Suzi and I had a flat in Budapest for, perhaps, 100 days in 2000.  We had a flat there because that is where USAID was coordinating aid to Serbian independent media and civil society during the election that unseated Milosevic.  I spent only 22 nights in that flat, Suzi a few more.  During that time I was using Budapest airport to travel between Kosovo, Montenegro, Romania, Bosnia and who knows where else.  Suzi was traveling too.  At several points one of us arranged to get to the airport early because that was the best way for us to see each … Continue reading Hungary

1000 years of Hungary

August 20, 2000 Budapest, Hungary Dear Friends, One thousand years ago today Hungary was established when King Stephen was granted the crown by Pope Sylvester.  Today there’s a party going on.  One week ago Suzi and I were sitting on the beach at Milocar in Montenegro, with no idea we would be here.  Since then I’ve been in Bosnia, Croatia, and Italy.  Today Suzi goes back to Podgorica while tomorrow I go to Bosnia, Austria and Romania.  Don’t ask. At the end of the week I was feeling pretty punk.  When I got back from a meeting with an ambassador … Continue reading 1000 years of Hungary

Szabor (Statue) Park, Budapest

These are paragraphs from a 2003 letter: In Hungary the Internationale is best represented in Szabor (or Statue) park, a collection of Socialist Realism artifacts outside Budapest.  While the park is not difficult to get to it’s sometimes difficult to find.  I asked the Concierge to mark it on a map.  She couldn’t find it and wondered why it was not in the center of town.  I said; “Well, I don’t suppose you would put it in the middle of Hero’s Square,” which is where some of the original work really did sit.  She laughed.  Finding the road is not … Continue reading Szabor (Statue) Park, Budapest


This is an excerpt from a 2003 letter. Budapest has always been a “comfort city.”  The first place hit after our first sojourn in Albania was Budapest and it seemed like Disneyland, even though it was only four years out of Communism itself.  We had water, we had heat.  We put them together and had long hot showers.  During Milosevic it is the place we went to for refuge when things got too hot in Montenegro.  We maintained a flat here for four months, and that was a comfort.  But the food was the real part of the comfort.  The … Continue reading Budapest