September 5, 2008

CouchSurfing Biharkeresztes
Biharkeresztes, Hungary

Tatiana was pretty sad to be parting ways from Nora and Róbert this morning. They had a prior weekend commitment that was taking them out of town on Saturday (tomorrow). Four nights certainly wasn't enough time in their wonderful home—I think Tatiana would've loved to have rented the room from them for a spell.

"Aidric Little"

I really think the best way I can describe these folks is to say that we met the real-life equivalent of Stuart Little's "parents"—minus the mouse. Seriously like something out of a movie.

The two said their home was open to us whenever we wished to return, and genuinely hoped that we would.

Róbert took the time out of his schedule to drive us back to the big university town of Debrecen and give us a brief walking tour of the city center and university before dropping us at the bus station. I think the lasting memory that I'll take away from Debrecen is that the young men must be very happy in this city, as it sports some of the best looking girls I've seen in Eastern Europe.

Path to Biharkeresztes

The bus was packed (and stuffy) with university students leaving town for the weekend. Aidric slept the scenery away, as usual.

Our new hosts, Josef and Teri, are the last of the original six people/cities contacted from Eger. Of that lot, three we've now stayed at; two others replied but we didn't 'surf (one unavailable the other out of town); and one didn't respond. My prior contact and communication with them is what allowed for such a quick transition from Nora and Róbert's.

Biharkeresztes

We're seriously out here in the middle of nowhere—caught up in a border town with Romania, surrounded by corn.

Josef and Teri are actually a pair of Romanians that still work in Romania, but like many other of their countrymen, have found it easier and more affordable to buy properly and a home across the border into Hungary (thanks to E.U. membership, a house here actually costs less than an apartment there).

The two are newlyweds, having just returned from their honeymoon vacation to Iceland and London (where they camped or CouchSurfed with others to save on expenses and to mix it up a bit). Their home is a work in progress, and certainly has the makings of a wonderful little pad in the middle of a cluster of dilapidated gypsy dwellings. There's a lot of work left to be done, but Josef seems to have both a vision and the skill set to accomplish it with time.

Neighbors

I took great interest in learning how the home, built just two or so decades ago, was still filled in the attic space with hundreds of pounds of hay and dirt for insulation. Most homes in these parts are still constructed out of straw and earth bricks, with a layer of cement over it for good measure.

The couch / our bed

Our living space during our time here will be on the couch in the living room, with Aidric sleeping in his first crib. Although Josef and Teri don't have children of their own, they've got themselves a crib for us to use. I'm wildly excited about the thought of getting Aidric out of our personal sleeping space, as he quickly turns from sweet to sour in the early mornings when he wakes us up (at an ungodly hour) with hair pulls, face slaps and playful crawling.

About the only problem I foresee is the Internet access, of which there is none in the home. They access it back at work in Romania, which presents a bit of a problem as I've currently no onward contacts.

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