Friday, 22 June 2012

All this Could Be Yours

A couple of days ago I went out of Budapest to see a friend in the country. I took a train to Csorna:
That's a picture you wouldn't have missed, I'll bet

and then I got on this one-carriage train that feels like something straight out of Thomas the Tank Engine. The locals call it Tiny Red:

Here's one of my fellow passengers having a long chat with the conductor on the return journey - the conductor remains friendly and pleasant throughout, despite the fact that the conversation is very uninteresting and repetitive
A very nice young employee of the Hungarian railways got out when Tiny Red arrived at my destination and insisted on lifting my bag down on to the grass beside the track for me. If I hadn't eaten so much breakfast, I think he might even have lifted me down. Hungarian state railway employees are surprisingly helpful in my experience, apologetic when they find they have to charge you because you have the wrong ticket and, in one case, running across the lines to the ticket office and back to get me the right piece of paper, because the train was about to leave and I wouldn't be able to get there in time. Imagine a British rail employee doing that? Imagine a useful passenger rail network in Australia at all.

My friend lives in a little village of perhaps 1500 inhabitants. It is not too far from Gyor and most of the houses are one-storey and look as if they are quite small from the front:

 They are actually much bigger than you think though, as they have long sections that go back from the street at right angles - partly rooms and partly stables. Almost everybody has a vegetable garden and, one realises at this time of the year, when the smell gives away all secrets, that many of them have pigs.

This year they also have a stork nesting opposite the village shop:

It is wonderfully quiet in the village but, like anywhere, there are all sorts of dramas. One person in my friend's street called his neighbour a 'dirty peasant' and so the so-called 'dirty peasant' is now refusing to let his neighbour have access to his property in order to put in some insulation. Ah humanity.

There is a house for sale in the village for 5000 EUR (negotiable). For a moment, it seemed a tempting proposition, at that price. All the same, much I'd appreciate the opportunity to spend my days wearing a pinnie, I'd probably end up with the same faintly hunted look as this old woman:

My other worry would be that the locals might get their hands on large sums of money. I don't begrudge anyone success, but if the result is that they replace buildings like these:

with this kind of thing, the village won't be all that pleasant, at least not for me:

Anyway, if anyone reading this feels it's time for a change of gears, there's a house in Hungary, complete with fully stocked vegetable garden, that awaits your cheque for 5000 EURO.


  1. oh the monstrosities people build when they have too much money.....

  2. Replies
    1. I think it might be o.n.o if that makes you more tempted.