Monday, April 03, 2006


Having spent I-don’t-even-know-how-many weekends in Szolnok, this last weekend an escape was long overdue. So Friday afternoon I hopped a bus Kiskunhalas-ward in search of adventure and booze. Success on both counts.

Since spring has finally arrived to stay in Hungary, we made it our mission on Saturday to get outdoors and enjoy the sunshine. Granted, this took almost until noon to accomplish, due to an extreme laziness and lack of motivation. Finally we settled on a goal: finding the Kkhalas river, which appeared on the map as a tiny blue line snaking through the city. A secondary goal was the two pubs the map indicated on either side of the bridge.

Well, the “river” didn’t really live up to it’s name. Unless you picture a river as a garbage-filled, stagnant channel. Which I don’t. We did run into some interesting characters along the “banks” of the “river”, including frogs, turtles, a tribe of dogs and a tribe of gypsies.

The pubs turned out to be quite similar to the river - dead, ugly, and sketchy - so we settled on a marginally better place near the bus station. After lunch, having satisfied the need to spend time outside, we retreated back indoors for an afternoon of lazing (and yes, that is an actual verb. I looked it up. Not that I’m overly concerned with whether the words I use are “real” or not - why start now? But in my opinion, both the verb “to laze” and the action itself are underused. And I’m trying my best to remedy both).

Wait, where was I? Oh, who cares. I’m skipping ahead to Sunday morning, when we got up, I won’t say early, but it did involve an alarm, in order to go to the fantastic, first-weekend-of-the-month market, which is held on a big field outside of town (near the “river,” actually). There are miles of booths filled with clothes, tools, produce, electronics, housewares, textiles, and pretty much any other type of junk you could imagine. The best part (and the reason for the alarm): at the far side of the field, an entire section devoted to animals. Horses, cows, the occasional sheep, and the most adorable little pigs (as well as some that weren’t so cute). We spent a good time ogling the animals, but went home empty-handed.

Although I didn’t come back to Szolnok empty-handed; I managed to steal 6 books, which should keep me reading for the next month or so. Wait, I forgot that I’ll be spending a week on a bus, followed by a week lazing around my flat not working. So, maybe for half a month. Well, we’ll see.

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