Maybe I’ve just been living with the Arabs too long, but one thing strikes me every time I go out on the streets of Budapest. There are an awful lot of couples making out in public here! I don’t just mean putting an arm around your significant other and giving them a little kiss. I’m talking about serious sucking face, here!
I mean, I’m happy for these people. I love that line in Thornton Wilder’s Our Town when the mother says, “People are meant to go through this world in twos.” And I remember the moment, in Jordan, when I decided that public displays of affection were an American right I had never fully appreciated, but that I would be taking advantage of as soon as I could get a boyfriend back in the States. (Of course, by the time Carter came along, I wasn’t feeling the need to prove my American-ness quite so much, and didn’t take advantage of that right quite as thoroughly as I’d thought I would.)
Still, I find myself staring with a sort of incredulous envy. On the one hand, I can’t believe they’re being quite so shameless in public. On the other, I wish I had someone to be shameless in public with!
I have to say, I can’t exactly blame these girls, either. Maybe I’ve just been surrounded by Arab men for too long, whom I have trouble seeing as attractive given the disrespectful, sexist behavior I’ve seen so much of in the Jordanian bus stations. Whatever it is, I’m finding Hungarian men quite attractive. Tall, clean-cut, svelte…. It’s so nice to be back in Europe!