Trip Start Apr 17, 2001
284Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
Sea View Resort
Elenka was having a late afternoon nap. I was sitting in the outdoor common area of the place we're staying when this tall guy approached with a plate of leftover food. I pegged him right away by his accent. Russian, they're all over the place here. "Where is dog," he said.
“You mean my dog, the one who's over on my porch, drinking my water?”
The Slav set the plate on the table, gave me a dirty look and walked off.
Half-an-hour later the guy came by again
“Rover? What is Rover?”
“The dog! It's his name,” I said.
The guy looked at me puzzled and said, “Where you from?”
“Canada,” I said, with a gesture of distance. “Way off, very cold. Where are you from?”
“Really! Where in Slovakia?”
The big guy misunderstood my question. “It is in middle Europe. Used to be part of Czechoslovakia.”
“Yeah, yeah,” I said
“Myjava. It is-”
I heard no more. Suddenly, my knees went week; head started to spin. Here I was, in the middle of the Bay of Bengal, having my second in a row Kookoo's Nest, Daniel and Sara experience. Myjava is a small western Slovak town that most likely no one outside of Slovakia has ever heard of. We've been there though, stayed in its only hotel. Myjava is where Elenka's mother was born. I tried to remain calm, probably mumbled a bit. The big guy thought I was having a seizure.
Suddenly, Elenka opened the door to find out what the ruckus was all about and I passed my seizure-like feeling on to her.
Her and the big guy, Radolslav talked in Slovak for a bit. Then out from their cabina came Alzbeta, Radoslav's wife. Turns out they're both doctors, practicing in Germany. They've given it up for six months or so to see the world. Radoslav started calling his wife Betty, to make it easy for me. But I would have no part of it; Betty isn't Slavic and the name reminded me of the Archie comics. After three days I finally got the pronunciation of Alzbeta sort of right. The 'z' with a little stroke above it produces a sort of a 'sh' sound.
Last week we spent most of our time with the Swedes, Daniel and Sara. This week we're doing the same with Slovaks. In a couple of days we head back to mainland India. I fully expect to meet someone there from my hometown, Tottenham; maybe a neighbour from our street in Toronto; or my grade 1 teacher, Sister Loyola. I thought it was all about the ever wandering cows, but perhaps these kinds of meetings are what people really mean when they say India is spiritual.