12 May


One of the real joys of travelling and being open to whatever comes along is the possibility of those serendiptious moments that allow you to be taken into people’s  everyday lives or to be shown kindness by strangers. We experienced two of those occasions in Hungary, and one of them involved piglets.

At the beginning of our stay in Hungary, I came down with a particularly vicious bout of urinary tract infection, an affliction that I have had in the past. While I did have some medication, I needed to see if I could find the other tablets that offer relief. I found a pharmacy next to Tesco, and brought my old bottle with prescription information, in hopes that that would help with communication. The pharmacist spoke very little English or German, as is bafflingly often the case in Hungary.  She found that my particular medication wasn’t available, so I tried to ask her if she had any other preparations she could offer. She didn’t understand what I was asking. Suddenly, the man standing in line behind me came up to the counter and asked me in perfect English, “How can I help you?”  He turned out to be another pharmacist from the Big City; he asked me all the right questions about my condition and what I had done for it already. Together he and the other pharmacist discussed the possibilities, and came up with some solutions–ones that I would not have been able to get without this man’s help. And the preparations worked!  What are the chances of this happening in this tiny town in the middle of Hungary at that particular moment on that particular day?

And in an even lovelier example of serendipity, we come to the piglets, related to the photo at the beginning of this blog.  We decided to take some very rugged country roads to explore the countryside near our village up to Lake Balaton. Purely by chance, we turned the wrong way at Fonyód , but seeing a restaurant nearby we decided we might as well stop and have lunch before getting back on the “right” road. As we came up to the parking area, we noticed that there was a crowd of rather well-dressed people heading for the entrance of the restaurant; we assumed this must be a private party of some kind, a wedding or the like, so assumed we had better look elsewhere for a meal. But as we headed back to the car, we noticed that the restaurant had a pen with pigs and new baby piglets–we had to go see them! Standing next to the pen was a young woman with a bouquet of flowers, also admiring the babies. Being always curious even when he recognizes that the person may not understand him, George asked her, in German, if she was the object of celebration at the party. She turned out to speak perfect American English! She was indeed being celebrated, and was being feted by her family for her graduation from high school–hence the bouquet. She was more than happy to communicate in her perfect English, and was a real spark. When we were just about to leave after our piglet viewing, saying that we thought the restaurant was serving them as a special occasion, the aunt– who was standing with us and who also spoke perfect English–said she would ask the owner of the restaurant if we could join them, too! The mustachioed owner said why not, as long as we were willing to eat the same menu as the party.

And so we were able to experience this lively young woman’s special day–her name was Blanca–while sitting to the side of their long table filled with family and friends. Just look at how proud her beaming parents are! She loves to travel, and so when we were leaving, I gave her my card and told her to look us up if she ever came to California. She was so pleased, and gave me a big hug.

The restaurant was also a real find: in the same family for 100 years, in a 250-year-old wine cellar. The waiter, the owner’s son, spoke English, German, and Spanish, and was proud to tell us the history of the building. We had as part of the lunch a fruit soup–a traditional celebratory dish–and finally a cherry strudel made by the waiter’s mother that morning.

It was a lovely day, and we have the piglets to thank for it.

3 Responses to “Serendipities”

  1. CHIAKI AJIOKA May 13, 2017 at 12:31 am #

    You can always trust piggies! What a lovely story!

  2. Georgia Pope June 25, 2017 at 11:54 pm #

    What a wonderful day….I love it when traveling when these types of experiences happen…Boy I would have love the Cherry Strudel, my favorite.

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