Because all experiences are valuable.

Thursday, May 14, 2015


I don't know if you all have heard of George Ezra yet. I hadn't till I saw him on Saturday Night Live a few weeks ago. Well actually, I had heard the name, but had never heard him sing. I thought his performance of his song Budapest was so unusual and captivating, even though I could not exactly understand some of the words.

They started playing the song on local Atlanta radio lately and I finally figured out the words I could not get..."I'd leave it all." And then once you understand them, it's like you can't see why you couldn't before- except to say that his English accent is so different than anything I am familiar with. I think this young man is tremendously talented and I will be following his career and music.

I have some incredible memories of Budapest, and of thinking it was really the one place besides Berlin that I could see myself living in Europe- of the places I have been. I find it hard, for all my ability to describe things, to convey the sense of being truly unseen in that city. I explored on my own while Mike took a nap, until later in the evening when we went out together. It had been a long, adventure packed ten days already. As I was wandering, no one looked at me- no one appraised me and no one was "people watching," really. The residents of Pest seemed to simply mind their own business with a focus I never encountered before in Europe. I have to believe this is the result of thousands of years of Hungarian history, being conquered and subject to centuries of oppression- only the latest being the former communist regime.

All I can tell you is that I have never felt so deliciously invisible in my life.

Once I woke Mike up and dragged him out for some nightlife, and way too much strudel and shopping into the wee dark hours, the city took on a more usual bustle and joviality. The food vendors were jolly and the huge Christmas trees came to life with lights and all the shadows and sadness were dispelled.

I think that's it- Pest that day was like a ghost town full of walking ghosts going about their business. I was just passing through like thousands of years of invaders. Just a new kind of invader, with a bunch of Euros and shopping bags.

Either way, I really like George Ezra's song Budapest, which he wrote after missing his train connection and never actually making it to Budapest.
I'm not sure I ever made it to Budapest. Maybe no one does unless they are born into it, for so much is hidden- you can just feel it. People come and people go, and the Hungarians just keep going on with their lives. I certainly tried my best to get off the path of others and make my own.


while you slept on the river
I, alone, roamed the city
a thrift sale of garments
and music
and strudel

unseen and unknown
just another white woman
examining signs to
lose myself deeper
down the flat, narrow streets
of Pest.

your dreams were all torn, all
tossed up and muddled,
and dreams I was gone,
you were lost back in time.

My feet found the cafes, apples, sausage
with coffee, people
laughter, snowflakes-
two people just freezing
a moment for memory-
those days on the Danube,

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