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Budapest, Hungary
Nov. 1-4, 1989

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Nov. 7, 1989
Dear Laura Wilson & Shane,

... Budapest is a city sick with anxiety -- the first child to leave the flock of the Eastern Bloc. Warsaw Pact soldiers snarl openly at nouveau shop owners -- capitalists eagerly straining to see over each other's shoulders into 1992. Still, 75 cents takes you deep below the city, to the ancient thermal baths where hordes of large Hungarian women soak naked. Another 75 cents buys you a chop-and-slap massage in the nude, under the trained and calloused hands of a "professional" employed by the state. It's not a system we have chosen to live under, but we can't condemn it. Hungary has survived, in one form or another, for almost 1,000 years. Still, it cannot produce a decent beer. And so we left after 3 or 4 days, back to the West..."