Budapest has hardly changed in five years: crumbling facades, grand avenues, and those wonderful men's thermal baths, where they give you to wear a little apron that looks like a white dish towel and functions like a metaphorical figleaf. It was me, the husband and a bunch of guys lolling about in hot water and padding around showing off our pale, tanned, hairy, smooth, flabby, skinny, round or nearly non-existant butts. It was humbling, all those butts, not to mention the thought of all the other butts that had been sitting on the same stones for the past 500 years in the same exact place under the same exact shallow dome, with its tiny hexagonal windows and clear and colored glass.
"You feel so connected to history," the husband said. "It's kind of a weird feeling."
Weird, but relaxing. Just what we needed.
The Swedish verb for the day is att bada. It means, of course, to bathe.
- by Francis S.