I love plaques. I always stop or make slight detours to read the interesting tidbits of information about the place through which I’m walking. I’ve always done it and though I don’t know where this habit started, it’s one I highly recommend. Reading a plaque is a simple way to better understand a place. The community has deemed this person or moment or location important enough to record in bronze.
However, I have had some complaints about the meandering and sometimes time-consuming process required to read these plaques. I offer a rationale for Always Reading the Plaque. To support the relaxed and informative walk, I give to you my three arguments:
The first day in Budapest has been quite a whirlwind. No matter how you mentally prepare, it’s your senses in the city that bring you to realize you’ve arrived. It’s the smell of rain on this concrete (on granite, or limestone). It’s how the milk tastes the same, but different. It’s the kink in your neck from looking up, looking back, looking around constantly to catch the new architecture and the new bustle. It’s the sound of a very old language new to your ears.
Then there’s the further physical reactions. Trading Eastern North American for Central European timezones makes for some inconvenient urges to nap. And the lay of the land requires new orientation. It takes getting lost to really learn addresses and direction. (I may have intended on another coffee shop but landed at this one – no disappointment here.)
I’ve been in Hungary for just over 24 hours and I am starting to fall for it already. What you’ve heard is true. It seems every building is a work of art. Every corner has a restro or shop you’d like to pop in. All I want to do is walk and eat. Here’s hoping these two activities will balance themselves out.