Wandering the Streets of Buda... and Pest

Trip Start Jun 08, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Sunday, September 11, 2005

Prague train station (10pm): I sat back watching a drug addict jab herself with another dose of fun in an overused arm, within afew minutes she was looking around suspiciously, as if she was being stalked. This quickly progressed to a state where she clearly believed that she had bugs on her back. Like a cat chasing its tail, she was trying to see what was on her back, whilst lashing out with her hands at her back at whatever her paranoia had tricked her into believing - maybe it was bugs, maybe not.

Which way do I look though?? The robotic 'Arnie' type dude seemed quiet fascinating aswell. He was sitting on his seat flexing his mussels in robotic type motions, admiring them. He was sitting still, but somehow managed to fall off his chair.. with a big clunk I heard his head hit the concrete(it must have really really hurt). But by the time I saw him (I was looking at the crazy drugged lady when I heard the noise of his head hitting concrete) he was dusting himself off and back on the seat again - about to start flexing his legs this time... trying hard to pretend nothing had happened. Maybe nothing had happened to him though, maybe it hadn't even registered - it was hard to tell.

So many fruit loops doing crazy things that I didn't know which way to look. I tried hard to figure out the difference between the totally drugged, the totally crazy and simply the lonely homeless but it was incredibly hard to decipher. Society hadn't yet separated these people into wards with signs on them saying 'drug rehab', or 'psychologically insane'. They were all just one and the same - vacant people living in the same space at the same time, the cause of their grief apparently not making any difference to the enjoyment of their lives. I was just happy when I could escape onto my train.

My sleeper cabin to Budapest was to be shared with 3 loud, clumsy, inconsiderate and untidy young American guys. I am now in a part of the world where the less experienced travellers thrive in abundance, understandably with these travellers comes a mixture of both amazement and intolerance of the apparently strange world they are in. Everybody has a first adventure that should be encouraged, never ever underestimated or dissed. I like running into 'new' travellers because they still get a sense of excitement out of things (like boarder crossings) that novelty wore off with me awhile back - their impressions refreshing and chatting to them is like being a kid in the travel world. I could tell these guy hadn't done much (if any) travel, that didn't bother me at all. The problem was that they had no manners - no manners combined with inexperience was a bad combination in a pokey night carriage! These guys talked late into the night, whinged about there not being enough space, whinged when they couldn't sleep asleep and they were bolshy. Stepping all over my clean white sheets (and everyone elses) as they scaled the bunks, with their shoes on I might add, they didn't even pass a mention when one big hoof trod on my arm. I bit my tongue and I resorted to listening to 'Darcy Clay' really loudly on my Ipod to drown out their whinging drawl!

The Danube river - When I was little I used to drive the family mad by clunking 'The Blue Danube' out on the piano over and over again until the family wanted to kill me. As it turns out 'The Blue Danube' should more correctly be called 'The Merky Green Danube', but it's a fairly lovely river and I am sure that outside of the city boundaries it is actually blue. 'Buda' is located on the west side of the Danube on a hill, it's basically the 'old town' which consists of afew castle remains. It is pretty small, but lovely. I spent a whole day wandering around Buda, it has great views across the Danube to the Parliament Buildings which are depicted on most of the post cards you can buy in Budapest. The older buildings in Buda have the most amazing roofs aswell - beautiful patterns created with different coloured roofing tiles.

'Pest' on the other hand is much newer and has lots of shops, cafes etc - it's basically where everything happens. It's also where I stayed. I like Budapest - the river is a lively focal point and it's a pleasant change from the cities where the old town is surrounded by the new. My accommodation here has been good too and I have enjoyed the company of 2 Scotish guys and 2 Sweedish girls.

There's afew Kiwi's floating around this part of the world aswell - most seem in 'training' for Munich in afew weeks. Thismorning when I got up there was a young guy, adorned with an AB shirt in a comma, covered in vomit in the stair well. I covered the NZ flag on my pack and kept walking - fast. The Kiwi way of doing things through Europe - in a van - may actually not be such a bad way of travelling through these countries, I am actually finding travel through this region alittle uninspiring - everything 7-10 on the nice scale and the cities are fairly predictable. Maybe in a van you would see some more interesting things than doing this area in traditional back packer style, I don't know? It's a nice area of the world, but for me personally it hasn't been a good advert to make me want to explore to much of the rest of Europe. I can see that the continent will attract me for weekends etc, but it will be interesting to see if I pursue it further. Mind you I want to go to Spain and I think that's part of Europe is it not(I'm not too sure where the continents start and finish!).

Tonight I am off to Bosnia (Sarajevo) on the night train, no sleeper carriage on this baby so my last long train journey is going to be in a seat. No big deal, I will just have to make the most of my last long train journey because everything is starting to draw to a close.
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