I have been meaning to write about my lovely birthday dinner all week, but I’ve been distracted by the torrents of rain and trying to catch up on work. I keep hearing the song “I Need A Dollar” by Aloe Blacc. Probably because I listen to it about 20 times a day. Who’s watching the HBO show How To Make It In America? I just adore that show. But I digress.
Last Friday we went to Iguana, the closest thing Budapest has to a Tex Mex restaurant, a tradition I really miss from my American birthdays (and also the other 51 weekends of the year).
Iguana is a pretty good cantina-style joint. The food is good and the drinks are good and I won’t write a review about it here because considering the amount of American and British accents I heard last Friday, I’m sure that if you live here and are reading this blog, you’ve already been there. Really, I didn’t hear one Hungarian word all night.
We had a nice mix of foods, and the drinks from a few pictures above were called Bloody Brains, which Zsolt insisted that we order. They were delicious and fun and about 1/2 the price of the mid-grade tequila. Plus they felt creepy and brainy in the mouth, which was a selling point for me! Flavor? Sweet with a woody after-bite. Mouth feel? Brainy.
The japapeno poppers were especially delicious. I love this picture because of Györgyi’s creeping shadow going in for another kill. We didn’t take pictures of all of the food because the lighting was bad. And our hands were full…
At least we kept our promise to not mix drinks.
The night was such a blast though. Zsolt and Szilvi gave me two tickets to attend a beer academy! And I am seriously going to add this course to my CV once we’ve attended. And Marci and his girlfriend Ági were also able to make it, even though Marci was stuck in Szeged most of the day.
It was honestly one of the best birthday dinners I’ve ever had. And just so I wouldn’t forget my previous brush with important lessons of cake candle fire safety—
A birthday candle that really announced its presence.
So yesterday was my 30th birthday. It’s shocking to even type that now. I remember when I was 10 and thought… in just six years I’ll be driving. I was in the car with Mom on Misty Lane in Copley, Ohio. And later that night she pulled to a stoplight on Route 18 (this was way before it became an eyesore of commercial development)– and she turned to me and said Don’t EVER do this!– before drag racing a black truck next to us, then pealing onto the interstate. She won. I hope ten years from now, when I’m the age she was then, I can be that cool. These might help:
Woo! Ray-Ban Wayfarers. Györgyi got me these for my birthday.
And my parents sent me the most beautiful turquoise bracelet:
Györgyi also gave me a beautiful ring (story to come in another post):
It’s white gold and ivory and has a Hungarian folk-inspired design to the pattern. It was created by a very rad local jewelry artist, Bence Fördős. His pieces are very unique—think jewelry journeyman meets 22nd-century metallurgist.
So it’s just the beginning of the weekend here and tonight we’re going out for “Mexican” food and margaritas with some friends. And then I suppose I’ll get back to the business of starting my 30s.
It’s off to a bright start, I think. Györgyi paraded out the cake with 30 candles last night. And I bowed my head and shut my eyes tightly to make my birthday wishes for the decade ahead of me.
Then I set a little bit of my hair on fire.
Detective Barnabás Poirot on the case of Mono the cat
This and last week have been sort of a blur. Post birthday-post Easter-post Prague-back to work kind of blur, I guess. We’ve been lucky here in central/eastern Europe because the weather has been insanely gorgeous for about two steady weeks. And then I checked the weather for today, eagerly anticipating the weekend, and we’re looking at two days of thunderstorms and rain. We wanted to go to the castle and walk around tomorrow, sit at a Cukrászda (ice cream, cakes, coffees kind of place), but now it looks like we may have to stay inside.
Even with the rain coming, the tulip trees have bloomed and look magnificent all over the city. These were snapped in Szeged about two weeks ago. They’ve opened now.
And even if we can’t go to the castle tomorrow, I have a lot to look forward to in upcoming weeks. The biggest, perhaps (other than going back to America at the end of July for a few weeks) is my birthday present from Györgyi:
July 3rd--County Cork, Ireland--Josh Ritter Live at the Marquee--w/ Full Orchestra!!
Yes, that did bring a little sun to my day!
I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend wherever you are in the world.