This could be my third day in Budapest spent hiding in my room.
I’m tired of people. I don’t want to meet anyone new. I’m tired of going out and seeing things. I was ready to go home a month ago.
It’s like when I first landed in Bucharest again. Have I learned nothing since then?
No, this is different. I’m socially exhausted and tired of analysis and I can feel this two-month Fe grip soon to crash.
And I’m afraid for different reasons. I’m scared that I won’t like Budapest when everyone seems to love it. I’m scared that I’ll like it. I’m scared that I won’t have enough time to decide how I feel. I’m wary of making new friends while I’m all too aware of the oncoming crash. Will any of my new friends from this trip stand the test of time and distance?
To get food
Outside is not so bad. What did I feel so overwhelmed by that I had to hide?
It must be that I have really high activation energy thresholds lately. There must be a way around it… I can lower them by manipulating my mood.
Budapest is my oyster
I’ve spent almost two weeks in other parts of Hungary, and Krakow was part of my training too. Why should I feel unprepared?
It’s a matter of confidence. I own this place. I’m not visiting Budapest so much as Budapest is having the privilege of hosting me. Focus less on what Budapest has to offer and more on how it can serve my needs.
My friend has ‘reminded’ me to get Jókai bean soup from Paprika Vendéglő in Budapest five times over the last month. Okay okay. This time I’ll order the right soup. How good can it possibly be though? Soup is just an appetizer to warm your stomach.
I was shocked from the first mouthful. Soup isn’t meant to be this good. It really made me reflect on my life views.
Try Jókai bean soup at Paprika Vendéglő. Their Gulyás is also better/different to other places. I do not recommend any of their other dishes—just too salty.
A walking tour to ease the discomfort of not knowing anything
Look at these humans doing their normal human things. I can barely stand it. It seems difficult for me to mimic their behaviors.
A public meetup
My gosh, people are so easy to talk to. And so adorable. Humans can be really surprising sometimes; I didn’t expect this at all. How can such simple and relaxed conversations be so fun? Freaking Fe… whatever, just let it flow.
Realizing the fatal flaw
I know why I’ve felt overwhelmed about Budapest. There’s too much hype and expectation surrounding the place. I’ve been putting pressure on myself to understand something that is not actually supported by facts.
Travel is a subjective experience. There doesn’t have to be a logic behind whether we enjoy something or not. Trying to analyze Budapest as a whole is the wrong approach. I should be feeling my way around information, the buildings, and the city as a whole. This would make things less overwhelming and less stressful. It requires a certain kind of bravery for me to use a skill I don’t often rely on: introverted intuition. But it works even if I don’t understand it. Throughout this trip I’ve stumbled upon as many good things unintentionally than through planning.
How do I know my intuition is correct when it doesn’t leave a trail of logic? Four terrible pizzas in a row doesn’t mean all pizza is like that in this part of Europe. How can I possibly form a ‘fair’ impression of Budapest in just a week?
That’s the problem: objectivity.
A fair impression. It’s pointless—what do I need to justify and for whos benefit? Trying to reserve judgment in this context is exhausting. I like embracing my inner child, so why I do I try so hard to resist forming uneducated opinions? It’s a necessity sometimes, and most people seem to enjoy it. I’m taking everything too seriously, like usual. Why must I form a coherent opinion? Why can’t I just enjoy and think nothing? (I’m often surprised how many people my age can have so many opinions on everything. It makes me wonder how they can know so much more than me. It’s impressive, even if it’s an illusion.)
I want to be silly. I want to have the comfort of doing that. Doing.
I’m almost sure now that forcing myself to try and be impartial is one of the main reasons I’ve maintained such a long Fe phase. Trying to make sense of all these unfamiliar things using logic is draining. That and probably all the writing I’m doing. I long to be home, to have a familiar place to play, to have privacy away from people, and figure out how to fix my life. Some things definitely need fixing.
Why do I find it so hard to let go?
Traveling should be about doing what you want to do. In my case that means doing ‘nothing much’. Why do I keep pushing myself? I have nothing to prove, although I am curious about the great things other travelers talk about. Then again, I don’t care about any of it. (Or, I don’t want to care.) The history of Hungary has nothing to do with my life. Most of this ‘great architecture’ will get overwritten from my memory within days, if not seconds. I don’t want to enjoy myself right now. Happiness is irrelevant; the future is more important. I should be planning my return and reading books.
A part of me from the past wonders whether I deserve this experience. I want to come back some day to some of the places I’ve been to. Partly to bask in some of my favorite places, to explore some aspects that weren’t particularly accessible, and mostly to [re]connect with the people I met. I’d be curious to see how they’re doing in a few years time.
But I’m worried it will all get swept away. The richer my experience, the more I have to lose. I’ve never had so much to lose before; it’s the first time I’ve truly felt I had so much worth holding on to in life. And what if this isn’t real or genuine? Is it really okay to allow myself to be vulnerable and wear these experiences on my sleeves? Or should they be locked away like forbidden treasures?
Worst of all, my future at home feels like a coin flip in terms of where it will lead me. With so much riding on luck, am I meant to make one hard logical decision or risk trying to feel and adapt?