Thursday, June 30, 2011

From the Puszta to Győr


That means I was a month into my grand trip into the yonder lands of paprika and potatoes.
At the beginning of my final week on the farm two German girls arrived as wwoofers (willing workers on organic farms) staying in the room next to mine in the little cottage. They've been on farms all over Europe, one has been wwoofing since June last year, and they were both seasoned bohemians. You know the sort, dreadlocks, undercuts, piercings..... I'm just a slightly filthy little city mouse compared to them. Communication round the table was interesting, as I don't speak German, the dad (who is German) doesn't speak Hungarian or English, the mother doesn't speak English either, and the girls don't speak Hungarian. Three separate languages go on at once, depending on who is talking to who, with translations for the others following. The weather warmed up significantly that last week, and we were all able to change into t-shirts and shorts, wading through the fields dotted with crimson poppies, pumping water from a well hidden in shoulder-high grass to water the crops.

On our last day on the farm we were told there was a local horse-and-cart races day happening. We peeled potatoes as quickly as our work-weary fingers could manage, brushed up, then trekked into town a good hour away to the "Races". I'm talking about a bunch of hard-faced peasants with big mustaches and baggy white shirts, racing horse drawn carts around a dusty field awkwardly fitted with some sort of obstacle course. Cheesy Hungarian music blares from a distant loudspeaker, and the snaggle-faced youths drink their beer and peer at us three bohemians suspiciously.

In the evening a Spanish family of four arrive to take over the farm work from us, since we are set to leave the next morning. The table is spread outside, not only with the usual fare we've grown and produced on the farm, but a few more Mediterranean options like olives and roasted almonds.... mmmmmm. It was a really nice way to end the first month of my stay.

In the morning the Germans convinced me to forget paying for a train and to hitch-hike with them to Budapest instead. This was an experience my sheltered little city self did not enjoy, and I will definitely not be ever doing it again if I am on my own, ever ever ever. I'll pay for my train rides thank you very much.
At Budapest I boarded my train to Győr, it was a two hour ride, and the stations of these tiny towns are barely signposted, so I sat on the edge of my seat, the landscape flying by, ready to leap up and haul my bags out the door if need be, as the train stops for like 4.5 seconds before hurtling off again.
I arrive to a decent sized town, though it's grey and drizzly, and this affects my first impression of the place.

(My camera rendered a whole lot of my sketches this eery blue colour, to which one of my friend's back in Aus commented, "Beyond the Blue Danube, everything is Blue". )

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