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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

LEAVING BUDAPEST

I am writing this from Sarajevo, Bosnia. I am at the hostel 'Tito44'. I have no idea why it's called that. I was in the lounge area which was designed more around style than comfort, but the Australian lady I will talk about more later wanted to watch TV so naturally, I disappeared from the room. The staff built me a place to use my computer out on the smoking balcony. It is totally unfit for such, but we're making it work. The sky is overcast threatening rain and the city is quiet.



CLOSING HUNGARIAN THOUGHTS

Zsolt from the hostel told me that in Hungary, parents cannot give their children just any name. All names must either come from the big book of children's names or - if the name you want to give your child is not in there, you have to fill out paperwork with the government to get it approved for use. Zsolt said it was a big book and there were names in it he hadn't heard of. He mentioned it would keep parents from naming their kid somehting stupid, like 'Adolf Hitler' or some such. I've always like the name "Unwanted baby" best but I don't think that appears in the big book.



TRAVELER'S TIP

Small footprint. I've seen a lot of different travelers that like to spread their shit all over the place when they get to a new room or whatever. That is how you lose shit. Always try to keep your shit together and be sure to put it back in the same place as where you normally do. Here's what happened to me.

I was having a drink (read as several bottles of vodka, wine and beer) with my Polish friends as well as Chris who replaced a Korean guy after we saw the dismayed look on the Korean's face when he saw the in progress party upon checking in. After we had run out of Vodka the first time, Yekrik (AKA Polka) kindly offered to go get more. I gave him some of my money to help out in purchasing it. Unfortunately, I put my (fake) wallet back into the wrong spot. I had stored it with my 'sleep bindle' rather than my normal pouch. Needless to say, the next day, it wasn't where I had expected it to be. Since I keep my stuff in a small area I had a suspicion that it would turn up again soon. Fortunately, it did.

For those curious about what I keep in my 'night bindle' it is stuff like eye drops, throat spray, glasses case, etc. This stuff stays with me when I sleep.

If you do wear glasses, I do recommend bringing a small hard case to keep them in when you're not wearing them. Otherwise, you may hear a disheartening crunch in the future and then you are fucked.

I would like to say that the Poles - men and women - can really drink a lot of vodka. I had girls that weigh NOTHING compared to me keeping up with me. Were it not for my superior body fat, I would have surely succumb to the unforgivable sin of becoming drunk. It is considered appropriate to drink all day and night (like a fish!) but becoming drunk is not cool. I have no idea how they do it.

Those guys have motivated me to visit Poland some time.

You are allowed to smoke in rail stations in Budapest, including under the awnings. By mutual consent, everyone seems to throw their butts onto the tracks. Some day they will have to clear them off as to not interfere with the trains. I've found as you you go further east, more and more people smoke and the bans on smoking are lighter and lighter.

Although communism, secret police and whatnot were very bad for Hungary, I think they do have to thank them for their infrastructure. It kind of reminds me of the 'what have the Romans ever done for us?' skit in the movie Life of Brian.

Looking back on Budapest, it was nice but not for the expected reasons. I liked meeting up with my fellow trawlers, the folks at 'Cheers' and such more than the city. I just got 'architectured out'.

I think the people of Budapest as well as some which read this blog have been surprised that I really didn't do all that much in Budapest. I mainly just relaxed rather than running around trying to get it all in. I think my attitude is 'I live in Europe for now - I can go back and see it later if I really want'.



COUCH SURFING

Thus far, it seems completely useless. I've sent off 30-50 messages and when I have gotten an answer it can be summed up as 'sorry'. I'm going to keep trying it in hopes of meeting the locals but thus far I have nothing really good to say about it.



TRAVELER'S TIP

Not all of the train cars go to where you are going, even though they are on the same train. I read about this before I left and was prepared for it. They have pieces of paper in the windows to tell you where the car goes. I also interrogated non-English speaking people about it to make sure I got the right car. Until I got to Bosnia, I pretty much had the car to myself. Drying towels and such I think helps. And grinning at them when they consider coming into your car.


More later!

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PICTURES

{{2011}} London, GB | Rail N Sail | Amsterdam, Netherlands | Prague, Czech Republic | Budapest, Hungary | Sarajevo, Bosnia | Romania | Chisinau, Moldova | Ukraine: Odessa - Sevastopol | Crossed Black Sea by ship | Georgia: Batumi - Tbilisi - Telavi - Sighnaghi - Chabukiani | Turkey: Kars - Lost City of Ani - Goreme - Istanbul | Jordan: Amman - Wadi Rum | Israel | Egypt: Neweiba - Luxor - Karnak - Cairo | Thailand: Bangkok - Pattaya - Chaing Mai - Chaing Rei | Laos: Luang Prabang - Pakse | Cambodia: Phnom Penh | Vietnam: Vung Tau - Saigon aka Ho Chi Minh City

{{2012}} Cambodia: Kampot - Sihanoukville - Siem Reap - Angkor Wat | Thailand: Bangkok | India: Rishikesh - Ajmer - Pushkar - Bundi - Udaipur - Jodhpur - Jasalmer - Bikaner - Jaipur - Agra - Varanasi | Nepal: Kathmandu - Chitwan - Pokhara - Bhaktapur - (Rafting) - Dharan | India: Darjeeling - Calcutta Panaji | Thailand: Bangkok - again - Krabi Town | Malaysia, Malaka | Indonesia: Dumas - Bukittinggi - Kuta - Ubud - 'Full Throttle' - Gili Islands - Senggigi | Cambodia: Siem Reap | Thailand: Trat | Turkey: Istanbul | Georgia: Tbilisi

{{2013}} Latvia: Riga | Germany: Berlin | Spain: Malaga - Grenada | Morocco: Marrakech - Essauira - Casablanca - Chefchawen - Fes | Germany: Frankfurt | Logan's Home Invasion USA: Virginia - Michigan - Indiana - Illinois - Illinois - Colorado | Guatemala: Antigua - San Pedro | Honduras: Copan Ruinas - Utila | Nicaragua: Granada | Colombia: Cartagena | Ecuador: Otavalo - Quito - Banos - Samari (a spa outside of Banos) - Puyo - Mera

{{2014}} Peru: Lima - Nasca - Cusco | Dominican Republic | Ukraine: Odessa | Bulgaria: Varna - Plovdiv | Macedonia: Skopje - Bitola - Ohrid - Struga | Albania: Berat - Sarande | Greece: Athens | Italy: Naples - Pompeii - Salerno | Tunisia: Hammamet 1

{{2015}} Hammamet 2 | South Africa: Johnnesburg | Thailand: Hua Hin - Hat Yai | Malaysia: Georgetown | Thailand: Krabi Town | Indonesia:
Sabang Island | Bulgaria: Plovdiv | Romania: Ploiesti - Targu Mures | Poland: Warsaw | Czech Republic: Prague | Germany: Munich | Netherlands: Groningen | England: Slough | Thailand: Ayutthaya - Khon Kaen - Vang Vieng | Cambodia: Siem Reap

{{2016}} Thailand: Kanchanaburi - Chumphon | Malaysia: Ipoh - Kuala Lumpur - Kuching - Miri | Ukraine: Kiev | Romania: Targu Mures - Barsov | Morocco: Tetouan

{{2017}} Portugal: Faro | USA: Virginia | Michigan | Illinois |

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