Ready to rejoin the living

A lady who worked at the post office was approached by a customer who said, ‘I can’t write. Would you mind addressing this postcard for me?’ After addressing it for him and writing a short message, the postal clerk asked, ‘Is there anything else I can do for you, sir?’ The man thought for a moment and said, ‘Yes, could you add a P.S. at the end saying, “Please excuse the sloppy handwriting.”’


This landed in my mailbox yesterday giving me something to think about on a day when everything seemed like an effort. Every time I opened my mouth, I was complaining about something. I was beginning to bore myself. It was as if I was two people – the one doing the bitching and the one giving out about the one doing the bitching. A typical Irish Catholic. But truth be told, I’d stayed out way too late the night before and was paying the price.

It seems that every so often I need to prove to myself that I still have what it takes to trip the light fantastic. Offering to give a guided tour of Budapest’s hip night spots on Budapest’s Broadway (or at least the ones that were hip the last time I ventured out so late) in and itself could be construed as a nice gesture. Offering to do so at 2.30 in the morning, when most sane people are either in bed or heading there, that was a little stupid.

And, surprisingly, it wasn’t about the drink. It was more about going, seeing, and experiencing the energy that infuses a Budapest night. The random conversations that strike up. The complete spectrum of fashion and form that displays itself in various stages of uprightedness. The highlight? A conversation on Nagymező with a Hungarian who had lived in Kilkenny and spoke English with a Northern Irish accent.

When we left Piaf at 5am, the place was just filling up. It was as if a tour bus had pulled up  and disgorged all of its beautiful people. Instant had turned on its lights and had closed its taps but those milling around were still deep in conversation and happy to add a couple of strays to their midst. But no matter how enjoyable it all was, there was no taking from the 6am bedtime. Friday was a write-off.

A walk around the Castle District was about as much as I could handle. I caught the tail end of the Jobbik demo at Corvin on my way home. Vona Gabór was in full flight but what few Hungarian-friendly brain cells I have were not in a translating mood. I was craving a burger and popped yet  another new eatery that has opened on Corvin Sétány: Epic burger. Massive burgers with – wait for it – both gluten-free and low-carb buns. Hog heaven. And it offers a Philly Cheese Steak sandwich that will have to be tried. Can highly recommend it, if you’re in the vicinity… even if you’re not feeling a little worse for wear.

I lived to tell the tale. 48 hours later, I’m ready to rejoin the land of the living. And while I can still hack it with the young ones, there’s no getting away from the fact that the recovery period is way, way longer.


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