September 2, 2008

CouchSurfing Balmazújváros
Balmazújváros, Hungary

Our new hosts are Nora and Róbert, and their home is absolutely beautiful—like something straight out of an Ikea catalog, but without the overabundance of laminate flat-pack furniture.

What an amazingly pleasant contrast this style of travel is to any that I've known prior. Never before have I had someone waiting for me at a bus or train station with smiles to whisk me away to comfortable accommodations (that wasn't making money by doing so). Removing the stress of room hunting in these parts is pretty wild stuff, and even more so when I've got the family in tow. Now all that's left is getting from one city to the other, and being on time about it.

We spent the dwindling hours of yesterday evening getting to know our warm, friendly, fastidiously tidy hosts. We were surprised to learn that Nora had cooked a meal for us (soup, salad, entrée, and dessert), turning out to be both tasty, and the first real Hungarian meal that we've had (that we didn't prepare ourselves—decidedly lacking in pasta and sausage). The yummy-looking champagne that I'd bought for them needed to be chilled—perhaps it'll be had later during our visit.

Aidric was doing his best to be the center of attention for as long as he could, but finally gave in and went to sleep in our guest bedroom full of toys and stuffed animals. He's never been around so many toys before—the kid doesn't know what to do with them all.

Nora is a judge/lawyer and part-time religion teacher. Róbert is a second-generation pharmacist, an only child born to parents who are both still practicing the profession. His job is conveniently located just downstairs—the large apartment is actually situated above the pharmacy.

Interestingly, Róbert has been living in this flat for his entire life, showing me his former bedroom, now turned office. The apartment was renovated about six years ago (around the time the two got married), beautifully merging two different apartments into one singular unit.

I really can't imagine a more modern or comfortable home in the whole of Hungary.

This morning we found the breakfast foodstuffs (bread, jam, honey, sausage, coffee) waiting for us on the dining room table. We're simply overwhelmed by the show of generosity.

Comments:

The Philippines

Jagad Guru

September 23rd, 2008

Hello, I just came across your blog today. This is the first time I've heard of "couch surfing". It sounds wonderful. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us! By the way, your son is adorable!

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