The flight to Budapest was spectacularly uneventful. Marnie dropped me off at the airport early enough to dig though the used book store and then get a bite to eat. From past experience I selected seating near the back of the plane, and managed to have the row to myself for the leg from RDU to London. I forgot before 24 hours before the flight to change the food on the flight to something I could eat, so I took the combined opportunities to sleep all the way over from RDU to London. In hindsight that’s probably why my jet lag has been so bad this trip. The transfer in London to Budapest led to the driver arranged by the dental office holding a nice large sign at the exit, and he brought me right to the hostel.
I selected a different hostel instead of returning to the one from my last trip. MultiPass Hostel, $8 off-season, ranks as one of the best of the 300 hostels in Budapest. Each room in this intimate 14-bed hostel is decorated with a movie theme (Matrix, Kill Bill, Alice in Wonderland, and of course the 5th Element). The hostel happens to be down the street from the one I stayed in last time, and almost across the street from the dentists’ office; I’m hedging my bets a little to offset the complete lack of bicycle.
After settling into the hostel, I took the Budapest Walking Tour of the Communist Party before returning to the hostel to crash, completely jet-lagged. I slept horribly, and while I woke occasionally, I didn’t really motivate out of the hostel until my first dental appointment for the preliminary cleaning. That nerve-wracking task complete, I wandered over to the Buda side to visit the Hospital on the Rock, a WWII hospital, bomb shelter, and eventual Top Secret military site build in the old limestone caves under the mountain. In hindsight, visiting a museum that’s a display of a former WWII hospital before going to a Hungarian dentist is not the best way to sooth one’s nerves.
I need to keep in mind potential problems in the context of scale and compounding. I’m not just five times more likely to have problems on a trip 112 days long instead of my usual 23. Additional problems crop up from the raw length of the trip. For example, I need to take into account the wear and tear on gear on an extended trip, an issue I don’t have to deal with on shorter trips; if something looks worn I replace it before I leave. Similarly, while having multiple crowns done is theoretically multiple times more likely to have issues than only one, there can be additional problems of getting all four crowns done at the same time and getting everything to line up.
I arrived at the dentists’ office (actually a big medical center) at 4:00 pm. I left at 8:45 pm. Nothing went wrong that I know of, everything just took a really long time. Now I’m tired and my teeth ache, with my calorie count through the floor until all the anesthetics wear off. They moved the upcoming schedule around a bit, so I now need to be there Monday at 6:30 pm instead of Tuesday at 8:00 am. Time to figure out how that impacts the plan of a train or bus to Prague tomorrow, and back on Monday.