Archive for February, 2008

Thursday

Thursday, February 14th, 2008

This is the last “normal” night of work before heading to San Francisco. Talked to Big Dan and Gisela today. Work has slowed down, which is a great help.

The five of us were running around the city late this afternoon, trying to find the doctor who needed to OK the kids to start school. I didn’t have a chance to meet her (we were running late, so I hopped on a subway to get the office), but Gabi said she was full of useful advice.

Tomorrow, we get internet installed in the main apartment. At that point, the office will be for serious work and during slower times I can still monitor the business and answer the phone/email from home. The connection won’t be as stout as the office, since the monopoly holder in that district only has ADSL connections available.

I bought Gabi two roses last night from the all-night flower stand on Museum Street. Almost the only other person I run into when coming home is the poor soul running that late-night shack in the middle of the sidewalk. Selling flowers. Funny thing.

Photos

Tuesday, February 12th, 2008

I haven’t given you enough pictures lately. I’m now going to make up for that.



The Big Ones running outside our 3rd story apartment. Don’t fall!
Here is our destination today: the Great Market Hall (Nagycsarnok). It’s an enclosed marketplace in downtown Budapest about three blocks from our apartment. Food, more food, chocolates, pickles, paprika and more food.


Dan-dan in the middle of the market.


Eating at a stall on the second floor of the market.


We celebrated Camilla’s third birthday last weekend. Her real birthday is Saturday, but I’ll be on a long plane flight to San Francisco then. The Barbie doll you see in front of her is really a birthday cake, baked around a Barbie doll. Really cool!


The most wonderful gift was a new, full-sized Lumpy to replace the one we left in the US.


A clean, modern and full-furnished apartment in downtown Budapest.


Office and Apartment Complete (nearly)

Monday, February 11th, 2008

We’re in the apartment! Except for some minor difficulties, all is fine. We had no heat last night, but it was not a particularly cold night so no big problem. No mirror in the bathroom or anywhere else. Lots of trouble with the kitchen equipment which had never been used or tested.

As of this afternoon the heating is fixed, a large bathroom mirror installed and Gabi had finished cooking her first meal (spinach quiche) and running two loads of laundry. I’d say that counts as moving in.

The kids love the apartment. They’ve been playing throughout it all day. Dan-dan has his tracks and trains, and Camilla has a load of doll stuff and puzzles. Baby Aaron (whom I’ve not mentioned much, but he is here) is doing fine. He almost slept through the night again last night. Today, Gabi gave him his first solid food (he did not like it).

As to the office, Gabi and I spent three hours here this morning waiting for the cable guy to come and install the network. He finally did, and it is a about twice the speed of anything else that I have tested in Budapest. Whoopie! So, now my little office is strewn across the floor and I am typing on a little coffee table (hurting my back in the process). Tomorrow, we go to a large suburban store to buy a desk and chair, as well as some extension cords, so I can work more comfortably.

Wednesday and Thursday, Gabi is having guests over. Friday I will work late again and, almost as soon as work is over, hop in a taxi to go to the airport and fly to San Francisco. Saturday, Gabi has a half dozen people coming over to the apartment for a little housewarming. Sorry that I’m missing that.

Last Night at Great Grandma’s

Saturday, February 9th, 2008

Big Saturday here. We had an early birthday party for Camilla. 15 people attended, lots of gifts, cake, Unicum (Hungarian special alcohol) and such. Camilla got puzzles, dolls and a new Lumpy doll (we accidentally left hers in Temecula when we left).

Tomorrow is our big move. We will be the first people to sleep in the newly rennovated apartment at Kalvin Ter. I’m looking forward to having a shower I can stand up in, living in a real downtown and generally being on our own in a strange, new world.

Right now, Gabi and I are in front of the TV at Grandma’s place. Everyone is asleep. I’m logged on through my cellphone. Martini in hand.

All is well. Back to y’all on Monday from my very own internet connection, from my very own office. I love it.

