Saturday, October 31, 2009

Some time later. . . some photos from Z | J's show at Trafo in Budapest.
"A Crack in Everything" - Photos by Kővágó Nagy.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

From that Friday, the next five days were crammed so full that, looking back on it two weeks later, I can hardly fathom how to adequately capture it all.

Saturday we slept in a bit and planned on meandering to the rehearsal studio, stopping at another big market and the gay pride march along the way. The first sign of trouble was that our train didn’t stop at our stop. Meanwhile, announcements were being made in Hungarian cluing Hungarians in as to what was going on. A fellow passenger partially translated the announcement explaining that the train wasn’t stopping because of the gay demonstration. In my unknowing brain, I rationalized that this meant the gathering was so crowded aboveground that public transportation was being re-routed.

As we came out of the station in Hero Square, police clad in clothing to face an exploding bomb created a human barrier in front of the chain link fence barrier that went as far as the eye could see.

A crowd was forming in this strange reservoir; it’s source the spring of human traffic coming out of the subway and bumping up against the cage surrounding us. Zoe was really unnerved and wanting to get out. For a lot of reasons, I didn't want to be be anywhere but where we were. ( At this point, I think I had embraced soaking in everything, saying yes to whatever was happening). There was no techno music and oily, naked bodies writhing on corporate sponsored floats, I mean of course there was one big truck that was pumping out bad dance music, but other than the scene was very mellow--just people flagging their flags, tying on arm bands, and unfolding a huge rainbow flag. It was clear, that this was a march and not a parade.

The march had not officially started. What we gathered in the next hour of trying to figure out was going on was that, because in years past there had been hate attacks on people in and around the march by right-wingers (a movement that is gaining momentum in Hungary), they had created a blockade two blocks deep around Andrassy and closed down on all train stops. No one could be a spectator of this pride march. You were either in it or you were blocks away from it. From 1 to 6pm the police would be escorting the march and at its end, ostensibly escort people safely to whatever public transportation they needed to take. Technically we could leave, but we were advised not to because the counter demonstration was happening just a few blocks away and we might not be safe. We could actually hear voices in the air coming from some far off PA.

“We have a show in 3 days,” Zoe reiterated, debating our next move. We had to make it to the studio. Both of us were perplexed by how real the threat was of violence was. There was a sense that anything could happen, but still that couldn’t override the psyche of untouchableness that two rather privileged white American women carry with them as they move through the world. This, coupled with the sense that the threat was perhaps a bit overblown (e.g. walking through budapest at night alone is nothing like walking through a major american city) made us decide to exit the March before we were locked in for the next 4 hours.

It was just a brief moment, seemingly inconsequential, but things slowed down for me as we stepped through the tiny opening in the fence and the riot cops strode bow-leggedly passed us in two unending lines. On the other side of the fence we both looked at each other through tears, feeling like ultimate traitors or failures or something, I'm not sure but I was completely deflated.

We didn’t even make it to Florian that day. We couldn’t find a train station anywhere where that was open and we were on the other side of town/river from where we needed to be. Even walking home would have been a serious hike. We wandered around aimlessly, in the life-as-usual vibe of the city park.

A few other people looked stranded, but aside from that it was as if the demonstration was part of an alternate universe.

After another hour had passed and the trains still weren’t open, we paid 3000 Forint to go to the Szechenyi Baths. I paid another 1000 Forint to rent an oversized bathing suit that was coming apart at the seams. Zoe and I lost each other in the labrynth of indoor/outdoor pools and I retreated to a cavernous sauna—the hottest one I have ever been in, where I was surrounded by middle aged men. Trying to continually strategically hold my towel in place to cover up the disintegrating swimsuit proved difficult and at some point I gave up.

It's really hard to explain what the scene was like. In every room, there were more pools, steam rooms, cold plunges, and saunas to choose from, not to mention two enormous outdoor thermal baths with fountains spewing hot water in an giant semi-circular fan. Thinking about it now as I sit in a café watching northwesterners coming and going in their muted synthetic fiber fashions and one Subaru after another drives by the early 20th century homes on capitol hill, I can’t really reconcile the two places. Can you imagine it? Tan, half-naked Hungarians smoking and drinking in the golden light of sunset and partially submerged in hot water.

