There is nothing I enjoy doing more when travelling to a new city for
the first time
than exploring all those small side streets which either lead
somewhere, or just nowhere.
Eastern Europe echoes with history and a glimpse of what it was like
to live in bygone
days. Even with a quaint decay in the buildings, life takes on a
After spending more than ten years in Sweden, I found a strange appeal
in the chaos
and uncertaintity of former communist countries. Somehow I relate the
cleanliness of Scandinavia with stagnation and sterillity.
lived in the Eastern
Block now for 7 years, so I don't put this down to a backpackers whims
of having to
experience everything unknown including danger, decadence and being
broke, then to
always have the comfort and security of returning home to a life so
organised that anything
constituting decay and chaos is exotic. Visiting a place for the
fist time can leave a lasting
impression and I know that many Western Europeans and Americans get
bitten by the
E.European bug. Sadly there seems to be only one cure, and that is
having to give up all
hope of leading a normal life until spending at least a year of living
in Eastern Europe.
The flow seems unstopable and people who are unable to fulfill this
aim find life quite
dreary and monotoneous. I regularly hear from many first timers who
E. Europe and they plan for their big D Day. The flow might stem
though with the
modernization of some of the countries and the full embrace of
Already in some cities I have seen teenagers hanging out in the newly
and shopping centers with their amusement arcades and game machines.
Budapest has 32 McDonald's, and 8 of those are drive-ins. Why, you even
choice in some places; at the Oktogen, a large sqare in the center,
you have Big Burger,
Wendy's, McDonald's, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut and Dunkin
within 3 minutes walk of each other. That's progress for you!