Bratislava behind me, budapest in my sights
Trip Start May 16, 2006
30Trip End Aug 16, 2006
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Bratislava continued to be as expected... a bit backwards, a bit like a warzone, very run down, fairly interesting, very cheap. I eventually got to a hostel when the next one I went ot called up another, and the guy actually came and picked me up. It had no sign outside, seemed very weird, so i got a bit concerne. It turned out great, though, the guy was very nice, it was cozy, mostly good people. I ended up hanging out with 3 very crazy Australians and a Canadian. On the train from Dresden to prague, I happen to be sitting in the smoking section. A guy came in to smoke. I asked him if he spoke english, as nobody else did and I was bored, and we talked for a few minutes, then he went back from whence he came. After meeting the Canadian in Bratislava, I had a weird feeling that he looked familiar
Anyway, Bratislava had some decent people watching, a somewhat boring castle with a somewhat boring museum with a somewhat interesting view of residential bratislava across the river. It was grey communist block after grey communist block. Desolate. run down. etc.
walking around i came across a dozen police and a few ambulences around 3 or 4 guys about my age sitting on the ground. as i got nearer and nearer, i see that they are all bloodied and bandaged up. and i get closer still and they are.... handcuffed. one was limply dropping his head to and fro, seemingly near unconsciousness, hopefully not death. fairly disturbing. a few cops seemed to notice my camera hanging at my side, so i scurried away, not wanting them to get the wrong idea.
i suppose i didnt see the worst, though... on the train to budapest, the guys i talked to most of the way had seen a dead body under a tree when walking around
i am getting more and more run down due to endless day after endless day of walking, walking, walking, so yesterday was spent sitting around the hostel chatting with english speaking non-americans, the standard residents in places like this. the population of england, australia, and canada are, combined, a fraction of america's. why, then does one see 5 times more of these than americans? could it be that we get 2 weeks of vacation a year when the rest of the world gets 5 or more? maybe. are we afraid of the world? maybe, but i have felt far safer every single place i have been here than i do at night in atlanta. it is money issues for some, definitely, but we have a much higher GDP per capita than those other places, so that should not affect the average. my theory is a career-mindedness that is more prominent in americans. rant over. time to see budapest.