Saturday, September 20

Day 23-Budapest

Did you ever have one of those dreams where you need to be running to something or away from someone but you just can get off your knees, like you are crawling through tar. I saw that dreamself in the real world yesterday as I was crossing the bridge over the Danube from Buda to Pest. This man, clubfooted, with a single cane, was virtually crawling his way across this enormous and crowded steel bridge. Who can know what he was thinking, it must have taken the better part of an hour just for that part of his journey. I am remembering often to count my blessings.

There has been very little sign of human suffering here in Budapest, such an architecturally artful place, I rate it as the most liveable capital city I have ever visited. Maybe it is the turning leaves of the beech trees, already beginning to drop in the cool autumn breeze, or the slow and timeless flow of the Danube, or the young couples kissing in its bankside parks. I am feeling at home in this place and moment.

But despite my casual and comfortable wanderings, I did feel a bit pressed to escape a particular vicinity. The long lines of police vehicles I had witness screaming down the avenues earlier that morning were there collected, for what reason I do not know. Secret service men whispering into their collars, lines of riot police scanning about, sirens everywhere and choppers in the sky. Later I learned certain right wing factions had battled these police during the evening. Fortunately my healthy legs had removed me from that scene.

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