Arrived almost an hour late. Found an ATM in the airport and got 5000 Florint -- about $17 (or $12 after all the fees!). After realizing what the exchange rate is I went and picked up 50,000 more. hehe. Stopped by the airport minibus stall to get a ride to the Kalvin Haus and picked up a metro voucher could on all buses and the subway. Very handy. Dumped off my bags at the Kalvin Haus, a quaint "inside hotel" with a creaky lift that barely holds one person with luggage. My room is on the fourth floor and has just recently been remodeled. Great dormer ceilings with skylights looking out over the city. Walked over to Raday Utca, a predominant nightlife spot filled with outdoor cafes, and then over to Vacay utca, more of a shopping area. I definitely feel like I'm in the "fly on the wall" mode, just trying to figure out directions, street names, orientation, currency. I love it. Late lunch / dinner on Raday ut. then an early evening to catch up on some sleep.
I'm leaving New York today for Budapest, for a few days of coding and sightseeing.
Budapest/Hungary facts for the visitorCurrency: Forint (HUF); $1 = 212 HUF Language: Magyar etc, etc....see travel notebook.
I was supposed to return today but just wasn't ready to leave. I ended up changing my ticket to stay for two more nights for an additional $230! Yikes. Oh well, not sure when I'd be back here. I just haven't had my fill of Zurich yet. I've been many places before but I feel very much at home here. I wonder if this is just timing, that the places I've been and the order in which I've visited them have set the stage for me to appreciate Zurich, or maybe I'm seeing it through the lens of my trip to Mexico last week. Maybe it's because things are unfamiliar and because I don't speak the language (but I'm not so shut out that I can't handle the day-to-day tasks with ease). I do feel a bit of melancholy of finding a new place, falling in love with it but also knowing that you can never really be a part of it, of returning home to a place that isn't really (yet) home...