It's a mighty long drive from Vienna in a really tiny Hyundai mini van. I'm pretty certain we don't have an equivalent vehicle here in the States. For some unknown reason, the caravan of 3 vans taking both bands has avoided the toll roads, which are in every way comparable to a normal US highway. Being the largest member of the group, I'm given the front passenger seat, but I can tell that my fellow travelers have literally no leg room and look packed in like sardines in a can. We're given some respite with a nice meal at a road side stop midway in the day. But then we fold ourselves up and it's back to the back roads again.
The city center itself is quite beatiful, but rather than sight see we are delivered straight to the hotel. Tonight's accommodations are early post communist miserable: a 4th floor room with no fan or AC and a single window without a curtain. The bed is what I think we call a daybed over here, something quite a bit less than a single. Quite a job for me to lay my wide frame on it with any comfort. It's hot like hell and I'm going to be an unhappy camper I can tell. Sadly for him, drummer Aaron Alexander and I share a room.
Good news is, the job site is amazing.
Both bands play totally acoustic and we are very well received by a packed house.
After a post show dinner they take me and Frank to the local TESCO, which is basically a huge WalMart open 24hrs. (Where's my camera!!!) We goof under the florescent lights on the huge selection on liquors,
including TESCO brand
Slivovitz, TESCO brand whisky, TESCO brand vodka, ect.. I imagine seeing a "Victory Gin." I buy a rotating fan, some bungee cords to salvage my fast falling apart tuba carrier and a package of the locally famous Peck brand Szegedi Paprika sausage.
Despite his claims to the contrary, Aaron doesn't snore too loud and now with a cool breeze (4999.99 Forints worth) I get a decent nights sleep.
As we check out, I come to find that there are in fact some very nice rooms in this hotel, some even with air conditioning. We were simply given rooms on the "economy" floor. Rooms in fact reserved for "gypsies" and other not first class guests. Very quickly, we are beginning to see bit of what it's like to be treated as a Rroma band in the hands of a Hungarian concert promoter and not our Serbian pal Bojan, who is looking better and better every day.
After a meager hotel meal, It's a short drive to Budapest.