On our way home, we stopped by the Godor Klub, an indoor/outdoor club with a stage built into the ground like a mini-ampitheater, and watched the beginning of a dance performance. (So much more dance happening everywhere in Budapest!). The dancers were gorgeous, as is to be expected with the highly trained Europeans, but the content fell flat. Zoe and I left with our heavy bags of groceries and finally made it home to eat bread, cheese, salad, stir fry, tuna, the usual whatever-we-could-get-our-hands-on and we-waited-too-long-to-eat kind of meal.

(Sunday was a long day of rehearsing and then teaching a master class as part of a weekend long dance marathon (see, so much dance).

I almost cried watching the sunset that night outside of Trafo before the class started. It is such a quiet corner, with just the sound of the little fountain and soft speaking Hungarians walking their dogs. A bloated red moon made its way up into the sky behind the buildings. I didn’t get to see it, but I heard it was incredible.

Monday morning we met Judit at Trafo and took a bus to the outskirts of town where the day’s rehearsal space was. We walked through a strange complex of old auto shops and abandoned sewing factories until we arrived at the space. We spent four low energy hours rehearsing in a tiny white box with red concentric circles taped on the ground. Then we rode the overcrowded bus back into town stuffed between hoards of teenagers clutching their trapper keepers (yes, trapper keepers!) and purposefully bumping into us. I felt sick and like I wanted to sleep for days. It was the first time I had the possibility of getting souvenirs or stopping by the post office during its open hours to mail postcards, but I bee-lined for home and got in the bath.

Tech was supposed to start that night at 9pm but I ended up having the night off, getting dinner and going out to an incredible old bar called Szimpla. From the entrance, it seemed like everything you could possibly dream up and romanticize about a eastern European punk bar in an old squatted apartment building courtyard, with its nondescript entrance and bike parking room. In reality, you could see how the local charm had gone the way of communist hard rock café. It was full of Australians, Canadians, and Americans getting really drunk on overpriced shots. I did my part. I learned how to order a vicehazmester (2 parts wine, 3 parts soda), the spritzer of the vice master or something.

The next day was tech, dress, and our opening night. I should have gone home at least an hour earlier than I did, but I was getting used to this overly-active sleep-deprived schedule and wanting to savor every possible moment left.

For the next two days, sleep continued to decrease and the moments were even more pregnant, to use a phrase I kind of hate. All of it was too precious, the sort of stuff that I knew I would cling to as the miles between me and Budapest increased. It's not fair really to think about it all as some sort of plausible life--to have a beautiful, spacious apartment on Krudy Utca, a full-time job dancing and access to multiple rehearsal studios, built-in friends and tour guides to take care of you. (Quite perfectly, Leonard Cohen comes on in the café I write this in, the mascot of this trip. He had a concert while we were there that I'm still kicking myself for not going to. Then, of course, there is the shared title of “A Crack in Everything”).

I can't remember now exactly what was happening before we ran the show. It is always the same--I'm sort of roving around in circles backstage-- bobby pins, strectching, hairspray, trying to find white thong, remembering steps, trying to think about what the piece means to me, tyring to act like it's no big deal and a big deal at the same time, and then trying to imagine sitting in the audience, waiting for the lights and music and performers, wanting to be transported somewhere.

And so the show happened. Zoe, Juniper and I filed out and watched the next piece after intermission with the poker faced crowd. Then there was a q & a. And then we left Trafo and went a bar and drank vicehazmeesters.

We sat around a table at a bar and Judit wrote out a hungarian language cheat sheet (which of course will be wrong since my keyboard doesn't have all the appropriate umlauts and whatnot). I also can't really read the handwriting. . .

ninscenek nemi betegsegeim - i don't have any venereal diseases

buss (or kuss?) - shut up

fasz kivan - (she didn't write the translattion to this one because we had already properly learned it. . . "the dick is out" which is like "enough already!")

Koszonom - Thank you

szeretem (?) a limonadet - I like lemonade

Bocsanate (bocs) - Sorry/pardon

Keren - please

rizi bizi - rice with peas (sounds like really busy)

csirke - chicken

kis froccs - small spritzer (one wine, one soda)

nagy froccs - big spritzer (two wines, one soda)

hazmester - 3 wines, 2 soda

vicehazmester - 2 wines, 3 sodas

sportsfroccs - 1 wine, 4 sodas

beszelek magyarul - I speak hungarian

csokolade - chocolate

dugnam - I'd hit it

ovszer/gummi - condom

bugyi - panties know, just the basics.

