You had me at “Sia.” Your Parisian colonnades and architecture tugged at my heart strings while your streets smelled of freshly baked bread. If Hong Kong was a love affair, you are my summer romance. It was an endless flirtation full of gelato memories and whispering by the Danube. The Chain and LIberty Bridges connected our love story, these 5 weeks of endless, smitten beauty.
For every gorgeous sunrise across the cityscape, you had a sunrise to match in glory. I will never forget how lovely it was to worship God in both English and Hungarian. How big God is, especially across the mountainous majesty of Budapest’s sprawling hubbub. You taught me how to wish across the Duna River, to remember almost lovers while sipping on red wine and how to accept the kindness of strangers.
Budapest, you lavished me with paprika-laced dreams which made the humidity and heat almost worth it (almost). Every monument testifies to your history and the beauty of that which has passed. If Hong Kong thrived on the here and now, you are nostalgia, bottled and brimming with promise. You are lace-lined 1940s camisoles, Charleston-dancing flappers kicking up a storm on the dance floor.
I will miss your star-studded midnight smiles and the endless ding-ing of the trams. I will miss the rumble and buzz of movement and being windswept across bridges. I will miss all the lovely people I have met and all the delicious food they offered us. Budapest, you taught me warmth in all matters of the word – to cheer up a disgruntled child, to meet new friends, to teach as I want to be taught…you have heart.
Thank you for reminding me of city rhythms and music. For, Budapest, you are endless music of buzzing market stalls, trolleys and tour hawkers. You are the orchestra of smells, sights and lights. I love you, even for this short while.
Goodbye, my love.