Thanks Bureacracy!!

Hungarian Bureacracy has its good side.  The last weekend in April I had to head to Zagreb, Croatia in order to get my passport stamped.  It seems Croatia is the closest country NOT a member of the European Union.   Apparently, the permit from the convenient housing authority is impossible to get.  I was informed that there is a long tradition of foreign English language teachers leaving the country to get their passport stamped.  Before Hungary joined the EU you could take a quick trip to Vienna (3 hours) but now we are required to leave the EU and come back.  I’m a little confused about this custom because 90 days does not seem too long for a European vacation.  Anyway I followed directions.  I went down to the railroad station with a piece of paper Budapest à Zagreb  and Zagrebà Budapest and along with dates & time.  She seemed a little puzzled at first but somehow got it & I was issued a ticket for the next day. 



My compartment mate on the way to Zagreb was a Bosnian student working for her Master’s degree in translation at the University in Zagreb.  She was delighted to have someone to talk to and she told me everything I needed to know about Zagreb.  If she hadn’t been late for her three Saturday classes she would have shown me the town. 



It is a wonderful old historic city, apparently untouched by WWII or the recent civil wars.  I stayed in the only $$ medium priced hotel  recommended by Rick Steves, their aren’t any cheap hotels so my decision was easy. 


Too make it even easier, I completely forgot to check  the exchange rate before I left so when I was faced with the cash machine and the hotel price sheet I had no idea what I was spending.  I highly recommend this strategy for a relaxing vacation. 

The seven hour train ride back with no food or water available on the train could be a little horrendous.  My food supply thoughtlessly included salty pretzels but I survived. 

 Slide show of Zagreb

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