I've returned from my adventures in Budapest and Oradea. I have so much to tell I simply can't do it all at once, so I'm going to tell a new vacation story in each post, and that'll have to hold you over for a while. Here's the first one; if you don't understand it, it means you have too much of a social life and aren't spending enough time watching movies:
So while I was in Oradea, I met JA and Chris' brother (Catalin) and sister (Ina). They're really fabulous: on a scale of one to ten, they're both doing better than JA is. When JA introduced me to Catalin, he said, "hey, Ben, this is your brother, Catalin," and Catalin stuck out his hand. A slow smile crept over my face. "Brothers don't shake hands," I said. "Brothers gotta hug!" I engulfed him in a big bear hug. Catalin, who had probably not seen Tommy Boy, had certainly not seen it in English, and likely was rarely forcefully hugged by short pale strangers in the streets of Oradea, seemed a little startled, but recovered nicely. Whenever we got together after that, we always gave each other a hug goodbye.
Immediately after hugging Cata, JA and I returned to the hotel, where our doorman, Francisco, opened to door for us. "Francisco," JA acknowledged. "Ooh, Francisco, that's fun to say." I said to Francisco, stopping for a minute to see if he'd catch the reference.* Francisco regarded me dully, so I continued on, well pleased with myself, to my hotel room, well satisfied with my work. You don't get chances like these often.
I've slept in comfy hotel beds, eaten steak, chicken, pork, and ribs, watched hours of MTV, seen some of the most fabulous architecture ever made, explored two beautiful cities, shopped to my heart's content (it didn't take long), jumped off of a high dive at a water park. I even drank champagne while boating down the Danube through the lights of Budapest (top that!). This week has been absolutely unbelievable. But, honestly, it's really, really nice to back. I missed it. Bad.
*Elf. Duh. C'mon, pull yourself together and start staying in nights. You'll never learn anything if you aren't willing to apply yourself. Now haul yourself down to Blockbuster and get cracking.