Monday, 27 March 2017

In two

I can't sleep in hotels, not initially at any rate. It's probably got a lot to do with alcohol. I don't need it, never have really, but when I'm away and living the 'hotel life' a glass of wine with a meal, a glass or two on the plane, are part and parcel of the whole thing. I don't go over the top, not any more, but invariably it leads to a broken night and it's unnecessary.

This morning I awoke at 0500hrs – or thereabouts – but I distinctly remember the time on my iphone reading 0523hrs and I was conscious prior to checking the time. It's now 0616hrs and I've just watched the last five minutes of an interview with Dr. Allen Ault, former commissioner of corrections for the US state of Georgia, on the BBC's Hard Talk programme, something I rarely watch unless I'm in a foreign country where BBC World seems to rule the airwaves. It's the only place where you'll find advertisements on the BBC, although I notice that the BBC website carries ads whenever I access it abroad.

Dr. Allen Ault being interviewed by the BBC...very depressing
Anyway, Dr. Allen Ault. I've never seen a better example of the phrase, "You've made your bed, now lie in it." Although, I felt sorry for the guy. Imagine having to live with those memories.

I've sat here and watched the dawn and now the rooftops outside my window have just about lost their silhouette, so it's time, perhaps, to hit the shower.

There's a distinct masculine touch to the bathroom decor: woods and dark tiles plus some contrasting creamy white tiles. It's not a big space, but not cramped either and the shower worked fine. Despite being a 'boutique' hotel, they have adhered to the golden rule of 'function before form' – everything worked as it should have and I didn't encounter any problems with taps or plugs.

Breakfast at the Bohem Art Hotel...
Breakfast is served in the basement in a pleasant, airy space. There's a lot on offer, but I steered away from the traditional rolls and sliced meats and chose instead vegetables with cous cous, a strange thing to have for breakfast, but it was there so I figured it must be what somebody regards as normal, perhaps the Hungarians? It was very nice. There was also something like a bread pudding with cherries and that was also very nice. I chose Darjeeling tea in a glass mug, I'm not sure I like drinking tea out of a glass mug, not sure why, but the tea was so good I had another (it was called 'Darjeeling Brilliant' so I'm telling you now that it lived up to its name). A small bowl of yoghurt, an orange and a banana followed and while I could have sat there all morning, I can't afford the time. But let's say that breakfast was good. Fortunately I didn't have a newspaper otherwise I'd still be down there now, pretending to be important.

After 'business' had been conducted I swanned back to the hotel with time to spare until the evening get-together. I wandered around with no fixed plan and ended up trying to track down a Starbuck's. I felt it would be good to sit down and enjoy a cup of tea and a pastry or something, anything, to provide me with some kind of solace. In truth I was missing being at home; odd when I've only been away for around 24 hours, but I think it was a kind of realisation that life at home is better than life on the road and that the latter is a bit soul destroying, most of the time. Who wants to live the life of a nomad, poking one's head into bars and restaurants, searching out some form of comfort, some kind of nirvana, when the reality is simple: it doesn't exist. Either that or I've found it anyway, at home, where I least expected to find it. The grass is always greener and all that, but it's true. In the end I decided that I'd have to find a Starbucks. I hadn't seen one and I even began to wonder if there was one in Budapest, but surely there must be one. I figured that sitting down in a Starbucks, where I wouldn't need cash and I could enjoy a tea with a biscuit or a millionaire's shortbread, would bring me back from the brink of despair (I was seriously feeling it). What, I wondered, was the point? The answer? Well, there wasn't one; if there was, then I'd hold the Holy Grail in my hands.

I've walked across that bridge and now I'm going to walk back 
In the end, having used my iphone's GPS to try and find a Starbucks (they exist, but I couldn't work out in which direction I was walking) I gave up and marched purposefully (and a little angry) back to my hotel where I sat in despair for around a half hour comparing my hotel room with a prison cell and wondering what it must have been like to be Rudolph Hess banged up in Spandau. "So true, funny how it seems, always alone...".

And then I snapped out of it, as I always do, and eventually headed out again, this time to the InterContinental Hotel for a glass of Cabernet and later a boat trip that lasted all night and was very pleasant, thanks to the company I kept and the food, which was fine, even if the steak was a little tough.

It's almost midnight and I should be hitting the sack, there's nothing else to do, although there probably is, I just don't want to do it. Another busy but interesting day tomorrow.

You remember last night I enjoyed some wasabi peanuts? Well, today it was chocolate peanuts and now I'm wondering what else is in the minibar. I think I'll take a look, hold on...well, there's some more wasabi peanuts but I've gone for Premium Nuts & Raisins – just what the doctor didn't order.

There's little more to say so I'm going to sign off and get a good night's sleep; well, I hope I will.

No comments:

Post a Comment