The Loneliness of Language

If you know me you know I love to talk, yet I’ve been pretty much silent since I left the expats in St. Jean Cap Ferrat, not for lack of trying but for lack of knowing any Balkan language. I’ve found desk clerks and servers who speak some or excellent English, but one can’t hang out forever and chat when they have work to do. The closest I came to a conversation was when two forty-something Croatian women sat in my train compartment when we left Villach, Austria. They spoke Croat and German, so I dusted off my high school  Deutsch (Thanks, Mr. Witt!) and we had a brief basic conversation, in which they found I was from Colorado and had sisters in Denver and California, plus a nephew and great-nephew in Grand Junction, that it’s not always sunny in California, and that I love to travel alone. Then I had to change trains for Rijeka (Ree–YAY–kuh).

So here I sit in overcast Budapest having found an adequate hotel, thanks to a Burger Bar employee who spoke enough English to understand I needed a place to stay and a Hungarian woman who used her phone to find the Hotel Griff after he told her what I wanted. Later I’ll take a bus to the city center. I hope to find a bookstore that sells novels and crosswords in English. It’s hard to take my iPad in its metal keyboard case to bed.

A day of not traveling is a great thing. Tomorrow, off to Transylvania: Timisoara, Romania. Only 5 hours on the train instead of yesteray’s 11 hours. And then who knows where?

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