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travel journal 1

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Day (-2), (-1): 24 – 25 July 2007

“The walking Meatball or Meatball walking.”

Preparation for the visit equals gifts. I had a hard time choosing the suitable, not too heavy, but most of all enjoyable and loveable gifts. But my mind contaminated this act as well: digital drawing tablet for an 8-year-old girl. Nice! It was just for the show-off (every 8- -year old likes drawing, but I have 2 weeks to teach my cousin a bit of Corel Draw), because we sustain and encourage any form of show-off in the family. I really mean ANYTHING (double-check on The Cat in the Hat). Last minute low-cost GPS, wine, T-shirts and a beautiful china ink drawing (Oradea, The back corner of them’ hoes – as the rappers would call it). Here, a little tribute to the Ferenczys’. Crowded train on the way home. Passengers: smiling and seemingly happy, kind and friendly under average teenagers with young (or wanting to stay young) teacher. I think I really hate this category. They use glasses to drink mineral water on the train, even though that they have their own bottles of mineral water: CREAPY. Packing, using and keeping plastic glasses for journeys demands special characteristics. I don’t have them and with a few exceptions I hate the people who have them. Too much hatred, so a good and healthy sleep follows.


Day 0: 26 July 2007

“Shalom! – said the Romanian customs officer to the Iranian passenger.”

“Frankreich mit einem Schuss Deutchland. Das ist Elsas!”

First features of the day: easy packing, gentle weather, and blue Mercedes Sprinter bus to the airport. We had two stops and the customs, where everything happens. The collision, the humor and irony; or a stone-cold hick manifests himself. I had a bit of spare time on Ferihegy (around 5 hours), so I’ve enjoyed what rarely triggers my mucingeneration: Cherry Coke. And I’ve killed a book in the lobby (Goddard, Angela (2002), Limbajul Publicitatii. Editura Polirom, Iasi. Achtung! She is not French!), reading parallel with a Dutch (just a wild guess, he could have been Belgian as well) tourist waiting for the same flight. The stereotypes work: huge and loud Greek families gathered around the alpha male are waiting for check-in. 40kg luggage, shouting, laughing, Douglas. The ultra enthusiastic SkyEurope workers did their job, but they were tired. We forgive them for that!

Take-off: too slow, too low cost. No kick, just rumble, but not royal one. Dear captain Bartfai and the crew: That was an “E” minus!

Airplane: Three Hungarian (igen igen: kemeny pesti zsiroscsaladbolvalo vicces bunkeszek, akik arra a kerdesre, hogy 24es vagy 25os sor van itt most vegul – mivel a ket oldalon el vannak tolodva 1el a szamozasok, es ahol ulsz termeszetesen azt latod ami a masik oldalon van, azt valaszolja nagy viccesen a csavo, hogy: jah, hallod tudod a betuk azok valtakoznak (vigyori arc)?! Reakcio: jah, azok igen, pont mint As korodban az egykettoharmas konyvben a szamok. Onelegulten leulok [es pontosan tudom, hogy kesobb onelegulten le is fogom irn], mert magam is elemzesre meltonak tartom valaszom) teenagers are playing the funny, drinking whisky and enjoying probably their first totally free vacation where they will spend around 2000 Euros, each (just the plane swallowed up around 100 – not bad for 1h and 35 minutes of net flight time).

Landing: smooth.

SkyEurope feeling: what did you expect?

Athens: the airport is great (both meaning of this word). The Olympic Games have their fingerprints on everything, but the single fully walled private highway in Europe is the most impressive. At an unobservable 130-km/h speed I’ve found out that this highway faces traffic problems as well. I’ve dedicated no special attention to this information because, as I remember, even in 2000 when my last visit took place, nobody respected any traffic rules. Nothing, nichts, semmi, nimic. This did not change, but more about traffic later on.

No packing, just sleeping.


Day 1: 27 July 2007

“Asta e “group therapy” vinerea.”

After a decent but short sleep, an ice-coffee with cigarettes was welcomed. Low communication because of the lack of English known and spoken here; but it works with presenting on phone in Romanian your detailed schedule, somebody translates it and everybody is happy. I am wandering in the neighborhood with my uncle as a third wheel and I am introduced to everybody, answering only the magic word: iasas. Extremely hot weather, extreme traffic. So, just for the record, here everybody knows everybody. We went to a barbershop, air conditioner, inside smoking and short discussion about everything between clients and barber (friend). Of course, I am just sitting there and smoking. Other visit: everybody smokes in the shops. I mean the owner/manager. I’ve asked: What about regulations and the EU? The answer was short, and confessional: It is my property; my shop; I do whatever I want. After 10 seconds: but of course, if a control passed by, I would have to pay 80 Euros. And they don’t even know that they are liberals.

Packing again. Late night in the park; just around 11 o’clock the neighborhood starts to move and live. Youngsters and elderly go out to grab a coffee (yes, a coffee – maybe they do not work in the mornings), play with their special toy (check out what The Greek leaves behind him in The Wire, Season 2). The place is really “confy” and elegant. Only real orange juice is served. Two nights in a week hosts dancing schools, which present what they learnt and teach others to dance. The old boys are staring (saliva, saliva!), younger men are gaining confidence, but no skills. It has a very bitchy feeling…Maybe other services are involved as well. But it was nice.

Today’s word: sikhtiir (Turkish word), a joker word independent from the context (a slight transition between shit and fuck it).


Information: Posts will be grouped. Daily. Romanian, Hungarian and English are the languages used. If do not understand, Ask! Photos from tomorrow on. It sucks to get back to work!


Written by zoller

August 14, 2007 at 8:03 am

One Response

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  1. […] in Greece. Same old, same old. But I have to reenvent the reporting procedure on this blog. Another travel journal? Or maybe Cristina should write the posts…Yeah, definately. Overwhelming web […]

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