Friday, June 19, 2015

It’s Friday, the third last day of the week and the final day of a productive work week. I’ve successfully adjusted my working hours to a day that begins at 6 a.m. and ends in the early afternoon, from which I grasped that a routine is easy to plan and even easier to execute, but it’s consistency that really counts.

If a habit takes 21 days to form, then it probably takes a tenth of that time to break it.

During Arsene Wenger’s 19-year tenure at Arsenal Football Club, the one word we’ve hear over and over in his pre- and post-match press conference is “consistency”. The man known as “Le Professeur” values above anything else the ability to achieve the same goals over and over again—consistently.

Despite what many view as almost a decade of failure for an obvious lack of silverware, Wenger’s overseeing of the construction of the Emirate Stadium—Arsenal’s new home since 2006—as well as his impressive record of bringing the best out of the players he has are immeasurable achievements, unquantifiable and impossible to correlate solely with the number of trophies he’s brought home.

That said, even if Wenger—who, by the way, holds a degree in economics and speaks eight languages—manages by an unimaginable stoke of bad luck to lose the remainder of his games before the end of his contract in 2017, he would still be the club’s most successful manager in its 129-year history.

Budapest has been good to me so far. It’s hard to imagine that it’s been over two weeks since I arrived in the beginning of June.

Things have been smooth since my relocation. I don’t feel so much like a tourist anymore, especially since finding our “palace” of a flat on quiet Hernád utca.

I would be tempted to say that I’ve been lucky, but I suspect that would be cliché, when, really, I believe we make our own luck. Often when good things come my way, they are a combination of good karma and smart decision-making. I am not blowing my own trumpet, I’m simply restating the obvious fact that nobody ever hands us anything on a s silver platter; rather, it’s often the strength of desire and the willingness to “fight” for what we want that separates the boys from the men, or in less 21st-century speak: that which divides the dreamers and the doers.

Who’s to thank—or, indeed, to blame—for the success or failure in an individual’s life when he or she is unable to achieve goals. The government? The economy? The “corporations”? Putin? Granted, there are unfortunate circumstances that deter us all, but when we look at those less fortunate than we—be it in terms of money, education, or upbringing—what excuses do we really have not to try our hardest?

We have an irrational fear of failure, when what we should really be afraid of is not failure itself, but rather our illogical inability to pick ourselves up after experiencing it.

There’s not a second to waste. Even the moments you spend “chilling” or relaxing should be ones spent only because your regular productivity merits it. Our downtime must truly be earned, in the very literal sense of the word.

As I write on my balcony at 5:30 p.m., the sky begins to slowly darken, even though it won’t truly sleep until a good four hours from now. I wave at a neighbour whom I’ve just seen for the first time as she sticks her head out her window. “Jó napot” is the customary greeting, to which she responds in kind. I start to wonder if my being on both extremes of the “stranger kindness scale”—Taiwan and Russia—has actually helped me strike an odd balance between smile-and-be-nice and well-fuck-you-too-then.

Pest—east of the river Danube—is much more lively compared to its western neighbour, Buda, which is greener, more mountainous, and also slower. I wonder, if I chance upon some sort of visa extension, whether I should foray across the river for a stay instead.

I test my fondness for Europe by admiring its architecture. Come the day when I no longer watch in wonder the clouds traversing the blue sky in the backdrop of Europe’s predictably beautiful buildings, I’ll know it’s time to go.

There’s something oddly satisfying about writing on a piece of paper until dusk, almost as if the city has set a timer for me, limiting my writing time by dimming the natural light. I suppose it’s a good way to stop me from babbling on like a broken record.

Also, I miss sashimi. JSF.

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