I’ve had a pretty busy week. Organized some submissions, wrote a few letters, revised a paragraph and line here and there, and so on. On Wednesday, Györgyi had to do some work in Szeged so Barnabás and I tagged along. I’m not sure if I ever said this on the site, but we have a second apartment in Szeged, which we lovingly refer to as the pit because when we bought it, the city started doing construction on a new tram line just down the road and there was dirt and huge holes everywhere ( & I also greedily and frequently steal lines/concepts/jokes from the best show on television, Parks and Recreation.)
So back to Szeged.
The weather has been so nice here, and even though it rained a little bit on Wednesday in Budapest, it was sunny in Szeged (the City of Sunshine)! So we went to the park in the late afternoon and let our beast run around. We tried to deter Barnabás from going up to old ladies in the search of food by throwing a Frisbee around, but we ended up playing ourselves. Unfortunately now, at nearly six years old, he is a dog who never really learned how to play at anything, so he just looks at us like we’re total dummies when we try to get him to run and chase something. Györgyi has slowly been able to make him bring a tennis ball back to her when we’re in the apartment, but it only lasts for about 10 throws before he runs and hides with the ball on the deck or under the pillows, growling and barking at it. And that play has taken about a year of repetition. (Which is just a little odd since he learned how to shake in about 15 seconds when he was getting rewarded with food).
All of the trees are in bloom or are blooming this week. And it feels like a whole new world again.
We wanted to have an early dinner outside, to enjoy the nice weather, so we headed to the restaurant we always go to in Szeged, Kiskörössy Halászcsárda. We call it the fish soup restaurant because that’s what they serve.
Since we didn’t have much to eat all day, we ordered a little appetizer of fish “cracklins”, which is not the same thing as southern cracklins. But, almost as good for you! These are little fish pieces, the best bits that no one eats except in the soup, fried. The best parts, in my opinion, are the cheeks and the roe (eggs). And you can see from my picture the big cauldron of soup. Hungarians LOVE cauldrons and cooking savory things inside of them. I wish someone made chocolate mousse in a cauldron that big.
As we finished eating, we watched the Hungarian summer Olympians (kayak and canoe) who were training on the Tisza River. They won many gold medals in Beijing, so I suppose they aren’t wasting any time in training for the London summer games (and also why they weren’t eating fish cracklins). They looked amazing on the water. The fluid drag of the oars was so calming to watch, and how shoulder to arm to water look like one long limb.
They turned around soon after though because a giant storm cloud was approaching. We ended our meal and made it back to the car before any rain fell. These days are one of the reasons why I really adore Szeged. Budapest is an amazing city to live in. You can find almost anything and do almost anything (except get a coffee before 08:00). But once in a while it’s nice to have a quiet day and a dinner outside on the bank of an old river.
And since it’s Friday, I hope that everyone will have a fun and safe holiday weekend. I’m not making ham because I hate it. I find it torturous to eat, to tell you the truth. So I’m pulling out some Passover recipes instead. Györgyi has secured a 3kg brisket (or as she calls it, bricket) from a Buda butcher, and we’re planning on spending some quality family/friend time in Budapest. (And with a little attention, hopefully keep Barnabás bácsi away from the booze.)