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069: Koszeg+ Szombathely+ Gyor. 2012/7/9

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[Precious Koszeg and fine-looking Gyor = photo album.]

I was actually already awake when Edit walked into the tiny living room, telling me it was 6 and I needed to get up if I wanted to catch the bus.  And here’s a surprise: it was raining.  The temperature dropped distinctly, which is really a blessing.

When Edit asked me whether I want to use the small tomatoes I bought in my breakfast I didn’t know it would turn out to be probably the best breakfast I have had so far in this trip – she cooked the tomatoes with quail (鵪鶉) eggs and the lovely brownish-yellow dry-ish French cheese she used also in yesterday’s sandwiches.  “Edit food” turns out to be quite consistently tasty and healthy.  (Gosh I would never be able to transform myself into this kind of cook.)

We then went to a place she promised yesterday to take me to: it’s a “very retro-looking” place where “mostly drunk people” frequent for coffee and drinks.  Well, it does look pretty retro, but the lady owner has her smiles, and while the coffee seems to be made with some machine with a big pressing handle (somewhat resembling some old-fashioned juicer), the coffee was actually not bad.  The only strange thing in the place is an Asian that took photos.  Afterwards, Edit asked to have a photograph taken with this strange Asian.

When I said goodbye to Edit I was so happy – her laughters were somewhat infections, and it was certainly fun when we cracked each other with jokes.

Standing at the platform I asked a big young man (in a short-sleeve striped shirt and long pants with a backpack) where I should wait for the Köszeg bus.  He told me the right place, and then when my bus arrived, he walked to the other end of the station – it turns out that he was actually trying to make sure I got on the right bus, I think!

The bus arrived almost as soon as the rain stopped, and then the sky cleared up – the temperature and lights reached a perfect balance.  Oh, and no wonder they call this town “the jewelry box” of the country! It’s simply so lovely, and I was in such good mood, that I could declare right away that Hungary is my favorite country up to this point of my RTW trip – something Audrey Hepurn certainly would hesitate for a moment in Roman Holidays.

Before I got off I got an SMS from Edit: she told me I forgot my toothbrush, and she is SO FREAKING NICE that she even found out the address of a shop or supermarket in Köszeg that I can buy a new one! I replied to thank her and asked her whether I left other things behind too.  If so, “I’ll just go back and take the cat with me.” She soon replied: I only left some candies she meant to give me, but “the rat wanted to tell me that I can feel free to take the cat away, the farther the better.” I can imagine how she burst out laughing at her side, hahahahaha.

The young cock-eyed clerk in the tourist info was most kind and helpful and also graciously let me leave the luggage.  She also told me that there’re more buses than trains to Szombathely, and while train and bus stations aren’t that close to each other there, I can ask to be let off near the train station.

I had a lovely walk in town, and then went to the post office.  It was no problem to send a postcard to France, but the name “Taiwan” presented a big source of bewilderment – there’s no such a thing in the computer system.  The young lady checked and checked, and while the man waiting behind me suggested “China” and I hastened to say “not China” and wrote down the official names of the two countries, she still couldn’t find anything nor come up with any result with her colleagues.  Eventually she found something: China in Hungarian turns out to be “Kina,” as I saw on her computer screen, and Taiwan is branded “Kina-Taiwan”; the codes of the two countries are respectively “CN” and “TW.”

I thought it was lucky that I mailed the postcard at the counter instead of throwing it directly in a mailbox.  Obviously that’s how the various postcards got lost in the hands of stupid Polish people.  It was not until later when I was already on the bus that I realized I didn’t complete the address on that postcard. @#%!!!

I must be senile these days.

Anyway, I enjoyed a fine coffee at the square.  The ice cream shop slash restaurant was recommended by the clerk, and the slim waiter with shaved head, among his colleagues, is really very nice.

When I got on the bus to Szombathely, a nice young girl helped me with fluent English; it was also because of her that I knew where to get off at the train station (instead of the main bus station).  Oh, lovely Hungary.

I did want to see Szombathely, but the nice lady at the Sopron Info dismissed it as “nothing much to see – that’s my personal [opinion],” and I realized that if I do want to see the city I’ll have to wait for a train more than one hour later, so I opted not to.  I remembered what the Köszeg Info lady said, that “IC is nicer: it’s faster than ‘Express’ train, and IC has air-con, which Express doesn’t,” so I asked for IC at the box office.  I think I was charged an extra Euro for opting for IC, but then that train (leaving at 13.00) was nowhere to be found – somehow a train came into the appointed Platform One and ceased to operate.  Out of other choices, I had to go for the regular (likely “Express”) train on Platform Two, and it is free of air-con.  And that also means I would arrive at roughly 15.16 rather than at 14.27 for the IC.

Well, when I went into a cabin, an elder man helped me put the luggage to the high shelf, and his wife also gestured me to sit to another side of the seats so that I would get much more winds and would not feel hot.  This is satisfactory enough for me.

The first impression of Györ was “big.” Yes, the first several buildings have the “bigness” in their outlook, quite unlike the several Hungarian destinations I have visited.  I asked a vendor of some cheap female clothes how to get to the center and find tourist info in Germanglish (German-slash-English – a new word coined chez Damien), and he replied kindly in Germanglish of the Hungarian style.

The tourist info resides on the first floor; the ground floor is a souvenir shop with a similar furnishing style.  I went to ask them whether I could my luggage there, and they hesitated.  Finally they said ok, but they wouldn’t “be responsible for the [security of the] luggage,” and while the closing time is 5pm, I should return by 4.30.

