Samba drumming, Hot Baths and Midnight Karaoke

8-9th Dec 2011 train from Sarajevo to Budapest

so the travellers occupied a whole compartment by themselves decorated with orange peel. Then they slept, only to be woken up at 3am by slovenian’s immigration police. The usual passport check took longer and this time, the police were not satisfied, asked us if we had 100euros in cash for each day of our travel in EU, which we don’t and so we had to follow them to the office. According to these officers, apparently it’s the policy to have that amount of cash, which we never heard of. After taking down our name and passport details, they let us go, one hour later. The slightly baffled and amused trio got back to their train and continued on to Budapest. I guess corruption also happens in EU. At least the officers were rather friendly about it.

9-12th  Dec 2011 Budapest

In Budapest, we met up and stayed with an old friend of mine from malaysia. She and her partner stayed in a loft in one of many flat/apartment like buildings sprawling all over the city. After months of meeting random strangers in foreign places, it was a refreshing break to meet up with someone that I don’t have to explain what I do and who I am. They prepared a nice warm dinner, we had a good time catching up and then the 3 stooges squeeze into a double mattress on the floor with Gadis rempah in the middle.

The next day we woke up late, then we went up with our friends to their drums samba practice session. It was the first time I hit something with some semblance of musicality but it was the whole playing as group that made samba drumming so much fun! One single drum makes a rhythm but 10 drums makes carnival. This samba band aim to liven and cheer on protest and demonstration, make for a sexy dancy revolution! And of course, the fact that the band conductor was one beautiful charismatic woman, makes it easy to sore ones hands drumming for. Since we woke up late and had brunch, we were very hungry by the time we drummed our hearts out. We had a yummy late lunch and by the time we were done, it was already dark. To be fair, it was also winter, so the sun sets around 4pm. We went back home, cook up a storm with our hosts and went out to a rainbow party. The last time I went out dancing late was in Porto, and this time, dancing with old friends and new samba ones were pretty exciting for this old soul.

The next day we woke up late, did the usual errands of laundry, applying and responding to couch requests and then went out in the afternoon for late lunch with the hosts that Jamban stayed with last night. (that part of the story is quite funny and complex so i’ll leave it to Jamban to tell). Then we bid goodbyes to Jamban’s hosts, head to one of the many baths in Budapest to soak till we droop. Well, we soaked until we got chased out of the bath at closing time. Then we strolled slowly back, stopped for mulled wine in the winter festival, some hot pizza thing and then home to our host’s cooking of a common Hungarian meal (I forgot what it was). It was suddenly karaoke time where everyone was singing their hearts out to random pop songs from all eras while I doze in and out of sleep, until I decided if you can’t beat them, join them.

On our last day, we packed our bags and made our way to the train station. Luckily we went an hour earlier as Jamban hasn’t bought his ticket and the queue was so long that by the time he bought them, we had 5 minutes to run to the train. Trainchasers should be the name of our band of trio. We bade hasty farewell to our friends and commenced occupation of a compartment.

for this part of the adventure, this is all i got to show, Gadis Rempah curry dinner for our lovely hosts and friend.


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