Shopping for Porcelain
Trip Start May 15, 2006
21Trip End Aug 03, 2006
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About 2 hours drive outside Budapest, there is an outlet for Hungary's most famous porcelain maker Herend - designers to kings and queens, and people who can afford to spend $1000 AUD on a coffee pot. (Needless to say, you wouldn't reach for it shaky-handed the morning after a big night).
The highlight of the trip was actually travelling through a town, the name of which I've been practising for weeks to impress my hosts. Szekesfehevar. Doesn't look so tricky, does it? The thing they don't tell you about Hungary, before you plan to spend three months here, is that you have to learn to sneeze and hiccup in the middle of the word, sound like you're choking, gasp for breath, and then take a wild stab in the dark, and then you might _ just might _ get close to pronouncing it right
Regardless of how impressed I was with myself, the countryside was absolutely gorgeous (see pics), dotted with these tiny villages with houses and farms.
The porcelain factory was great - but the museum even better. Who would've thought a history of plates and teacups would've been such a hit, but it takes on a huge national pride in tiny Hungary, because it is exported so successfully all over the world.
Unfortunately, when the average wage is six euro an hour, it would take a Hungarian 20 hours of work to buy a coffee cup - and that's not even for a cappuccino. I'm talking short black size.
That said, I bought up a storm, and am now beginning to wonder how I'll get the precious porcelain through the backpackers hostels of Eastern Europe in one piece...