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Chain Bridge from the Castle area

Budapest: Chain Bridge from the Castle area

The last few weeks have been filled with the stuff of moving: packing and hauling and unpacking; cleaning, and purging and buying anew; connecting our cable and figuring out where to buy the best produce.  We crossed a border along the way requiring the additional steps of work permits and residency applications.  Writing my blog has taken a back seat.  I’m back in my routine.  

Our new home is an apartment in Pest overlooking the Danube and Margit Island.  When we moved to Bratislava, our 1100 square foot apartment felt small.  We quickly realized it was all we needed, and actually more so.  Our space requirements are lower now.  This new apartment is 850 square feet.  It is just about perfect.  Best of all, it contains the ultimate of luxuries (a luxury I never recognized as such) – a second bathroom.  Igor’s first words were, “You have two bathrooms.  That’s fantastic!”  Friends and family will let out a cheer on this one.  The sole toilet closet on the main hall will not be missed.

This next month will be consumed with painting, and buying furniture, and stocking a kitchen.  Moving into an apartment with ugly furniture and stained walls is reminiscent of our youth – right down to the “first apartment” excitement.  Today, we unpacked pictures.  Our kid’s faces on the nightstands and Pat’s pictures on the walls are familar and create the coziness of home and hearth.  This really is the place we will return to each night for the next few years.

We found this apartment and signed a lease without my employer’s services.   If all goes to plan, this will be our first apartment in retirement.  We don’t need, or want, a middleman.  We picked something we could afford with a small second bedroom which will act as my office.  The morning sun shines thru the back door which opens to the tiniest of balconies.  On my desk I have piles of my favorite books; my journals, a framed map my Uncle Cliff carried through his vacation in Central Europe.  Yugoslavia still borders Czechoslovakia. 

Igor’s second words were, “This is a perfect apartment to write a novel.”  It is certainly the perfect apartment to try.  What better backdrop than this region with its checkered history from empire to Soviet satellite.  In the next few weeks, my office will have a fresh coat of paint and some new shelves on the walls.  The room is welcoming.  It is a start .  It is our fresh start in a new country. 

Pat returns to Bratislava for a photo exhibit opening at the Central European House of Photography where he is a featured photographer.  I will join him and turn over our keys to our Bratislava apartment on Friday.  Life moves on.

Categories: Insiders Budapest

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