The close call

While in Budapest during our meetup, I almost cracked my head open, and nobody would’ve been there to help.

After an excellent day one at Write The Docs EU, I took a shower in preparation to pass out. Drying myself afterwords, as I lifted one foot, I lost balance in the other and fell backwards out of the tub. I attempted to catch myself, but I couldn’t hold onto anything.

How embarrassing. I felt like such a dork. (I promise I didn’t hit my head; I fell onto my back.)

Here’s a scary thought: The sink was about one foot away from my head.

My roommate recently returned to our apartment, so at least he would’ve found me. I think.

Taxicab in Budapest

When we arrive in Budapest, Jeremy directed us to the small taxicab building HQ outside the airport doors. We wouldn’t need to get cash at the airport since most places around the city take credit card.

I showed them my destination address, and they printed out a slip for my driver.

Removing a credit card from my wallet, I asked, “Do you accept credit cards?”

“Yes. No problem.”

After a quiet thirty–minute drive, we arrived about fifty meters from my apartments. My driver pulled over onto the left side of the narrow street, right before it veered in another direction.

Budapest Taxicab 2014-03-30

I handed him my credit card, and he said he couldn’t take it. Only cash.

Rage and disbelief. Panic, really.

I would sprint into the apartments to get my friends. Reluctantly, he nodded, and off I went.

At the reception office, and asked if Jeremy checked in. I couldn’t use my cell phone (no SIM card yet). I ran around and failed to find the room, blaming the lack of signs. Then, Elizabeth and Karen magically appeared! After waiting a couple of minutes, Elizabeth found Jeremy, who paid the driver and saved my evening.

Thanks friends! Yay Automattic meetups!

P.S. The driver explained his credit card machine wouldn’t work because the batteries died. Ridiculous. 🙂

Dave, the chicken man

While waiting for the Metro Gold Line at Union Station, Dave saw my camera in hand and approached me, asking if I wanted to take his photo.

Since I can describe the conversation like a moth in flight, bullet points might make more sense.

  • He explained that he wasn’t mentally right. He was talkative and easy going.
  • “I know the new Incredible Hulk movie. He has a special power,” which he then demonstrated as if he were generating a fireball or something.
  • He talked about his brother who fought in Vietnam, but wasn’t receiving benefits. Somehow, that was a segue into him not getting SSI.
  • “You know the Spiderman song?” *singing the Spiderman theme song* “I’m chicken man. Chicken man, chicken man…”
  • “A girl I know on the subway. She sees me, says, ‘Hey chicken man!’ I give her a hug and kiss.”
  • Lastly, he holds up a circular opaque object. Apparently, it’s a valuable ashtray. I tell him he should try to sell it, but he’d never part with such a priceless object.

Dave's ashtray

When the train finally arrived, I wished him well…and sat half a car away[1. I just wanted to veg. Nothing against Dave!]. I’m pretty sure he struck up a random conversation with someone else.

If you ever meet Dave around LA, talk to him for a bit. (Or, listen to him talk.) It won’t hurt!

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Edgar

Edgar

While on the way to work using the Metro Gold Line, a several young girls and their teachers boarded the train. It must’ve been a field trip. The only open seats were around one man, all alone. He looked miserable. I waited until he had a solemn face, then snapped a photo.

The man sitting next to me chuckled at the girls and their conversations. He laughed after I took the photo.

“He looks so miserable, I couldn’t help myself,” I whispered, snickering quietly.

We talked between Lincoln/Cypress station and Union Station. He asked me if photography was my career (not yet). His roommate, Travis Tanner, is a photographer.

“Where is your accent from?”

Columbia Colombia, South America,” he told me. “What about you?”

“I’m from here.” I knew he meant my ethnicity.

“Where are you parents from?”

“They’re from the Philippines, but I was born and raised here.”

Edgar was between jobs. He’s been working in television production for the past ten years, but was let go. They were all with Spanish language television channels — I forget which ones specifically. He said he was going to apply for jobs with other networks, like CBS and NBC.

Before the train stopped at Union Station, I asked him if I could take his portrait. Since we were inches away, I used my 18-55mm lens.

Good luck finding your next job, Edgar.

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