Larger Than Life

In an otherwise rural and unremarkable Budapest suburb one finds a statue park of Soviet-era monuments, preserved in all their outsize glory.

We're trying to get to the park when our ignorance of Hungarian bus protocol leads us to brush up against one of those basic truthes of existence: At all times in life, only a finite number of steps stand between you and utter perdition. At the instant those bus doors close behind us, we're acutely aware that the number for us has just decreased by one -- and also that if we were to walk away from the bus stop, the number would go down by one more.

Nothing more exciting happens: we catch the next bus back to the park, but not before we have entertained visions of knocking on some babushka's door and pantomiming our willingness to do odd chores and supply hard currency in exchange for a place to sleep.