I’m not known for my patience. I want everything to happen yesterday, or today. Tomorrow brings me out in hives. It never arrives.
When I bought my flat all those years ago, I said that I wasn’t going to move in until everything was finished. Everything. Had I stuck to that, I still wouldn’t be living there. Friends who had bought before me laughed, knowing that getting it right sometimes never happens.
I was ecstatic when I found my dining table – and I didn’t for a minute stop to worry about it not having accompanying chairs. I would have no problem finding them. Or so I thought. Seven years later I was still looking.
I came close, once. They were the right colour, the right height, the right look but they were too delicate for some of the bods I know and I didn’t want to be eating my soup wondering when the spindly legs would give way. I almost bought two carvers once, but JFW talked me out of it. Too expensive. They’d have done me though, I’d have settled. But I didn’t.
Then on Sunday, while exploring the basement of the fabulous Bálna (the whale), the delights of which were only recently introduced to me by RG (thank you), I discovered a paradise of antique shops. One of them had four Art Deco chairs. Okay, I’d have liked six, but four would do (and actually four works better). They were just what I’d had in mind for all these years. Years of regular tours of the antique markets and BAVs. Years of regularly checking online. Years of hauling chairs down from the kitchen when dinners became dinner parties.
I’m not known for my patience, as I said. But today, I’m glad that I waited. I’m glad that I didn’t settle for an ‘it’ll do’.
But back to the Bálna. If you haven’t been you should go. Take the lift right to the top and then make your way down the stairs. It’s fabulous. The old customs warehouses have been joined/encased in a huge glass eggshell, designed by a Dutch architect Kas Oosterhuis. It’s stunning. There is lots of exhibition space and still some empty retail space (which is a shame) and it opens on Sundays (and last Sunday it had live music). Outside, on the terrace, on the banks of the Danube, there are bars and restaurants and cafés. Be careful though – one of them advertising chicken wings gives three measly wings for 1900 ft (€6) so you’re definitely paying for the view. The burgers at the last bar (a brew pub boasting 80 kinds of beer) are good value and tasty, even if the chairs outside aren’t designed for lounging 🙂 Definitely worth checking out.