Last Night at Great Grandma's

Saturday, February 9th, 2008

Big Saturday here. We had an early birthday party for Camilla. 15 people attended, lots of gifts, cake, Unicum (Hungarian special alcohol) and such. Camilla got puzzles, dolls and a new Lumpy doll (we accidentally left hers in Temecula when we left).

Tomorrow is our big move. We will be the first people to sleep in the newly rennovated apartment at Kalvin Ter. I’m looking forward to having a shower I can stand up in, living in a real downtown and generally being on our own in a strange, new world.

Right now, Gabi and I are in front of the TV at Grandma’s place. Everyone is asleep. I’m logged on through my cellphone. Martini in hand.

All is well. Back to y’all on Monday from my very own internet connection, from my very own office. I love it.

Keys

Friday, February 8th, 2008

We have the keys now to both apartments. As I write this, Gabi and her father are in IKEA, buying all of the extra furniture, bedding, kitchen ware, appliances she needs. The landlady (also Gabi) just called from the home apartment to tell us that the beds are being installed now.

The office apartment is a simpler place – really just a bed, a sofa, a desk, basic kitchen stuff and (starting Monday) a smoking Internet connection.

It’s all quite exciting. The real move-in won’t happen until Sunday.

Right Here, Right Now

Thursday, February 7th, 2008

How many pop songs have lyrics based on academic papers? This one is – the paper is here.The song below is Right Here, Right Now by Jesus Jones.



Apartment and Office Done

Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

We now have the apartment and the office. They are a five minute walk apart. The office, a one room apartment with a small kitchen in a nice building, is at the Astoria Metro, right down the street from the Great Synagogue on Dohány Street, the largest Jewish house of worship in the Eastern Hemisphere. Lots of kosher food in the area.

We have not signed the lease, but since it is through the same agent, we’re not expecting any problems. Once we have it, it will be an excellent place for any visitors to stay.

At this rate, we’ll be almost entirely settled in Budapest only two weeks after arriving. Record time! Gabi still needs to jump through hoops to get the kids entered into school, but most of the big stuff is done. We have a place to stay. We have internet access. I have a place I can work.

So, time for more pictures! I’ll save interior shots of the apartments until Gabi has a chance to work on them. The main family apartment is still under renovation, and the office has simply not been taken care of.



Dan-dan and Camilla getting ready to visit cousins.
Peter (Gabi’s cousin’s husband) with Aunt Babi outside Great Grandma’s house. The car is Peter’s, though he is trying to sell it right now so he can buy one with a larger trunk.


This is an outside view of our apartment building. It is down the street, just beyond the white building. I’ll get a better shot later, I just happened to be in the area today (timing the walk from the office).


Entrance to our main apartment. No more photos yet … wait until Gabi has put her touch on things.


This is a photo from the landing outside the office.


This pub is located right between the office and the apartment. I wonder who might be stopping here on Friday nights, after the work week is done?


This is Budapest’s answer to Starbucks, also located right between the office and the apartment.

John McCain Can’t Possibly Win

Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

John McCain can’t possibly win; he’s my choice for President! This goes against 28 years of history! I’ve never supported the winning dog, err, politician.

Back last summer, when I was whining about wanting some adventure (it turned into this Budapest trip), one of the fantasies was to drop the business and go to McCain’s office in Arizona and volunteer as a national coordinator.

Ah, it feels good to be a Republican again! I usually feel embarrassed about it, but right now I can beam with pride. A reasonable guy for for President. What a good idea!

John McCain Can't Possibly Win

Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

John McCain can’t possibly win; he’s my choice for President! This goes against 28 years of history! I’ve never supported the winning dog, err, politician.

Back last summer, when I was whining about wanting some adventure (it turned into this Budapest trip), one of the fantasies was to drop the business and go to McCain’s office in Arizona and volunteer as a national coordinator.

Ah, it feels good to be a Republican again! I usually feel embarrassed about it, but right now I can beam with pride. A reasonable guy for for President. What a good idea!