Wednesday after eating brunch at an old socialist cafe and accidentally ordering an omlet with hot dog chunks in it, I walked along the danube on the buda side of the city and felt my body was somebody else's. My feet retraced all the steps to and from train stations, on escalators that move too fast, past chairs spaced too far from each other for people to sit and talk to one another, past the gypsy store in Kalvin Ter and past Zoe and Juniper at Lumen Cafe, into our apartment and into the bath. As it turns out, bathing was my favorite thing to do in Budapest.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Quick, quick, before the memories leak out, replaced by routine - 457 bicycle wheel rotations between my house and work, 36 stairs to climb, 4 desks squared off in a small room and endless amounts of keystrokes for five to six hours. If I'm lucky--90 minutes of yoga, 90 minutes of dance and several endearing down-the-hallway glimpses of hallie and allison practicing their salsa routines before they teach class.

Viktor, my hungarian friend, this is precisely why at least some of life must be documented.

The first person I talked to upon returning to Seattle was the barista that works at the coffee shop 25 steps from my house. This person lived in Budapest when he was a kid. It made wonder what web hungary will weave for me here in the PNW.

hold it! the past, the past, that is the focus of this entry.

At Florian, the studio that we rehearsed at for the second half of the residency we met Kati, a beautiful woman who was in charge of organizing several festivals including Tanc Kommando (Dance Commando) a weekend of outdoor dance actions all over the city. On Friday 9/4, we took a short break to watch a group of local dancers perform in front of a schoool in the obuda square. Frist act – middles school girls dressed in sort of naughty sailor outfits doing rhythmic gymnastic tricks to Missy Elliot’s ‘Everybody Lose Control.” It was confusingly provocative.

Second act – about 8 college-aged dancers in sweats strutted out and started doing what we assumed was a traditional Hungarian folk inspired dance that kind of reminded me of Riverdance. The tension between the outpouring high school students and the dancers exposing their vulnerable contemporary selves was building and I left to go to my favorite place to get espresso in a plastic cup that I could take back to the studio.

We ran the rough draft of “A Crack in Everything” for the first time later that day for Judit and György, the founder of Trafo. Nervous sweat poured through every inch of fabric on my body underneath Florian's weird florescent lights. At one point in the piece when our solos overlap, I make my way off stage in concrete slow motion for several minutes and I felt was if I was a spunge wringing myself to dry from the inside out. Though I'm sure there are things that improved in the dress rehearsal and shows, to date that run feels like it was the best to me. Judit said she would send feedback and Gyorgy said almost nothing about the piece. I may be totally off base, but culturally it seems like there is no bullshitting in Hungary, no compliment comes undeserved, or congratulations on how hard you've worked or how much you have put yourself out on a limb.

Friday, September 04, 2009

this blog is in need of more pictures. . .

today my I got a split on my left foot and had my first day of bleeding feet. I'm surprised I made it this long. I have a picture, but I don't think I'll put it up.

we talked for hours about economics with the director of trafo at the end of our 7 hour rehearsal and jumped over puddles and dodged lightning to get home in the thunderstorm.

no palinka on a beautiful terrace with charming hungarians tonight.

three days until show time.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

The night after the circling bat, we slept in and took our first whole day off from dancing/rehearsing and working on the piece. Zoe and I made our way to the castle after stopping at the great market hall--a tourist trap to be sure, but still the most incredible market I have been to besides the markets outside of xela in guate. The two are not really synonymous, though. In europe practicality is constantly balanced with pomp and presentation. Tolerance for disorder or chaos of any sort seems much lower.

Fueled by poppy seed cherry strudel, we crossed the liberty bridge and eventually caught a tram to the foot of the castle.

The weather had turned on us, unfortunately. After a steady stream of gorgeous warm days, a cold front blew in and wind and rain thwarted some of the thrill of wandering around the castle’s majestic grounds. The views of the city were stunning and the scale of the built environment around us was un-relatable outside of being a five year old at Disneyland. This is the depressing reality of being an American in these sort of settings—the perpetual feeling that the whole thing is staged, that it is part of a set built for a movie or TV show, the depth of the history has no parallel that I can relate to based on what I’ve been taught in US history classes and what is built around me in the northwest. We are babies.

