The Hungarian Countryside
May-June 2013

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Although Budapest is a beautiful city,
I was pleased that our cruise included excursions
to the countryside.

Look how happy I am,
standing with that handsome young man
and with a local beverage in my hand

We were visiting a farm where traditional skills
were being preserved by highly trained horsemen.




I had only seen this performed in the movies


There were many other kinds of animals too.

These reminded me of the Texas longhorns,

but I donít think our cattlemen ever use them to pull wagons.


Hungarian food?
Goulash comes to mind immediately and it was delicious.


Hungarian spices?Paprika, of course
We visited areas of cultivation and processing
and checked out the resulting products.


We bought a small bottle of paprika vodka!
We havenít tried it yet.


There was also a reconstruction of a traditional house from a hundred years ago.

Considering the number of rooms and the quality of the crafts and furnishings, I think the purpose was to demonstrate the traditions of the country rather than to document an average personís home.††


The women of the family were the ones to hand-paint the floral patterns on the walls and furniture.

The number of quilts on the beds were one way to determine the wealth of the family. These guys must have been pretty well off although the guide said that sometimes people padded the bed with straw to make themselves look richer.

Remembering some conversations with my immigrant grandmother, no one she knew had anything like this.
Of course, to paraphrase a Seinfeld episode Ė if you had all that, why would you leave and come to America?

Life was not as good for my grandmother in Hungarian occupied Slovakia.
She bundled everything she owned into a carpetbag and set off alone at age 17 for the USA.

I often consider how different my life would have been if she had not done that.