Thursday, July 9, 2015

After all, Nostalgia is about the past.

Previously published on:

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Well, all good things come to an end, or so the saying goes...

After returning 'home' to Jaszkiser HU. putting away my newly cleaned gear, downloading thousands of pictures, assuring all the family that I was

a) Still alive.

b) Well.

c) Better than I had ever been.

d) Hadn't forgotten about anyone.

It was pretty much done.

I met again with Joseph (Little Joe) as he was known locally. He had looked at Piroska last winter during her hibernation period, while she waited patiently for my return. A new rider, still in the final stages of completing his compulsory rider's training, madly in anticipation of getting his permit to ride, Joe had hashed out a deal with me tentatively prior to my last departure to points unknown. We had only to finalize the numbers upon my return, after all... never know right, I could have crashed her off a cliff into the Sea.

There was the final haggling, for him, it was after all... cold hard Forint. For me, I was more interested in the Exchange rate. As it turned out, we both had little to compromise, she was indeed in great shape and as per usual... the currency beat me up.

I would be leaving the country in less than 10 days.

On my last day, Kis Piroska would be delivered to his place of work, where he could practice in the large paved lot until he had secured his MC licence to be thrilled! Joe had some plans of riding outside the country and Little Red would have lots of that experience. Ha... she would likely know the way, after all... we'd covered much of the local bordering countries. Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, The Czech and Slovak republics, and Austria. When they were ready to venture farther afield, she had a pretty good head start.

It was still pretty hot! Sunny blue skies and warm temps, like I'd first experienced upon arrival in July 08. Erzsi and I rode Red to Szolnok a last time for ice cream, passing the Ton on the return. As it turned out, I had to make a last minute trip back into Szolnok for yet another piece of useless paper, or as I was then thinking, One final screwing!!! This time to have Piroska certified as having not been stolen. This bit of paperwork cost me yet another 19,000 F. Never mind that I had the same document completed and paid for when I bought her. Having had it certified previously, you'd think that would be sufficient, wouldn't you... after all, had she been stolen from me, I would have reported that! Just one final reminder of the 'red tape' that pervades much of the Hungarian (and former Soviet Block) reality.

As Charlie Brown would put it... Sigh...

There was a final flurry of packing it all in, I had (not surprisingly) accumulated way too much stuff in the months I had spent over there, some of which had to be donated to the family, the neighbours and the dumpster. A few parting photographs, the wait for Bertie to arrive ("Yes, I'm just passing thru Jaszbereny now...") from BP with the Polo to cart me away. The teary farewells, hugs kisses on many cheeks and the sad reality that some of these people I may never see again. Good friends, family, and those people that have a positive effect on our lives, like my Aunt Bozsi...

As we drove the 107 km to Budapest, one of Europe's Grand Capitals... I couldn't help but quietly reflect on these same roads and where they had transported me. I, after all discovered much more than castles, courtyards and cafes in these 7 months.

In many ways I had discovered my roots, refreshed my dreams, created memories, and cleansed my soul.

Why is that? Sitting on a motorcycle for miles on end? Ensconced in your own little world, part of, but yet somehow removed from it all. I know why I originally chose this lifestyle. Why I had such a strong interest in riding from a very early age.

First of all, there was Butch... and let's not forget Kelly. Ahhhh yes..... Kelly....

And, there was that whole drug scene in the late sixties early seventies. Not to mention the awkward home life I had. My bikes meant Freedom to me, a name I would apply to my Motorcycle business during the 80's. I could get away from it all, and in return, I was rewarded with sights, sounds and memories to last a life time.

Budapest was a blur. I had enough time to open a local bank account at Unicredit for future purposes (never wanting to go thru that ridiculous escapade of my first purchase) and grab a pastry or two, bid farewell to Berti, Agi and surprisingly, cousin Erzsi once again. She came up on the train to see me off!

As the Airbus climbed out of Ferihegy International, the green fields of Hungary slipped away below. Frankfurt of course was a rush rush, wait, rush... and 12 hours after feeling the first surge of acceleration hurtling down that Hungarian runway, the air brakes popped out, along with my ears... and I was home.

After all... I had a helmet hanging there.

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