Desperate to get out of the storm, Zoe and decided to take a tour of the Castle’s labrynths and followed a long narrow staircase off of a side street into belly of Buda hill. It’s hard to explain the scene underground and again the lack of experience living in an old city/country betrayed my sense of what was real and what was not. The rooms were certainly real, but were the artifacts inside? Lowlit lanterns and a haunted house soundtrack came from speakers hung behind iron gates and hidden in old wells. In the Labyrinth of Other Worlds, there were “recreations” of human artifacts found 42 million years ago that were deemed Home Consumes and fake impressions of coke bottles and computers were embossed in the stone. We had had enough of the labyrinths but decided to first walk through the Labyrinth of Courage, an odd shaped room with no light and a slender cord to hold on it as you walked around the edges of the room. There were several seconds in total blackness where “the only thing to fear was whatever your mind made up” that was then interrupted by loud, cell phone light and flashlight toting germans that were given Texans a run for their money at being the most obnoxious tourists around.

When we came above ground the cold below the surface had penetrated to my bones and I had to retreat back to our house after a failed stop at the baths to warm up (they were closing early due to bad weather).

The next day (Sunday) it was back to the world of “A Crack in Everything,” and zoe and I worked for the entire day on the a duet in which we hold each other up by our hair. The agitation of the physical movment led us into several moments of seemingly unexplicable tension that resolved by the time we were at Judit’s eating homemade Hungarian pancakes. I asked her who taught her the skill of being able to flip a pancake and catch it on the skillet with one hand and she explained that it was something that everyone knows how to do, it’s like walking or tying your shoes. Her friend came over with wine and gin infused with bison grass (?) which we drank out of ceramic shot glasses.

The weather was nice again and we walked back up to the castle to take it in at night, wandering around up there for a couple hours before finally coming back home.

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday we started to run versions of the piece and record them and the roller coaster of emotion continued as we tried to make a million decisions about order, movement, lighting, video, music and costumes. Morgan sent us his compositions Tuesday night so that on Wednesday we had what felt like a semblance of a piece. Twenty-five minutes. Not bad, for two weeks of work. We ended this day by venturing off to find an osteopath that worked out of a community center on the outskirts of Buda and ran into our first real issue with the language barrier.

“Have you ever had a emury?” our doctor who spoke “perfect” English asked me after the two hour wait in which all Hungarians were asked in before us.


“an emury, a picture”

“oh an MRI, no, no I haven’t had one” I explained.

“why not?” he asked “Is this your first?”

“my first. . . ?”

“is this your first or was it later?”

“um, yes. . . my first” I said just to keep the conversation moving as he picked up my left knee and tried to use the head of my femur to put my pelvis back into place. My left leg had been two centimeters longer than my right leg when I walked into the office and when I walked out, it was the same length. He told me not to dance, to swim and to ice my back. I nodded in agreement, paid him about $25 and let zoe have her turn. Her left leg was also 2 cm longer. Hmmmm. . .

From here we tried to find a bus that would get us back to some place familiar and finally gave into the idea of getting a cab. Because we were in the middle of nowhere and no English, this entailed getting the doctor’s administrator to call her grandson who spoke English to translate that we needed a cab and call the cab for us. It was incredibly sweet of her to go to great these lengths to help us. This is part of the continual feelings of helplessness, gratitude, frustration and alienation of being not from somewhere. It’s a good perspective to get.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The bat in my room circled tirelessly for what seemed like hours but was really about 20-30 minutes. It was beautiful and terrifying. It was about 3:30 am. Juniper sat on the floor by the lamp, seeing if turning the light on or off would make a difference. I huddled behind in the doorway with a scarf around my head, while zoe, cloaked in a sheet did bat research on the internet.

"They are harmless," she quips from the kitchen. "They only eat insects."

Following internet instructions, we opened all the windows as wide as possible and closed the door to allow the bat some privacy to find it's way back out into the night.

I tried to not think of it snuggling up in my curtains and then deciding to fly around my head in the middle of the night, balancing compassion for the trapped animal with an uncontrollable fear brought up by wildlife penetrating my seeminly safe manufactured environment. The idea of sitting on the white leather couch, staring out the beautiful large windows into the courtyard with the crumbling empty building across the courtyard suddenly equated to sitting naked in a dark cave.

The bat left a few minutes later and I laid my tired head of of hair smelling of stale smoke on my pillow to sleep with the windows closed.

