|Buda Castle from Pest|
Tony and I spend a little under half the year in Michigan and a little over half the year in Louisville, but our "medical home" is Louisville. So when we come back from Michigan we spend a month or so making our semi-annual visits to our various doctors. Happily this year, everything turned out fine. So now I can trust the future and say that we are going back to Budapest in February.
We will spend a month at the beautiful Apartment Andrei in Budapest. Then we will take a train to Prague and spend a week there before flying home. A lot of people ask me why we keep going back to Budapest, and that's a question that is complicated and difficult to answer. Partly we like to "return." We like going someplace we have already staked out as tourists and then coming back with a sense of how that city "works." (We've done this, though not on such a large scale as Budapest with Venice and Paris.) We also like to feel as though we "live" in a city, and it's only really possible to spend the month that takes in an affordable city which Budapest (uinlike Paris or Venice) is. We like feeling we know our neighborhood, our favoite restaurants, our music spots. We like living like "rich" people, which Budapest--being so cheap--allows.
Budapest is also seems an almost infinite series of interesting streets. We keep turning the corner and finding something new. And with this comes a feeling of discovery, as though we were exploring some fantastic place. The pleasures of navigating new and unfoldingly more complicated spaces is often identified as one of the reasons people play video and other games. So it's a kind of ludic, as well as aesthetic and intellectual, pleasure.