A river runs through it

We decided to go for a pre dinner gai2 gai2 today to margaret island- Budapest’s Central Park. even though I live within walking distance of the island, i’ve never actually been to it. we were playing angry birds all afternoon and it was time to take a break from smashing into pigs.

we left just as dusk was falling, the sky a pale pink melting into blue. upon crossing margit hid, to the left was the parliament house and buda castle, glowing against the night sky; the right was much darker, as the danube stretched farther away from the city centers on both sides of it (the city center of Buda is Moskva Ter, the city center of Pest.. well I don’t know. Kossuth Lajos Ter or something). we decided against taking the camera (so the conditions would be normal as normal can be for a walk) and besides we left so late it would be too dark for pictures.

margaret island is full of joggers. exercising people, stretching, speeding past us, playing football in the athletic compound etc. the sides of the island were fortified with big piles of rock, sort of like the breakwaters in east coast park. There wasn’t really a clearly defined path for people who just wanted to walk- the narrow paths were for joggers.

in the middle of the park was the sound of crashing waves. there was a jet of water, almost as high as the jet d’eau in geneva, (okay i lie, it’s probably only one quarter the height of the jet d’eau but still it was pretty damn high <– see how my skills of estimation are sharpened from all the angry birds?) and we walked over to get into the spray of the fountain. this city is full of fountains. near liangze's house in Ujpest there are fountains next to the government buildings(?), random jets spouting out from the marble floor in the middle of plazas. Children play in the fountains in the summer, the water shooting from the ground provides neverending surprise and entertainment. There are lit fountains in the shopping alleys near my apartment. and here was the crowning glory of all these fountains.

While marvelling at the height of the tallest jet, Strauss' Blue Danube suddenly came on speakers we didn't know existed. Which was when the coin dropped and I realised it was the musical fountain Liz told me about. Kind of like Sentosa's musical fountain, only more primitive, perfectly synced with the Beautiful Blue Danube (and I imagine other music) but with only three concentric circles of spouts. The piece was a classic, and, as self-absorbed lovers like to believe, the music played only for us.

Now we are not romantic people. If liangze ever slipped and fell into some halcyon reverie it was always efficiently cured with a "don stupid lah". No bubbles were left unburst. No dreams unpiped. (Hardy would like that) But in that fleeting moment, the Danube became beautiful, became blue again. Standing on soil I had not trod on prior, memories from childhood and of korean dramas (with fountains, hiding places, and carousels) welled up and befuddled my mind. It is not that romance as a notion is strictly prohibited in my relationship philosophy. It is romance extrapolated to foolhardiness that is banned at all costs.
Cheap emotion. Richard Clayderman. Clumsy expression.
Nem, nem, nem.

It is sad that we no longer have such classic monuments in Singapore for people to reminisce over. There is no nostalgia to evoked by the current state of affairs in architecture. Everything is as modern as the Palace of the Arts here in Budapest, id est, posh beyond belief. Even the musical fountain on Sentosa has been refurbished into “Songs of the Sea”, a water-laser display with live music. Where’s the old school charm in that? There is no past, there is only the present, and the future. While an immensely practical view of things, I think it is shortsighted. In the midst of all my designer buildings, I still want a grand old fountain. All the best cities have one. Jet d’eau. Fontana di Trevi. The Fountains of Bellagio.

Tomorrow we adjourn to a Belgian sorozo (pub) for cheese fondue. I have had such a craving ever since we got here and we found a pub selling fondue for 2190 Ft which is a mere $10. Also it has green pea soup with smoked trout. More on the Hungarian diet (which is surprisingly similar to the chinese one) another time.



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