Gordon, Jeremy & I went to party at
the Kabbalist's. As usual,
lots of drumming, naughty-cigarette aromas, & girls magnetised to Isaac's affluent hipness.
Woke up refreshed in
Exciting chance to wear pale blue shirt & dark blue tie. The shirt one-time
boss David gave me, possibly because he still owes me five hundred
quid, and the blue tie with white spots college friend
Dan sold me for one
quid in 1984. Sunny weather continues.
Dry, dusty day. I roll round
town like a salted peanut.
A peaceful breakfast with Belli, then another hot drive to
Szolnok. As we pass
points out swarms of Russian & other cars with
parked round the horse market.
Robin, Bela & I breakfast in
Tokaj and meet
The Tree Man,
then later Belli, who jointly owns vineyards with two German-speaking friends from
2 intriguing weblogs:
After a hot day's drive, Robin & I reach Tokaj with 3-year-old Bela.
His first major adventure.
and I select some of his photos.
I see a cementmixer called
Later, train chaos.
I make some progress sticking little coloured pieces of
Arabic grammar while a carriageful
of perky girls mock the train delays on their mobiles, taking off their summer sandals to
wiggle their toes in the heat.
picks me up from Kecskemet. At midnight we eat cheese and
sausage in his candlelit kitchen.
Esther invites me to
Miriam's new Afro-beat band.
gets stern with me.
Rob wakes from a dream (he says) today in which Andrei finds me in an
Internet cafe, persuades me to buy his cut-price airline off him for 99 forints,
I go to the airport with the documents, enter the cockpit of my aeroplane,
let friends on board, fly to
Brussels, land in an EU building, and give a
talk there about
A harmonious lesson with Hussam. Later
Rob and I encounter sporty student
Ryan meets me for coffee, gives me a photocopy of a
My children get nervous on stage, but the event goes quite well.
Train back east, with a short rest at Vienna's
this afternoon the friskiest yet.
In a rather pretentious set of short essays in
eerie piece about euro space asks to be read.
Much better. Lots of sleep and my charming class show me around
their town in the sunshine.
A long day. I'm in
On the lunchtime train to Austria with Friendly Owl [Catherine, I should say], Bob, Dave, & Maurice
to Austria ignoring studied rudeness of
MAV dining-car staff.
I see inside Henry's
flat, and Robin encourages me to make the game-show idea with
wild and theatrical.
kindly lets Robin, Istvan
and me in through the stage door to see his extreme fashion show, involving
mirrored-sunglasses-wearing models snipping audience members' sleeves with scissors,
in a birthday-cake fairy-godmother ballgown, and a platform-mounted foetus girl howling inside a
stocking bag. Highlights included pairs of models in ripped black underwear walking
very carefully because of being attached to each other by a black, concertina-ing trunk like those
over wedding-photographers' zoom lenses
[one pair joined at the mouth, one pair joined at the breast,
and one shimmying duo joined at the groin].
Most fetching was a gazelle-like mannequin in high heels and a revealing frame-like dome-skirt
cage decked in candles showing off her legs to excellent effect.
Owl SMSs me a work offer in Austria.
A money mix-up. Someone else called
Mark gets paid instead of me.
A Flight Risk,
supposedly by a rich young heiress
fleeing an arranged marriage, is someone having a crack at
writing a suspense-filled, page-clicking novel in web-diary form.
not deserve a look?
It seems I am a
'Low-fidelity All-Star Hipster' with totally natural cool, and I know
all the words to
Kung Fu Fighting, reveals a
quiz uncovered by
First warm, sticky day. Trees are filled with
kind of hyacinth-type blossom.
mighty Chinese dictionary found by
Out in sun and cool breezes outside the kebab place, two Hungarian
alternative lads in
grubby checked shirts and dirty blonde dreadlocks are eating. I sit at
another table across from what looks like a strangely-shaped brown
rucksack on one of the white metal garden chairs. When it moves, I realise
it's a very large bird of prey with a leather hood over its head. A lot larger
the boys refer to it as a type of eagle. Wrapped in its
own enormous wings, like a brown Orson Welles cloak, it looked very big and
nasty, quite capable of pecking the eyes out of an unemployed translator
at a neighbouring table, were it unhooded and able to spot one. Then I notice
a second, smaller bird, only handbag-sized, perhaps a
hawk or kestrel, perched
on the edge of their table. Probably belonging to the smaller Hungarian male.
Out for drinks with Richard. We chat about
Post Office internal investigation unit.
I pick up the things I left at
such as my handy guide to
Germany's parliament, then get over to Gordon's.
Mark Griffith, site administrator /
up to top of page