Glum Sunday. You know all that eyeball-rolling stuff about “may puso” and “pusong Pinoy”? It’s true in Manny Pacquiao’s case. He really went after his opponent and tried to make it a fight (at least according to commentators. I woke up at 7am here and it was over). His opponent stood there calculating his profits, and occasionally throwing a punch when his calculations showed it would produce returns. Not for nothing is it “The Money Team”.
Budapest Keleti station
Glummer Saturday: My laptop, a 5-year-old Mac Air whose replacement is already on the way, was stolen on the train from Vienna to Budapest. I was in a mostly empty first class carriage, suitcase in front of me, backpack beside me, then I looked away for a second and pffft. Found it between the 1st class and dining cars, everything still in it including Guga the stuffed toy leopard (in which case it would be a kidnapping), ATM cards and earrings. The thief took my Mac and my emergency cash stash, which I don’t really need because I haven’t splurged or anything. (Just that morning I’d decided to put my travel documents, money, camera in my shoulder bag.)
So I summoned the train conductor and since we had no common language he thought I was looking for the electrical outlet. Fortunately I have travel insurance so I texted my old travel agent who sold it to me, who replied, “Report it to their hotline, thanks and God bless.” That’s helpful–you’re fired. Then I texted my new travel agent at Asia Intl, who’d stepped in when the old one couldn’t manage my train bookings. She told me what to do, beginning with filing a police report.
There is a lounge for first class train passengers, with coffee and food. Unlike airline travel, on trains the difference between first and second class is not so huge. You get more comfortable seats, a nicer carriage, cleaner WC, and lounges. On Austrian trains the waiter greets you with a block of Ritter chocolate.
On the bright side, I’ve actually set foot in a Hungarian police station, which is kind of thrilling. Interrogations have happened there. The officer looked like a skinny Simon Pegg. After the obligatory charades, he made me fill out a report.
It occurred to me that yesterday was almost the exact 10th anniversary of the time my empty wallet was stolen in Barcelona. Me and big cities beginning with B: Beware. I think of these losses as protection money to the universe to ensure that nothing worse happens. Still, my old Mac deserved better than to be stolen and resold by criminals (who did not steal the adaptor, idiots). It provided me with a living for 5 years. All the data is backed up, so enjoy the thousands of cat pictures and know that the Curse of the Mighty Goddess Bast has already befallen you.
I’m typing this in the hotel lobby computer. Will post whenever I can, but no photos till I get home this weekend.
P.S. I hated Barcelona, but I love Budapest. I could live here.