I could ask the tourist info on the first floor, but I thought if I asked the shop I wouldn’t have to drag the luggage one floor up.  Luckily I asked, since when I asked for the same thing (thinking that I might get an extra half hour), they simply REJECTED me – the old lady there said they “aren’t luggage storage.” Yeah, like I don’t know that.

In fact there were several clerks at the tourist info desk, and aside from the one old lady they were all young people.  My first instinct was to go to one of the young people, but the old lady sat at the first place, and within one-tenth of a second I told myself to abandon my ageist discrimination.  Well, it wasn’t easy to communicate with her, and then there was the luggage story.

Anyway, I had barely an hour to explore the city, and that was what I did.  It’s lovely enough, but I had no choice but to hurry.  My host won’t leave work until “5 to 5.30pm,” so I thought it would be wise that I got something for tomorrow in a supermarket before meeting him, since supermarkets close at 6 – unfortunately we’re too close to the German-speaking countries, and shops close rather early.

Oh, when I was going to pay at the supermarket cashier, the fat clerk saw I had a smaller bill in my wallet and, ignoring the bigger bill I handed her, tried to snatch directly from my wallet the smaller bill.  This is probably nothing, but I GROWLED and told her to back off.  After the sun and the rejection and sweat I was really in no mood for any of the “I-don’t-want-bigger-bills” gimmicks.

Both a young tourist info clerk and LP highly recommended a restaurant for fish soup, and since I couldn’t get that under Edit’s guidance, I decided to go for this “inexpensive and best” choice, or in LP’s words, the place in town that “serves the damn best fish soup.” Ok, it was hot, there was of course no fan, and no-one speaks anything other than Hungarian (which is only right and perfectly fine), but while I usually would go for the polite comment “this is interesting,” I have to say I simply DON’T LIKE the fish soup and regretted that I also ordered a fish main dish with “German egg noodles.” I like none of them.  If this is Hungarian fish soup (or fish stew), then I don’t want to try it again.  How come people would choose to have all the paste and sauce in the soup and make it heavy and dense rather than let the fish meat show its own natural flavor? As for the fish main dish, of course it’s fried, and I didn’t even think of the possibility before ordering.

然後我跑去廣場唯一一家有wi-fi的咖啡廳坐。戶外有已變弱但仍強烈西曬的陽光,不過室內更悶,所以還是坐外面。一早起來到現在已經累了,不可能計畫什麼巴爾幹的部分,所以我只是隨便講點電話。

26歲的沙發主Arnaud來了,帶我走到他家。我本來是一副「我是開心好相處沙發客」的樣子,不過我很快發現我們無法很快聽懂對方的英文-在到他家之前我想了一下,很年輕的他有蠻明顯的法文口音。當然啦,他是法國人。我可能累了,語音辨識功能下降,再者他的法式皺鼻抱怨方式讓我更累。他說他這二年來匈牙利工作,感受是出外生活不易,而且在匈牙利生活不易受當地人接受。為什麼呢?「因為我不管講德文或我會的一點匈牙利文都有法國口音。」

我好心地說,那不如花一點時間,把口音稍微修正一下呀。畢竟他自己認為口音是被不被接受的原因嘛。

他的回答是:外國人在異鄉生活已經很累了,很多事要做,很多事不方便,還要學一點語言,沒時間改善口音問題。

好吧。

A開始上網看電郵,每看個二行都來句法式 “okie”,過了一下我說我有偏頭痛,先去躺一下。等後來八點時他終於用完電腦、說決定進城和朋友喝飲料,邀我一起去,我和他說我不太舒服,還是在家休息好了。

熱歸熱,還好我這間房如果窗戶橫向全開是有涼風的。躺著客房裡的單人床上,其實我覺得自己蠻幸運有這樣的地方可住。至於這晚沒和沙發主出去,是大件大好的事,因為我不覺得這麼累的狀況下我的表現會多好。做完運動洗完澡,想睡睡不著,到九點半時A回來了,畢竟我也休息了一下,決定當個好一點的客人,跑去客廳找點話題聊,看到他有吉他,問他是否還彈古典吉他,於是他開始彈奏起來。

這可能不是個很好的選擇,因為很顯然他久沒彈了,而且當他開始埋怨沒時間練、埋怨其實一般人對於聽他彈這個和彈一些刷刷和弦伴唱的東西反應是一樣的、以及埋怨工作很忙沒時間上課只有放假很閒才會有興緻練時,我心中馬上浮現的念頭是:
音樂需要絕對的紀律;
有得就要有捨;以及
想針對彈奏句法如何才有音樂性這點對他作出指導。

我最後真的有說的是,「技巧會喪失,但音樂性永在。」他不表同意。

我選擇明天坐7.20的車,Arnaud很好心地說可以載我去車站。這點我很感謝他。我問他是否可以幫他整理什麼或做什麼,他也婉謝了。

其實我該乖乖去睡,但在網路上遇到超久沒見的小白,來來回回幾封信之外又忍不住小聊了一下。我真的很高興遇到一向很聰明的小白。

明天又要六點起床,我一定又睡不夠,特別是最近我並不是碰到枕頭就會睡著的那型。

 

記帳:
公車:1120 (約TWD145)
郵票:270 (約TWD35)
咖啡:330
超市:660
公車+ 火車:465+ (2140+380)
超市:500
晚餐:3150
咖啡:350
總計: 9365HUF,折約1216TWD(以較苛之7.7計)

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