Turning 29 is quite emotional. Well… not really, but it sets the scene for this blog rather nicely. For starters, it begins a year-long count-down to a much larger number than what is logically, and simply, just another year (except, in this instance, it will be a leap year – thanks Jeremy). Astrologically (so I’ve been told) it marks the first of your life’s potential “Saturn Returns” (more here, if you give a sh*t… which I don’t). But mostly, it means you’re just… getting old.
I have long been at ease with the prospect of reaching the milestone of 30, so this is no big deal. But, as we all get older it’s hard to escape an increasing sense of emotional awareness, yearning for financial security and, at least for myself, an acceptance that (despite an over-whelming urge to tell crap jokes, make a dick of myself and continue blogging in a vain attempt to take over the literary world) you are who you are and that no amount of aggressive behaviour modification, Anthony Robbins seminars or botox treatments, can change your core self. At least that’s what I’m sure a more mature version of myself may say. Without getting too “airy-fairy”… the roller-coaster of emotions that made up my birthday started with… relief.
This relief (which can be further analogised to the roller-coaster theme by the relief that a child would feel at being of sufficient height to be able to ride the roller-coaster) came primarily in the form of an early-ish wake-up that, although not entirely welcome, was thankfully not related to any dreaded shift at Top Shop. This was then rapidly followed by excitement (akin to settling in a roller-coaster seat and strapping yourself in) as, after all, it was my birthday and good things happen on birthdays.
There was then a slight emotional lull in proceedings (like when the roller-coaster is click-clicking it’s way up the initial, steep portion of the track) which involved EayJet-style queueing and the mad people-avalanche that is involved in locating seats, elbowing your way to the immediate vicinity and then menacingly staking your claim in the over-head compartment for your bulging baggage (haha… bulging baggage). The EasyJet experience could quite easily be the subject of an entirely separate blog-post…
But, right from landing in Budapest, it was pure elation, fun and enjoyment and, similar to the awesome parts of a roller-coaster, this part seemed to go all too quickly. A mumbling (and probably potty-mouthed) airport shuttle driver ensured we saw as much of the city’s other nice hotels before finally dropping us off at the rather nice Art’otel that overlooks the Danube and the magnificently lit-up Parliamentary Buildings. We were momentarily, and unreasonably, gutted when we found our room faced away from the river… only to open the curtains to a view of an equally-magnificently lit-up Matthias Church. Awesome.
Unbeknownst to me, Amber had arranged to meet up with our friend, and fellow explorer of Nice, Monaco and London, Jo. A crazy co-incidence in timings meant she was in Budapest at the same time. This inevitably led to many Hungarian beers, mulled wines and occasional swigs of Hungarian Palinka, being consumed over the three nights of our trip. The following few days were amongst the most amazing we’ve had since leaving NZ in April. For photographic evidence, check facebook. A MASSIVE thank you to Amber for organising an amazing weekend and a huge shout-out to Budapest. Get there if you haven’t already.