Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The virtues of untidiness

All in all, we had a wonderful time in Denmark. Though the coffee--as the Swedes will tell you right off--is not the best in Europe, I defy anyone to find a decent cup at a meeting in the states, so that hardly seemed a point of argument. The workshop was a success. I think the Danes who attended learned a lot and feel more connected and while there were fewer than they had anticipated (around 50 at any given time), I think our being here will make some difference. I feel like I have made some friends and yesterday we got to have an unwind day that ended with a transcendent piece of strawberry tart.

Today we flew to Budapest. Here is a poster from the airport:
The small print you may not be able to read says 54% of Republicans favor foreign investment, while 45% of Democrats do. So I guess CNN at least is still arguing that the world is catching cold when we sneeze.

We have only been in Budapest a few hours, but I am already won over. Copenhagen was very nice and I expect the people are the sort that make me feel right at home right away. I think I must have been a northern European in my last life (are you reading this Trond?) because the manner and reserve most places in Northern Europe where I have been suits me so well. But for the city itself, beyond the people who made it, I am really loving Budapest already. It reminds me of New York in that you feel like you could discover something new and exciting or mysterious around the next corner. And there are trees. Even in their sad, leafless state I appreciate them. Copenhagen had precious little greenery in the city center.

We had goulash for lunch and it was delicious.

The word for the day is the small red hot pepper, which in Hungarian apparently translates quite ideosyncratically. This is from the magazine on the airline:
Should we prepare something even more Hungarian, we can improve the flavour with the addition of cherry paprika or the small pointed capsicum, which in our way of speaking was named after the most characteristic part of tomcats.
There you have it folks. Cat dick. Love it.

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