Before the move, a lot of people asked me “What are you going to DO with all of that free time?!” when I said I wouldn’t be working in Budapest (see: FAQ post). I had a lot of answers, but the most frequent response I said was something along the lines of “… get in the best shape of my life and lose the 20ish pounds I’ve gained since graduating college, thanks to busy season.” After all, in a world where I don’t have busy season(s), I can work out everyday! I can go for long walks in my Skechers Shape-Ups which have promised, among other things, that I can get in shape without ever setting foot in a gym!
Well, we’ve now lived here exactly one month, and that hasn’t really happened. Instead, I’ve eaten my way through Budapest. And let me tell you, it’s delicious.
One of the first things I did when we got here was join the North American Women’s Association (NAWA) so that I could meet some other expats and make some friends. One of the first events I attended was a stop on their coffeehouse tour – they’re basically arranging a visit to some of the historic coffeehouses of Budapest, and the coffeehouse gives us a little talk on the history of the place and a sampling of their menu items. The coffeehouse we went to was the Lukács Cukrászda, and wow. They literally made dozens of everything for us to try. Macarons (which Cupcake Lisa would probably like me to point out are not Hungarian, but French), Esterházy cakes, chocolate tortes, three different flavors of cupcake…. I’m drooling just remembering it.
We each had 3-4 items while we were there and brought home 5-6 more. I promised Richie that he would have some chocolate torte waiting for him when he got home… but then I ate it instead. Bad wife. I think that’s one of the instances where the thought does not count.
Since then, I have attended a few more NAWA events, and all of them have involved eating. We had a cooking class on Thursday, and I learned to make the most delicious creamy lemon chicken and a chocolate torta di ricotta (recipes, anyone?) And today was supposed to be my healthy day – we planned to take a 90-minute walk through the Buda hills – but a traffic accident that tied up the normal metro system and an unexpectedly long ride on a cog railway meant that we abandoned our plans for a walk… and instead sat at a cafe, drinking tea and eating pastries. I found the most adorable hedgehog pastry and brought it home for Richie. This time I managed to restrain myself from eating it before he got home, so he actually was able to enjoy this one 🙂
On a positive note, walking the dogs 3-4 times a day has thus far ensured that I still fit into all of my clothing. And on an even more positive note, the ladies I’ve met through NAWA are so wonderful and welcoming. I had a question about where to buy a few items, and before I knew it I was being given a tour of the best markets and bakeries and introduced to the guy who always has the best strawberries.
Now that my first month in Budapest is up, I suppose I have to get serious about working out. So for those of you who run… what are your favorite songs to run to? I’m making an iTunes playlist but thus far it only consists of a few Britney songs and some Pitbull. Send your suggestions my way!