Budapest- 3 days. the alarm rings at 5AM, the lake is beautiful and shines in the rising sunlight. I go with my small trolley polly. I am an advanced traveller already: check in on line and miles on more in my wallet. I sit next to a rich Pakistan man who lives in Dubai (here i think is already the destiny who is calling me, this is a certain sign of my future plans coming to life) and a swiss-hungarian woman. As it happened regularly on the train, he starts spying in the papers I am reading: my negotiation notes. I feel good, a bit excited for my first business trip totally alone. in the end he obviously wants to talk: he tells me about his daughter who lives in switzerland, he asks me about my life and he invites me to Dubai. Can this be a coincidence? Well just two months later this episode I will go to Dubai for real… He also offers me ajob saying that with my master my first salary in Dubai will be around 5000 USD a month. Should I send him my resume?! I eat fornetti in the subway station, I discovered fornetti for the first time in Croatia, summer 2007. I ask always a mix of them and I love picking them up and discover what’s inside, one by one, sweet and salted. i get lost and I am late for my second meeting: I take a cab.
In these moments I always feel exactly like Carrie in sex and the city! The funny thing is that when I ask for directions in a bar where no one speaks english, i find my self in the street instead of in the square with the same name. Anyway this old man, could be my grandpa, says he wants to drive me there. For one second i start thinking that actually also
when i get on taxi there is no real way i can assume i am gonna be safer, and that the driver won’t take me soemwhere unknown… but anyway I decide to be careful even if my heart always shakes a bit whenever I see a grandpa. I miss mine too much. In fact I want to adopt one sooner or later. I visit 4 hotels in a row and I feel so good for my longest business performance ever! Then it rains, suddenly. I go to a laser show in the evening, sounds cool, but is actually pretty poor, I kind of fal asleep, but enjoy also the things that go wrong.
Part of the journey -I say. Finally at 22.00 I sit in a super nice restaurant outside on a small table. I am alone. and waiter gives me this short look of compassion. The food is gourgeous, there is a spiced indian carrot and corn soup just delicious, with some fried carrots in julienne on top. Tenderlion beef with vegetables as main course. Eastern EU is so cheap. I think about going to the hairdresser and maybe do some esthetic treatments.
Since I have to stay here all alone, at least i try to make the best out of it. This morning on my flight I thought that if I would be a hostess -which was one of my childhood dreams, besides becoming an english teacher- I would give to my first passenger of the day a big responsability in influencing my working mood. So I decide to smile convincly to mine, since this is the first morning flight and i am her first passenger. She smiles back, just a second more than necessary: maybe we understand each other. On the second day I end up in a strange area of the city eating at the restaurant chain Thanks God it’s Friday: fried mac and cheese I could not believe something like that existed.
My alfredo noodles are just too much after my visit to the oldest thermal bath of town. My local agent takes me to the marvellous strudel factory, no need to tell you how gourgeous the strudel is. But what is curious is actually the sour cherry soup that I order as main dish!
The Hungarian parliament is the third biggest parliament in the world, because of course it was meant to serve the whole Austro-Hungarian Empire at the time. It was build super modern with a system of heating and air conditioning. There St. Stephen stands in the form of a statue in the central hall, embracing the krown, as the very first King of Hungary. Trattoria Venezia cuddles me a bit with some nice italian food before flying back home. It is the end of july 2010. And I do a little step forward in direction of me as a woman (business woman).