“My” Hungary

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Posted by Giom | Posted in On the road | Posted on 05-09-2012

Also available in: French

I was hoping to cross Hungary as quickly as possible to join Romania, the country where I spent 6 months during my amazing EVS (European Voluntary Service), but I found myself at ease here, people gave me a warm welcome and I’ve even had a hard time leaving.

Chantier à Holloko

In my opinion, it is one of the luxuries and also one of the drawbacks of this kind of travel. Being alone for the moment, how could I refuse an offer of accommodation in a place where there are 50 persons, who are here to create activities with the Gypsy kids of the neighbourhood, all this in an international atmosphere where I can talk, listen and understand either in English, French and even Spanish?

After spending 5 days in Budapest at EVS people who welcomed me like a brother, I left to go to Holloko, a place I know nothing about, except for the name of the coordinator of the voluntary work.
The temperature is about 40°C… I wake up at 4.30 am to make the most of the relative coolness of the morning. Once again, I leave without knowing if I can join the place I’m supposed to stay tonight.

The quite flat ground helps me making progress, but the sun is quicker than I am. A nap is needed.
It’s 38°C in the shade when I leave again… I have a hard time riding a hill of 5 km, for the shade has disappeared. But it was worth the effort! I am now in a village that is part of the UNESCO world heritage: Holloko!

You can listen to the podcast here ! “Allo la Planète” ici !
Minute 40 !

I arrive at the centre where «on-arrival training» is taking place. That is the presentation and introduction of the project and of the persons taking part in the project. Everybody is very curious about the project, the bike… they don’t know much about it.

I present myself, talk about the project, the aims, the actions…
I will leave with lots of addresses in Romania, Hungary, Turkey, Georgia, and Armenia… For that reason alone, it was worth riding that hill.

Then time goes by… the meetings, the discussions, the meals… I talk in English, French and Spanish…
It’s already been 3 days here! I need to go. I don’t really feel like it, because I feel good here, but I am awaited further by people I don’t know yet.

We console each other knowing that we will come back, that we will see each other again.
To not become attached to people, to places. It is the meetings that give a special flavour to that journey. In the framework of this project, we collect the dreams of the people we meet.
This journey is all but the following-up of a tourist guide. It is rather an eternal bouncing toward the eastern neighbour, always going to the East…

From Austria, I have a contact, thanks to an EVS friend from Romania, Michaela. In Vienna, I meet Leni who has made his EVS with a friend of mine from Lille. Leni gives me a name in Budapest who tells me about an organization where I meet Martins who knows Vaida (her blog) who’s going to put me up, and Baiba in Debrecen, etc.

When I was talking about “bouncing”!

Should we go?
4a.m., I wake up with the sun, my head being somewhere else.
I check everything. The most important being not to forget my head, and to be in harmony with myself. My body should obey my thoughts, not the other way round; even if it happens that it is the other way round… Let’s try to have the upper hand!

Here we go! The landscape is asleep but already hot. From the volcanic hills to the Hungarian plain, here I am, riding towards Debrecen.

One night in a campsite. I don’t really feel like talking if I’m accommodated.
I’ve talked a lot at the voluntary centre. I need to digest all that… It is very positive, but sometimes, it’s too much of new things at the same time.

Then, the last kilometres towards Debrecen, second city of Hungary. Hungarians call it the biggest village of the world. 200 000 inhabitants, and a few EVS people to put me up.
What a family the EVS or ex-EVS people make! A word on the Internet, and I have an address, a phone number…
Words, litres of water drunk, hours of sleep, overcome by the heat… Now I am ready to go again!

And this time, it’s sure!

Only 50 kilometres before Romania, so tomorrow, I’m there!

Translation: Marie AMOSSE

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