Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Csikszereda, Transilvania: Arrival

Our trip through the mountains and into Transilvania had a few unexpected twists and turns. Laci's passport decided to fall apart between the Hungarian and Romanian borders. The page with his photo and all the official information just fell out as Dani opened it. The border guard in Romania decided to look the other way and just noted in his passport that the page was loose. This means that we might have to return to Hungary several days early so that L. can apply for a new passport. Not a tragedy, but a hassle.

We arrived two hours late to Csik and the morning air was chilly to be sure. L.'s dad met us at the train and we loaded all of our luggage into two cars for the short trip to his mother's Communist block style apartment. After a breakfast of the local cheeses (notice cheese theme), god-kissed tomatoes (in Hungarian, the same word is used for tomato and heaven, "paradicsom"), yellow peppers, fresh slices of thick bread, salami, and, of course, cake, I fell into a deep bath and then into a deep sleep until 2pm. Then I was awoken for lunch: stuffed peppers, sour cream, fresh bread, mineral water and fresh raspberries in cream for dessert. The rasberries were picked from the mountains that surround us. I did manage to stay awake to walk to the next village to visit family, then fell asleep until dinner. I had vowed to eat only fruit for dinner BUT his mother had prepared a local speciality, a kind of meat that is a blend of pork and beef and cooked kind of like a sausage link. I indulged. Then I slept again. Laci went out about 9 to meet friends. I was too tired. Thus passed day one.

This is a typical first day for me in the mountain air. The thick oxygen content in the air, the large doses of heavenly food on the table and the restless night on the train all equal deep sleep and strange dreams. Among other nightly ruminations, I did dream that I was teaching a Latin class. Poorly.

I finished The Stone Diaries on the train and to read all of pictures of hollis woods by Patricia Reilly Giff yesterday (a short young adult novel). More thoughts on these books later. More impressions of this city and the people as well.

Now I think I shall leave this internet cafe-filled with young boys playing shooting games and pulsing with American/Hungarian/Romanian pop music--and head downtown with my boys to sit in the summer air at Tilos (a cafe), drink a Fanta and wait until it is time to return home for lunch.

1 comment:

Rich said...


This is fantastic stuff. I've been to Budapest once and I know exactly what you mean when you write "Communist block apartment."

So glad to have met you in South Bend.

I'm in Frisco today...finally made it. And still writing away. Traveling is great even if just for the stories, isn't it?

See ya soon in Boston!
Have Fun!
-Rich (a.k.a. Jack Kerouac - at least for a few more days!)