Bratislava behind me, budapest in my sights

Trip Start May 16, 2006
Trip End Aug 16, 2006

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Flag of Hungary  ,
Tuesday, May 30, 2006

[note: this keyboard is miserable, so there wont be much error correction, as if I ever do]

Bratislava continued to be as expected... a bit backwards, a bit like a warzone, very run down, fairly interesting, very cheap. I eventually got to a hostel when the next one I went ot called up another, and the guy actually came and picked me up. It had no sign outside, seemed very weird, so i got a bit concerne. It turned out great, though, the guy was very nice, it was cozy, mostly good people. I ended up hanging out with 3 very crazy Australians and a Canadian. On the train from Dresden to prague, I happen to be sitting in the smoking section. A guy came in to smoke. I asked him if he spoke english, as nobody else did and I was bored, and we talked for a few minutes, then he went back from whence he came. After meeting the Canadian in Bratislava, I had a weird feeling that he looked familiar. You know where this is going... IT WAS THE SAME CANADIAN. We figured it out a few hours later. Crazy. I talked to only one person on that train, and there were only about 15 people in the Hostel. And we meet twice randomly three countries apart.

Anyway, Bratislava had some decent people watching, a somewhat boring castle with a somewhat boring museum with a somewhat interesting view of residential bratislava across the river. It was grey communist block after grey communist block. Desolate. run down. etc.

walking around i came across a dozen police and a few ambulences around 3 or 4 guys about my age sitting on the ground. as i got nearer and nearer, i see that they are all bloodied and bandaged up. and i get closer still and they are.... handcuffed. one was limply dropping his head to and fro, seemingly near unconsciousness, hopefully not death. fairly disturbing. a few cops seemed to notice my camera hanging at my side, so i scurried away, not wanting them to get the wrong idea.

i suppose i didnt see the worst, though... on the train to budapest, the guys i talked to most of the way had seen a dead body under a tree when walking around. eery.

i am getting more and more run down due to endless day after endless day of walking, walking, walking, so yesterday was spent sitting around the hostel chatting with english speaking non-americans, the standard residents in places like this. the population of england, australia, and canada are, combined, a fraction of america's. why, then does one see 5 times more of these than americans? could it be that we get 2 weeks of vacation a year when the rest of the world gets 5 or more? maybe. are we afraid of the world? maybe, but i have felt far safer every single place i have been here than i do at night in atlanta. it is money issues for some, definitely, but we have a much higher GDP per capita than those other places, so that should not affect the average. my theory is a career-mindedness that is more prominent in americans. rant over. time to see budapest.
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