As long as we had lived in Mumbai, the options for weekend trips were limited to Matherans and Alibaugs of the world. Of course, a day extra and we landed up in Goa. Having moved to Europe early this year, a world of possibilities suddenly opened up. Hop, skip and jump and we could be in a new country for the weekend. Having been to Germany (the obvious option for anyone in Austria) and Czech (another neighbour), I jumped at the chance to head out on a road trip with my girlfriends from the Capoeira group in Salzburg, Austria to Zalagaerszeg, Hungary. Well, for a first trip, people would normally head to the capital Budapest and not a small town in a region where it is difficult to pronounce any town names. But, a bunch of girls doing Capoeira can hardly be compared with the average tourist. : )
When I mentioned Hungary to a few people, they were asking if it was the Balaton Music festival or the Budapest Grand Prix that weekend. To me, a Capoeira workshop in a small town is larger than the Budapest Grand Prix. I did not try explaining that to Austrians. So, here are 5 random reasons why I fell in love with the place and can’t wait to go back –
1. This particular Hungarian food that I tried – Proza or something like that… reminded me of a Potato Uthappam with Cheese. Ridiculously fattening but had a beautiful Indian touch to it.
2. Hungarian hospitality beats everything. I stayed with this lovely family – Timi and her two kids. Not one second did we feel like a guest at their place. In two days, what this family showed in terms of hospitality, I don’t think I have felt the same way in neighbouring Austria in 4 months. I guess that’s why cultures are different and you learn to love each for what it is.
3. Simple joys of life. We had some of the best times sitting in this bench, sipping some beer or cola and singing. Whether it was Capoeira songs or Hungarian rap (the boy we stayed with was a killer rapper and he even had a rap name – Mr. Mafia), those bench times were amazing.
4. When you don’t know where you are going, that is the most exciting. And, when you can drive there, it is even better. With a bunch of girls, it is amazing. Hungary is a perfect destination for a road trip. With confusing town names, GPS directing you into national parks, its the cheap holidays plus adventure you did not bargain for but a perfect surprise indeed.
5. Finally, Hungarian cats keep to themselves. I was in a place which had something like 13 kittens. I did not even realise it in day 1 and that’s a miracle. I’m terrified of cats. Just when I was about to leave, I saw a whole dozen of them. Phew! Thank you Hungarian cats for not wanting to be friendly with me.