Budapest is an amazing place. I’ve just come back from what might be the best city break I’ve ever had. There was so much to do: live escape games, thermal baths, ‘ruin pubs’ in dilapidated buildings and a pinball museum that was a place of pure joy.
As I mentioned before, I was also trying out a period of extended minimalism, with a carry-on bag of luggage having to last me five days.
This had to include outdoor clothing to keep me warm and dry on big treks around the city, and fancy togs for a meal in a Michelin starred restaurant (yep, the exchange rate is so good, we could afford to eat Michelin stars – and very tasty they were too).
Actually, having less stuff with me was great. I love staying in holiday lets or hotel rooms, where you’re not surrounded by all your junk. You just have the stuff you know you’ll need. You can always find the things you’re looking for, and keeping everything clear and tidy is a piece of piss.
So I came back with renewed enthusiasm about the whole minimalism idea. Today, I dropped off four more bags of books, clothes and bric-a-brac to a charity shop. And to top it off, the woman in the shop was actually enthusiastic and grateful at the haul of goodies – even the really heavy bag with the dumbbells in it. I know they’re volunteers and all, but in another nearby charity shop they look so put-out whenever anyone drops by to donate anything, as if it’s the last thing they want. I know which shop I’ll be going back to.
My trip was also a great reminder that spending money on stuff is never as much fun as spending money on memories. And spending money on pinball is the most fun of all.