We continued our journey through Europe now making our way to the eastern borders of this land. When we emerged into the terminal in the Budapest International Airport, it was another wake up call: new currency, no place to stay, and a new culture. And Mark was taking in the lessons of intercultural interaction 101 afresh. In Budapest, what you ask for is what you get. This is what Mark discovered upon asking the McDonald’s cashier for an ice cream cone. Needless to say, Mark had then to ask for some ice cream to put in that cone.
Not knowing a lick about Hungary, or Budapest, we spent three hours in the airport surveying maps and squeezing the airport dry of information. That proved to give us our bearings, and we set out for a campground auspiciously located near the heart of the city.
We followed a lead in the yellow pages to “Biker Camp”. On our way, we strolled upon a men’s soccer game. We rested our shoulders there for a time, and the grass gave us reprieve upon our still jetlagged bodies. Mark, the eternal napper (he can sleep anywhere) rested, and the sun sank low in the sky. We finally found “Biker Camp” which was, yes, the backyard of a biker mama’s house converted into campgrounds right within the limits of Hungary’s capitol. This is what we called home for the few nights we spent in Hungary.
There we visited a museum, which during WWII acted as a gulag first for the Germans then for the Russians and now chronicles the torture wrought with its walls. I had learned about WWII, but, now being here in this place had struck some deep string in my soul. I had no idea that this was the beginning of our unexpected lesson about the cruelty of humanity. Men and women had viciously imprisoned their brothers and sisters here for the sake of identity. I was then so glad then to not live in a country that wrought such torture. I had a lot to learn.
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