|In hitchhiker language "H" is for Hungary|
"Szia. Eg, Kete, Haram"
"Ezhgie okjoklkomun keszelk?"
"Kegeskszouem keszerss!!! Gskgetlkl zeguk eguszoj ...."
Truck drivers. The true saviors for many a desperate hitchhiker. Lonely, creepy, smelly and uncouth...they receive a bad reputation even though most of them have a heart of gold. All most truck drivers need is some entertainment since being on the road for a million hours can get mind-numbingly boring. Hitchhikers have received the same bad reputation as truckers thanks to a few bad apples; and we get bored standing by the road, so naturally we bond quite quickly.
|Lost in Serbia|
Too bad I'm leaving Serbia today.
I was showing this map to the HHH, who laughed and then suddenly looked concerned. He pointed at the northern-most point on the map and said something with a rather regretful tone in his voice. He repeated it with the same sadness and I looked at his hairy, dwarf face. I gathered that was the point where I had to leave. Only when I when we reached the border did I understand that the border police was his principle concern. Were it not for that I would have had a ride on highway E75 all the way to Budapest. I shouted, "Egészségédre!" and got out.
My next two rides were spent in silence save for the Hungarian greetings. These people weren't as excited as the truck-driving HHH to venture a conversation with a foreigner when they couldn't speak English. My final ride dropped me off in central District IX within the vicinity of a metro stop and a shopping mall. The mall had a bookshop where I quickly checked my email. My last-minute planning skills were in effect, and I was hoping for a last-minute Couchsurfer to give me a place to stay.
There was no last-minute Couchsurfer. I received responses, but they were offers for other nights or locations too far outside of downtown for me to handle getting lost at 9 at night. This left me to search for hostels. I already knew of some from previous stays so I headed to my favorite of them all: Budapest Bubble. It's perhaps one of the smallest hostels in Budapest, but by far the coziest and friendliest one. And one of the co-owners, Olga, has received praise and admiration from far away for her smile and indie-girl good looks. I took the nearest metro there.
Budapest Bubble was full. No surprise for a place that only has 20 beds. However they did send me to their sister hostel, Aboriginal Hostel, which was a mere 500 meters down the road. I thought I would get some sleep. Instead, as a card-carrying hostel manager from Costa Rica, I met some very important hostel people who revealed to me the rather sordid and often dirty business of hostel management. It's a long night.