Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Two more sleeps!




I suspect that will be more like one and a half sleeps because the plane to Budapest leaves at 6am so I will have to get up half way through the second sleep. That’s if I actually get to bed!

Some of my thoughts for the day

I am getting the feeling that it is going to be one of those conferences, an exhausting one, but it will be so exciting. Even anticipating the ride from the airport is enjoyable for me. We have yet to decide whether to make it above ground in the shuttle-bus or half above and half below by public transport. 

If my suitcase was not so heavily stuffed with books and warm clothes I would certainly plump for public transport, but on the other hand I do so love that ride to the city, travelling along Ulloi út then over the River. I do not mind which Bridge we cross it’s the view of the Danube that matters. I love looking towards the Chain Bridge which I sat beside on my first evening in Budapest in the lounge of the then Forum Hotel. 

I remember making that journey from the airport for the very first time in the bus hired for ten naïve students. That was September 1989. It feels just like yesterday and I just cannot wait to land. 

I know I will not have to wait ages at the airport desk, my passport hopefully will not be scrutinised as it was then. When I arrive there nowadays I feel like I am at an international airport and not walking though a factory warehouse as I felt in 1989 at Ferihegy Egy or Kettö (I no longer remember whether it was a Malev or British Airways flight but I have that first ticket somewhere so I could check or even find it for the photo at the top of this blog!)

Today my colleague said she is starting to look forward to Budapest. We all feel the same, even though it has all been arranged for months we have not have time to look forward. We have all been so busy that we have not begun to think further ahead than all the preparations. But now with it all done and dusted and suitcases packed we are counting the sleeps.

First and foremost we all look forward to ‘going home’. Even I, the English Conductor, feels it! Our maintenance men who were at the WCCE 8 in Munich were asking me all about it this morning, getting caught up in the World Congress buzz and understanding how special it is to us all that WCCE 9 is taking place in Budapest. 

The conference gets mentioned intermittently between our comments about what we will do and see. Questions get asked of those who know Budapest best – ‘who knows a nice place for a meal?’ or ‘who knows where there is a good jazz club? Then there are remarks from my colleague that she will introduce me to her sister and I want to know whether I will meet her mum too. I am looking forward very much to meeting fellow students from the 80’s and meeting our ever reliable and by far the best translator of our lectures and at our exams, Rátz Kati.

As I write images of favourite places, favourite walks along the Danube, the lovely buildings and riding on the trams pop into my head. I cannot wait to experience it all even if it will be exhausting.

Very near to the Petö Institute



I also wonder whether the Barbie tram still runs over Margit Híd?

If it does I will certainly get a photograph. Many of the children attending the Pető Institute in the 1980/90s would insist that their parents wait at the train terminus until it arrived so they could ride on it!

Memories…

…it is time to make some new ones.

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