Guest post: The Road to Budapest
The Road to Budapest
We’ve got another engrossing story for you, sent by a female solo hitch-hiker thumbing her way across Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Slovakia and Hungary. This is the account of the last part of her journey. I guess if you are a solo female hitch-hiker, a situation like this must have happened to you at least once…
I left for western Germany on the 24th of August, straight after the Secret Garden Party. I hadn’t planned on going travelling this summer due to the fact I’m saving up to go to South America next year. However, returning home and having a week without any friends (as they were still at university), a job, or studies, quickly got to me when I was used to being almost irritatingly busy. One day, an advert for £12 flights to Bremen popped up on my computer and I booked it without thinking. Flew into Bremen a couple of weeks later and then hitch hiked across Germany, Poland, Lithuania, back through Poland, Slovakia and then Hungary. This is part of the story of my last day hitch hiking.
I left from Krakow sometime around the 9th of August intending to hitch to Budapest. I got picked up from my starting point within about forty seconds by a man who just dropped me twenty kilometres further along the motorway. I’d been there for maybe ten minutes before getting picked up by a man in a lorry who was going all the way to Budapest. He was from Serbia and spoke absolutely no English, just Russian and Serbian so we had no means of communication. We managed to ascertain that I am T. and he is Kasha (high five worthy news) and we just sat and listened to awful pop music for about nine hours, unable to understand each other but creating some sort of bond through a shared lack of singing ability and equally terrible dance moves. About sixty kilometres before we reached Budapest, I discovered that Kasha’s knowledge of English was not as poor as I’d previously been led to believe. Mid warble, he turned to me, put a hand on my thigh and asked,
‘No, no sex.’
‘Okay. No problem!’
At which he flaps a hand in the air, but switches the music off and doesn’t say another word until we reach a lorry park someway past Budapest. Clearly, lack of sex wasn’t a problem at all.
At the petrol station, he told me through miming, that he was going to sleep. I abandoned the lorry and went to the petrol station to ask if there was a way to get to Budapest without going backwards. Nope, they said. You have to go at least ten kilometres back. Shit.
However, on my way out I met some big Hungarian builders who I proceeded to explain my predicament to through a mixture of bad English and terrible Google translate. Originally they tried to give me driving instructions but eventually they understood that I had no car and so after some discussion, bundled me into theirs. I was slightly confused by this as I’d already understood that they were going a fair distance past Budapest but I hoped that they were planning on dropping me at a turning. Ten minutes later I realised that two of them (not the driver) were absolutely wasted and still passing the vodka bottle back and forth. This worried me slightly. Over forty minutes later and five missed turnings to Budapest, I was shitting myself. I started to ask where we were, but they just smiled at me and didn’t reply. Definitely not making me feel any better. However, just a few minutes later they took a turning, stopped at a petrol station and said ‘Here, Buda! Good luck!’, before pushing me out and driving off.
I arrived at my hostel feeling pretty emotional. Relieved to have a bed to sleep in again and really happy to be alive and okay. Loving humanity for the fact that there were three human beings decent enough to go an hour out of their way to make sure I got to where I wanted to go safely. The events that followed my arrival into Budapest just got more bizarre. Budapest is a crazy place. But I think that’s a story for another blog entry.
written by: T. (who wants to stay anonymous)