The Nice Thing About Strangers

Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.

My First Trip to Europe Anxiety. Part II.

Bus and tram trip from the airport through Prague. An old Army barracks being renovated into a mall, a KFC. Lots of graffiti, signs–I see them and the words mean nothing.

Prague to Budapest, road trip, travel

En route from Prague to Budapest

My friend Eric will guide me, starting with a 6 am bus to Budapest. Since I haven’t been in Prague during any stretch of daylight, Budapest will be my first European city. I’m the proud owner of a gigantic bottle of sparking water, which I politely dislike. There are trees here with evergreen tops and white aspen-like trunks, Nebraska-esque roads. A sign with a Big Mac and an arrow. I spot my arm in the bus window’s reflection and this makes me smile. I keep reminding myself where I am on a map.

Once in the city we stop for coffee. The waiter is handsome; “Holding Out for a Hero” by Bonnie Tyler plays on the radio. We slip into a museum. It’s full of pharmacy pots. A man by the castle plays the theme from “The Godfather” on his violin. No tourists are on hand to toss him change.

The Godfather, Budapest, Hungary, violin

The Godfather.

In St. Matthias Church, my jaw falls open.

St. Mattias, Budapest, Hungary, travel

St. Mattias, Budapest.

St. Matthias church, Budapest, Hungary

Remember how I mentioned before that I’m not a photog, just snapping off a few glances to remember? Okay, thanks.

In St. Matthias, Budapest, Hungary, travel
St. Matthias wall, Budapest, Hungary

See and be seen.

Yes, I expect now that I have no choice but to be remarkably changed. Any day now…

–Budapest, Hungary. 2006.

8 comments on “My First Trip to Europe Anxiety. Part II.

  1. journeyman1977
    November 23, 2012

    lovely church. 🙂 I really feel for that violinist. He doesn’t have an audience (yet) but the man plays. That’s passion. Now THAT was a fantastic photo 😉

  2. petchary
    November 23, 2012

    Hungary is a country with amazing spirit. We visited there many years ago, before the fall of the Berlin Wall! I hear it has changed a great deal (I am sure). I found the men very handsome!

  3. Enchanted Seashells
    November 23, 2012

    My family is Hungarian, but I’ve never been. My son has, when he was spending his year abroad at the University of Goettingen, and said it was beautiful and sad, too. Great pix.

  4. ApplePieAndNapalm
    November 24, 2012

    Gorgeous photos and story to go with it, fantastic post today! I’m off to write my usual nonsense 🙂

    • thenicethingaboutstrangers
      November 24, 2012

      Thanks, Apple. 🙂 I love your blog, and you know it! This notebook is so full of randomness. It’s good to know I’m consistently obsessed with the minute details!

  5. marsellaj
    November 26, 2012


  6. chris13jkt
    November 27, 2012

    My jaw will fall open too for sure to see such a beautiful church like St. Matthias Church.

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