[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.
公車+ 火車：465+ (2140+380)