Defrosting in Budapest

Sculptures from a shop in Szentendre, Hungary

I travelled on tram, a metro and then a train to get to a little city outside Budapest. It was a picturesque town marked with rubble that left me in the cold for an outing that lasted almost 12 hours.

The European winter has been great, until today. I’ve been laughing at Christmas markets thinking “this is a cold October day in Vancouver with Christmas lights and festivities”.

When I arrived home tonight, my bones were like shattered ice. I looked in the full-length mirror, Amelia Earhart hat on head, scarf around neck, and I thought – I look more Eastern European than the people on the street, or at least, my stereotype of Eastern Europe.

My eyes were frosted under a thick layer of mascara, my hair surrendered to the wind, too cold to find relief in the warm house… yet my outfit came together quite nicely.

Since my arrival home, my neurons have thawed and I have remembered a funny observation I made at the gym:

Hungarians run really funny.

It took me 2 weeks before I was willing to commit that thought to my blog, but it’s really true. I am not just being judgmental.  When I am at the gym watching from the back row during workout rush-hour, I feel like I am in a parody for something. Their arms just fling. Maybe they are relieved to be out of the cold.

To be fair, there was also an Asian man who looked like he was churning butter while he ran.

I am not particularly graceful myself, but I have had the good sense to listen to some of my childhood taunts.

To admit how humbly I express this opinion, let me share something with you. I made a bad decision to buy Nike pants for the gym (because the pink and black tights looked last season), and before I reach a sweaty frenzy, I roll them up to my knees. I haven’t gotten to the best part yet, one day I wore black socks with white shoes – you have no idea how goofy that looks until you see it.

I lack grace, and usually style.


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