Yesterday was a real budapest day. This meant that outside of our rehearsing at Florian and hanging out at our house we went out and did something with other people. After a late night dinner and espresso, we loaded onto the tram and crossed over to Buda for a glimpse of the local nightlife on the river. Judit met us at A38 where she had a friend DJing at this party that again had an amazing english description:

"The best music DJs félóraikban put one after the other: warm-up hip-hop discs stick, Johnny Drama, and DJ Holwan Cadik ládáiból, get a lesson in funk DJ Shuriken university professor, and then after végigriszáltunk every corner of the disco music, dawn of the Colombian Cumbia, Dermot farmers szeletelhetünk favorites house half hour, during surprise: screened of spent bulbs, accompanied by a saxophone Vázsonyi John MC mikrofonozik JZA The Magnificent, and his only dance well esik.A entering Euro 1000, of which HUF 500 megiható, arriving there in the real mustache and the entrance is free."

Surprisingly, there were not many mustaches. There was, howerver, a really terrible band that played at the end fusing rock with reggaeton and bad white rappers.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

This always happens. High hopes of blogging overruled by how audacious it seems to spend any time on a computer or getting lost in the world wide web instead of narrow old streets, tiny cafes and ornate buildings. But alas, it's day 8 of the z |j Trafo residency and some things should be documented.

Here is the basic architecture of the Crack in Everything Set. Because we are spending so much time working everyday, things progress pretty fast in the creative process and by day four Juniper was filming the new phrases we've been working on with Zoe and I in the buck (no pictures here suckahs!). Projected back on to the white marley, we look like little frogs scittering about and zoe now refers to that section as the tadpole section. Aside from frogger, we've tried a dozen iterations of a few different ideas filmed in various stages of being costumed. Phrases that accumulate, phrases from Old Girl, and ideas that have no phrasing yet. The days have been long and exhausting, even though we are surrounded by nothing but inspiration and take breaks to walk over ancient bridges and soak in thermal baths.

The day after Independence Day (August 20), we went to the Gellert Baths and it was quite literally like bathing in a intricately tiled cathedral. The swimming pool looks like something out of greek mythology, a ceilingless hall with classical columns and huge potted palms and lots of cherub little cupids running around. There was definitely something in the water that took the pain away beside the heat.

Zoe and I both have had two massages from a masseuse that works out of the basement of a hair salon. Bence puts the radio on the smooth jazz station while he works and about the time I was trying to figure out the first language of the woman doing a smooth jazz cover of "holiday," he was digging into my trapezeus muscle, like no one ever has. This little upper back shell is something that my mom and I both have and I wonder what it would be like to lose it. Would I be more like an owl and less like a turtle/teddybear?

Anyway, after the massage, I walked down the street to a cafe zoe recommended and when there were no seats I asked the loud british guy if I could sit at his table. I realized quickly that writing with english being spoken around me was going to be much harder than the lilting hungarian background noise that I've become accustomed to when I'm outside of Trafo.

It then became apparent that this guy was an actor, an actor on TV and I couldn't help but be intrigued and want to figure out who he was. I tried very hard to block it out and keep writing, but his personality was taking up more space than existed in the tiny cafe and I succombed to the game of pretending to be doing something else while trying to figure out who he was. Nothing he was talking about rung a bell until he mentioned being the John Adams HBO series (yes, I'm enough of a history geek to have voluntarily rented this) and I could finally see his face framed by a wig. Rufus Sewell, is his name. And he's very photogenic. In person, his face is broad and blue eyes look a little crazy. Hunger and my internal moral compass that tells me to not pay more attention to famous people than to anyone else, made me stand up and walk out of the cafe to find some food and a few extra shirts to sweat through everyday.

Back at the Fiktiv Pub on Krudy, the cafe right outside our apartment building that sometimes serves salmon (!!), I just had a pork burger and am now trying to block out what appears to be an entire karaoke sing along to the Mama Mia soundtrack at the pizza place next store. More english.

Two nights ago after blistering heat for days, thunderheads gathered and let loose on budapest, like a high pressure shower on the city washing away the holiday's garbage, the smell of pee in the subway gutters but tonight its back to outdoor living, with no memory of their being anything that could keep people from dining on the street.

After 8 days of dance/video brainstorming, we'll move out of the theater and to a rehearsal studio across town, adding a daily subway commute to our already seemingly settled experience of having jobs and a place to live. I definitely feel like I instantaneously set up a different life here.

