“Travels to a Different Time” : 3June1975: Prešov, Czechoslovakia: Bad First Impressions: The Men in White Coats

I woke up in my shanty shack and was delighted to see no rain and even some blue patches in the sky. I wanted a shower but it was freezing cold so I declined! The weather so far in Austria and Hungary has been atrocious. I headed into the village knapsack on my back getting many stares from the inhabitants of the town. Milk, rolls and a chocolate bar for breakfast. I sat down on a bench next to a strange character babbling away. Two men in white coats took him away. I hit the road and waited a half hour for a lift which was with a Hungarian who had worked in Toronto. The Czech border was a hassle. You must spend $7 a day here but not having cash I proffered my American Express traveler’s cheques which caused a two-hour discussion amongst the border guards. One doltish looking customs official looked through my knapsack. Really do they think I am a spy? The jerks were teasing a girl my age who was near tears. Sexist pigs. I got a ride to Kosice then an hour walk to Prešov where I got a spot in a campground. The WC was closed and there was one sink with cold water only. The restaurant on the campground had a WC but it rivalled the filth pits of Istanbul. A horrible stench. I had a late lunch in the campground restaurant which was so disgusting I could not eat it. It made the greasy Yugo goulash look like a 5-star hotel meal. Even the beer, yes the famous Czech beer, was undrinkable.  Given the filthy and repulsive WC not eating the food was a wise decision. I had to go into town for an edible lunch and a very good beer.

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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