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On the Road Again

Every year ICSB holds a staff retreat about 70 miles southwest of Budapest. This year, I (Dave) rode my scooter along back roads through the Hungarian countryside as a way to relax and save gas money.

On Saturday, after the retreat, I headed back to Budapest. It was a beautiful fall day and I was anticipating the ride home. I decided not to fill up in the first town. With towns breaking up the fields every 5 miles or so, I wasn’t worried about finding a station. Indeed, I didn’t have trouble finding a station, but when I did find one, it was closed. Ah nuts…I can see where this is going. The next town’s station also had zarva posted at each of the pumps. By this time I was on fumes; I couldn’t make it to the next town. I finally found a small diner that was open. “Excuse. A gas station is pleasing to me. Where is?” I stammered in my best Hungarian. “It’s Saturday,” was the gist of the reply, “everything is closed on Saturday.” The hostess went on to tell me something in Hungarian, but I could not understand. Time to phone a friend. Through my gracious translator, I learned she was offering to take me to a larger town after she closed the restaurant. It looked like I was going to be waiting a while. While I was waiting, a family approached me. With much pantomiming, my limited Hungarian, and their limited English I finally realized they were offering to help me get a bottle

and a hose so I could siphon gasoline from their car. Oh great; this ought to be good, but why not! They drove me to a friend’s house, where a man came out with a can of gasoline. Thank you, God; no sucking gasoline from a hose! I was able to tell them in my cave-man Hungarian that I only needed ½ a liter to get to the next town. They generously gave me double.

gas in scooter.jpg

After many thank-yous and pouring the precious contents into the scooter, I repacked my gear and rode to the next gas station…an open one.

While not what I had planned, it was a fun adventure and a good opportunity to see a different side of Hungary. Besides that, I learned a valuable lesson: always fill up at the first open gas station when going for a ride in rural Hungary, especially if it’sSaturday! What was your most memorable traveling adventure? Let us know by email or on our facebook page.

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