you that I thought for the longest time that Joan Miro was a woman? I was so happy there was at least one famous female artist. Even if I hated the work, at least a woman was getting some of the over-the-top attention that artists get. Then we went to the Joan Miro exhibit in Firenze, the truth was revealed. I felt like an idiot but also felt better about really not liking the work. When Chelsea saw the stuff she was incensed. She kept saying she could draw that. I told her I was sure she could and if she put together enough art we would try and get her an exhibition in Corvallis. It was amazing how serious she was about it. Chelsea is a pretty mellow kid, but this really brought her out. Anyhow, we visited a cafe in Budapest called the Miro Cafe. The tables and chairs were very Miro-esque. I think that is the best application for Miro’s type of work, furniture. The paintings are too simple to take seriously but the furniture looks cool. There is a picture of the cafe on the Budapest page.

A funny thing that happened in Budapest has to do with me asking Patrick if he knew the Hari Krishna song. He said not specifically but that it was really simple. I decided I wanted to look it up on the internet so I could hum it at my desk. (I have no idea why this popped into my head on Budapest) So the funny part is the next day while we were walking to the Internet Cafe, a roaming band of Krishna’s came dancing down the street. Some were in the robes with the shaved heads, some were completely average looking except for the robes and some of them looked like they might have just joined the parade as they were leaving Sunday brunch. It was truly bizarre. One of those careful what you ask for you just might get it things.

I think when you buy a pair of really high heels the sales person should have to give you a lesson in walking in them. You should have to pass a test before you allowed to leave the store in them. Also it should be a crime for shoe people to allow you to leave the store with the wrong size. Sure, you are saying, how could they know? They know. Too often I see girls, usually around 20, that are wobbling along in a otherwise lovely outfit, making themselves look ridiculous in heels they can’t handle. If they stand still they look great but the effect is destroyed once they move, so what is the point. When I am made Fashion Czarina, I will have a Division of Shoe Compliance. Those Platform Tennis shoes are the first to go. I actually saw a “lovely boy” wearing a pair of brand new ones at the gym this week. Arrghh!

I had a glass of Fresh Squeezed OJ in Budapest. It wasn’t nearly as good as the one I had in its sister city Vienna. In Vienna I had the greatest glass of OJ on earth. It was so good that when Patrick asked for a sip I said no. I slurped that last little drop out of the bottom even. It was SO good. The thing Patrick and I couldn’t figure out was where they got the oranges. It was the day after Christmas and f#$king cold out. Where did the oranges come from? Anyhow, the one in Budapest was not even close but it was good. Karstadt has a juice machine now and Patrick drinks half a liter a day. I read in Shape mag that it is less calories and sugar if you eat an orange than drink juice so I try and hold back. It is awfully good though. You would really like it Mom.

So another interesting thing I saw in Budapest (Patrick was in checking his mail) was a walking advertisement for a casino. Casino’s and Strip joints are big in Budapest. So are malls. You can see our mall pictures on the Budapest page. Anyhow, I was sitting outside the Internet Cafe (thank-god for those) and I hear a snare drum coming closer. Suddenly around a corner come 6 woman in baton twirler outfits. Little white skirts, blue t-shirts with the ad for the casino on it and white Nancy Sinatra boots. They had batons and were doing a simply little routine as they marched along. Two other girls were handing out fliers. They were dressed the same. There was the drummer, with drum harness and everything, and another guy walking along side. Body guard maybe? I thought it was creative advertising at least.

OK so the MOST amusing thing that happened in Budapest, happened to Patrick. It happened in the Spa at the Gellert Hotel where we were staying. First I need to tell you about the decency cloth. It is a 12-inch square piece of material on a string worn around the waist to “cover” you. The reason cover is in quotes is that it hardly functions. At this point it is more tradition. Makes one wonder about evolution though. So, he was in one of the steam rooms soaking up the steam when this guy comes in and sits down. We knew the Gellert Hotel Spa was a Gay big pick-up place, but this was amusing anyway. The guy sits down and strikes up a conversation with Patrick. They are talking about what they both do and that Patrick is an American when the guy says out of the blue, “So are you gay?”. Patrick recovers quickly (he’s use to it, I mean his toes are painted red for goodness sake) and says a polite “No, I am here with my wife”. The guy apologizes and they continue the conversation. Then a little while later, again out of the blue, the guy says, “So you don’t like boys then?”. “No”, Patrick says. Ok, the guy goes on with the regular conversation. Yet again, later in the conversation but just as randomly the guy says, “So are you big?”. Patrick responded in a noncommittal, non-response. The conversation went on a little longer before Patrick decided he wanted to move on to the next bath. In these spas you go from a steam or sauna room to a shower then to the next room or bath. He said good-bye to the guy and got up to leave. Patrick entered the shower to rise of and the guy actually followed him. He stood to the side and watched Patrick. We assume he wanted to verify “size” himself. We assume this because after a moment of observing he said “Very nice” and walked off. Amusing huh? I am always telling Patrick he is too nice. He needs to firmly tell men hitting on him that he is enjoying talking to them but if they will not refrain from that type of question he will have to discontinue the conversation entirely. Of course if he did that I wouldn’t have so many amusing stories to tell.

Now the information you have all been waiting for, the mall scene in Budapest. The most western thing about Budapest is definitely the mall scene. Magyars (what you call Hungarians as they believe they are decedents of the Magyar tribes) are really into malls. Mostly for the convenience. They are open longer than most regular stores and you have everything in one place. They even have the movie multiplexes going on. Teens hang out at the food court and everything. Except for the really strange language going on around you and the lack of quality stores, it felt just like a mall in the US. They are even open on Sundays! There was a Levi store, where I finally found the cool Engineered Levi dress in an x-small. It looked smashing so Patrick bought it for me. There was a KooKai which is pretty nice and not cheap, but that was it for nice stores. Everything else was very Wet Seal. Lots of very current fashion, really cheaply made. We had an amusing time watching the Wig Cart. This bottle blonde with way too tight spandex pants was trying to increase her ponytail. Funny thing was the ponytail wigs looked more naturally blonde than her over-processed hair. Oh there was a TGI Friday’s too. We had a nice time taking in the Magyar’s in their mall setting.

We did go to Manier. I got a really cool pair of pants and a black basque. The basque fits me perfectly. The women in the store said at least 10 women had tried it on and I was the only one it came close to fitting. You’ll see. It is perfect. The pants are faux fur in white and pale blue. They fit beautifully and I have a perfect DKNY white rayon t-shirt to go with them. I’m so fashionably happy. Even better yet, Patrick bought me this wonderful black pleats DKNY skirt (On SALE) yesterday. That’s the one above. Fabulous isn’t it? I love the way it rests on my hips. I am a little worried about losing too much more weight (read fat) on my hips and having it slip off. That would be tragic . Guess I would just have to get it taken in. Darn.

Well that is enough don’t you think? I hope you all feel completely caught up on our life status. I should be back in the Friday groove this month too. Look for The Poker Women page in July also.

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