That I am superstitious is the old thing.
I don’t like traveling on Fridays.
Once on Friday I left Balaton-Füred for Siófok. We had a beautiful, clear morning in early September. The lake is as smooth as a mirror. The «Kisfaludy» is well disposed. Our captain in the best laune. The journey began among the most favorable auspices. (It usually lasts for an hour). Well, when we’re halfway there, a little cloud of fog as big as my hat comes in front of us. It catches our ship and under the guidance of that little cloud we stumble into Lake Balaton, we walk back and forth, we can’t find dry land, until we finally get to the continent after a big fight, somewhere at Számárd. The fast train, of course, stumbled in front of our noses.
Now this has happened to me again, except in a thicker edition. We were invited to Trieste, together with my dear brother Sándor Hegedüs, for the annual general meeting of the Assicurazioni Generali. The time of the meeting was 11 a.m. on Saturday. According to this, you have to leave on Friday. I already wanted to leave by a 7 am train that arrived in Trieste the next day at 8 am; but Alexander is an experienced traveler; then he had to bake a warrant law in the morning of the day, he said, it would be enough to apply by the 8-hour express train in the evening: it will also arrive at 9 in the morning. There’s even time to wash and clean boots.
In order not to miss the railway, I sent Gábor, my spiritus familiaris, at 6 o’clock to talk to a son’s garden in some way to take me to Buda. However, the waist boy is a good farmer and only a half-garden-219-taken: single horse. We went to the bridge luckily, without running over anyone, but as the horse saw the chain bridge, he said he said nothing; but he began to push the ark backwards, stalking it to the omnibus that was churning after him. Uselessly encouraged by constable, ticket taker, public servant: paripa did not disagree with his opinion. This was already a real indignatio on his part.
A Roman would have turned his way back at this time.
All that was left was for me to get out of the carriage, for the driver to get off the buck, so then one of us pulled the horse, the other pushed the car, we happily got to Buda.
There was nothing wrong with us all the way to Zagorje, which is known to be the station at the top of Karst Hill on the banks of the Drava. Is there a village to it? i don’t know because i didn’t see it.
That’s right, we arrived at the station exactly, at six in the morning. From here, however, the train did not want to move on at any cost. Alexander brought with him a couple of statistical books that describe how many of Berlin’s 1.5 million inhabitants have nothing to eat, nowhere to sleep? and how many of these the city supplies with free soup and residence.
First my brother Sándor read it, then me. The train hadn’t moved yet. I began to appreciate the Berlin institutions.
But why did the conductors’ trumpet freeze? We were curious to ask.
– When do we move on?
– Then around twelve o’clock.
Well, what happened was that the passenger train that left at seven o’clock in the morning had the accident that between Zagorje and Sava, a huge mass of rock rolled down in front of him from the steep Karst ridge and smashed the train’s steam locomotive and coal car: the rails were rushing.-220-
The station chief reassured us that he had immediately telegraphed to Laibach to send an ambulance from there to pick up the passengers of the Pest trains. But, of course, it can only come before us at the scene of the accident. A piece has to be done on foot for the company.
Well walking is not a problem; but where can you have breakfast here?
They showed that amoda is a farmhouse, its wife can make coffee. It is such a beautiful, slender cottage, on the door of which you have to hide upside down. It was already full of fellow citizens carrying coal, who were willing to give way to uri pasiras.
– Is it possible to get coffee here?
– How can it not? Only here you can get coffee all over Zagoria.
When I saw that coffee, I said to Sándor:
– Do you hear me? let’s be polite. There are also women here. Let’s give them this coffee.
That’s how we got rid of him.
– Can’t you get anything else?
– But yes: eggs.
In a low, smoky padmalyu hole, the milfs cooked (they didn’t have a tooth anymore) the eggs and handed them to the lords just by hand.
– Alexander, that’s good for you! but if I eat eggs for breakfast, they still have bad news.
It was then that I remembered that since my daughter had packed me a large piece of calfskin into my utility bag, as well as a bottle of viscons: what am I fighting here with the shipwreckers for the last zviback. With that, I went back to the coupe, took out my bag, and in my boredom ate half a pound of roast veal. If I did this at home, the squirting would come out right away.
The waist station chief then reassured us that he had telegraphed to the station innkeeper in Laibach to wait for the whole lustful company with a ready lunch.
So then somewhere in the car, somewhere on foot we got to the misfortune -221-to the scene, which is right at a dangerous turn, where the railway runs tightly along the banks of the Drava: it is separated from it by barely two feet of stone parapet. The wagons were already worn out, with new rails placed on new rails, but the heavy coal wagon lay there on the track body. Not a single wheel of it was visible, the fine steel and brass parts of the steam locomotive piled up next to it, crushed, and the large colossal machine itself lay halfway between the rails: a whole army of workers tried to put it on new wheels with hoists and iron bars. Luckily, the rock that rolled down from the place went to him for the plane and the coal chariot, he could only smash them, but if he fell on the wagons, he would push them all into the deep Sava riverbed.
What power there is even in dead nature!
From there, climbing on the Laibach train that came to our aid, we somehow got rid of it.
We arrived at Laibach station at noon and settled in the restaurant for lunch. That is, just to the table. First came the serving waiter, he told the whole menu without a book. «Bring, our best». Then came the head waiter, telling the whole menu in a long line. “Anything, but quickly,” then came the innkeeper himself, that also told the whole menu. “Give us what we have.” Then came the porter with the bell. “Second ring, let’s get on to Trieste,” then all the people ran, seeing their unfulfilled hopes fall to dust.
But what am I lamenting when I still have a big piece of veal roast. Come up with cubas.
And then I ate the veal leg until the last bite.
By the time we arrived in Trieste, it was three o’clock in the afternoon. The annual general meeting was long over.
Then at eight o’clock in the evening I was able to get on the high-speed train again and come home.-222-
And so I took a trip for two days, I walked through the Karst, I didn’t sleep for two nights, just to eat half a calf zombie, what my daughter baked at home, and what I could have eaten at home in a beautiful schlafrock. I would have even got a salad.
Then don’t be a Friday!