Monday, July 23, 2007

Tangled Up In Red

Since I missed a red-theme post day, I've decided to make up for it with a few red posts. I designed a little red sign for this post.

Chedwick is seeing red also.

I was in Vienna in late summer, 1989 with a friend who wanted suddenly to go to Hungary. We waited for visas in an incredibly long line. An official shouted out, "Are there any Americans here? Show yourselves!" She and I were the only ones and we meekly raised our hands, not knowing why we were being singled out. We were instantly given visas and were on our way, down the Danube. When we got to Budapest, we were stopped by passport control. They stared at our passports and at us. "This can't be right! American women with so little bags!" It was true, we were vagabonds, each carrying a simple handbag. We believed in traveling light and no power shopping while wandering. But this made us look suspicious and we were detained for over an hour. What kind of American woman travels with just one pair of shoes (the ones on her feet) and one change of clothes? They didn't believe us. Budapest looked like an army camp. There were soldiers everywhere. We had difficulty finding a place to stay. We wandered from hotel to hotel for hours. Even the hostels were full. The next morning, the whole city seemed to be celebrating-- the border had opened, and a few months later, the Berlin Wall would fall. We had a lot of little adventures, predicaments that we can now laugh about, looking back.