I love the individuality in style in Budapest. I love the sound of hungarians speaking hungarian and hungarians speaking english (hearing my hungarian friend Zolee's accent come back to haunt me every time a man says hello). I love buying fresh bread and cheese to eat everyday and zooming past all the buildings that are painted orange on my way to rehearsal (is it some sort of communist throwback. I wonder). That said, I think I have to peace out from the sound of "papa don't preach" being sung from some very cute hungarian ladies underneath me.

Oh! On the holiday, zoe, juniper, and I were invited by Judit to go to a party at a club with this description:

Tarantino film latest demonstration of the strange raffle prize Ashram became a national holiday (mustbeat) electronics, hiphop, soundtrack, bootiebass, electrobreaks, audio. The window view of the street fighting, but during the night, and convince them of the importance of peace, we will dance together in the early hours of Stephen King, DJ Amotz (ISR) by remixére.

sounds fun, I think.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Budapest Day 4.
Z | J got here late Saturday night and Sunday morning we were up and off to Trafo Arts Center by 10 am to meet everyone, have production meetings and talk about scheduling. What ensued for the next 8 hours was like a crash course in communication and work styles. From what I could tell people would stand around for while all talking at the same time, switching subjects, saying we were not going to talk about something and then talk about it anyway, and then at some point something would happen and the meeting would be over.

Zoe and Juniper's main contact at Trafo is Judit. Judit has nerves of steel and is taking care of everyone and everything. We spent a couple hours walking around with her as she tried to help us find a supermarket open on Sunday before retuning to Trafo for more "meetings."

At 6pm we were able to get on the stage to dance and zoe and I spent the next four hours trying to break through the travel-induced lethargy to access the dancing body. After my strung out four days, that fact that i was a dancer seemed like ancient history. At 9:30pm we decided to try shaking for 25 minutes. At 10:00 we tried to shake just in our rib cage, trying to figure out how to initiate shaking from our solar plexis and this made me gag, and zoe threw up. We called it a day and went home to eat more bread and cheese, inadvertantly locking ourselves in the apartment (pinko locks!)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

First thing--the site of ancient bikes crowding one another on railings always makes me feel a little dizzy with joy. Holland charms me everytime.

Second thing--there is no pandora in Europe. there are licensing problems or something.

Pleased to have pirated an internet connection in the apt in Budapest so that I might stream some music, it turns out I can't. I do have my iPod but putting in my ear buds seems like a extreme way to shut out the experience of being somewhere new. So for now it's the clacking on the keyboard echoing through the empty rooms, the faint conversations in hungarian at the cafe below my window, and someone's very loud phone with a shrill that pieces the silence of the dark courtyard. There is something, I don't know what yet, that is very eastern european, post-communist about it.

But its funny how comforting the internet connection itself is though. Zoe and Juniper aren't here yet and in a country where I have yet to learn hello, goodbye, please (and I just learned thank you. . ."kozonam"), once I was able to get online, I felt more at ease, like I had a bunch of friends around or within grasp.

I woke up at about 2pm today. I slept more than 12 hours after not sleeping at all for two days and barely sleeping in the last four days besides a 30 minute nap in vondel park in Amsterdam (ps there is a homeless population in tolerant/benevolent Amsterdam, we were all sleeping on the bank of the duck pond together) on my day layover there.

When I made it to Dam Square on my 4 hour meander through town, things started to get really strange in my head. I felt my grasp on reality slipping and started to think about how weird it is that everyone sleeps at night for certain number of prescribed hours and eats at certain intervals. Was it really necessary? What if we didn't need to? What if it was some sort of conspiracy to make us spend half of our precious lives with our eyes closed or distracted by gestation. I mean, here I was in Amsterdam, functioning properly, able to make my legs move one in front of the other and discern street signs and bad deals on shoes, and I was only a little bit off. I put my head in my hands for a few minutes, looked up blinking in disbelief at my surroundings and decided I should keep myself moving, trying to stay ahead of this train of thought.

At 2pm in Budapest the next day, my body finally accepted that it was in fact daytime and I should be up and about (thanks to the stumptown and french press I brought across the globe with me --I'm not ashamed to admit it!) I talked myself out of staying inside all day just because I was a silly american tourist that couldn't communicate with anyone and I wasn't sure if I knew exactly how to get in and out of the apartment building. I needed cream for the coffee, so I went out looking for a supermarket, which was literally about 20 steps from my front door, and ran into this (baroque?) theater.

And tomorrow. . . dancing at Trafo shall ensue.