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OLD THREAD FOR REFERENCE: PANTANIFAN

 
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naspa



Joined: 06 Oct 2006
Posts: 3505


Location: The only living boy in New Cross

PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2006 2:15 pm    Post subject: OLD THREAD FOR REFERENCE: PANTANIFAN  Reply with quote

Message 1 - posted by naspa (U1648370) , Jan 21, 2006

Little to do with cycling but...

Do you get BBC2 in the wilds of Hungary?

www.hairybikers.com/

An episode featuring Romanian and Hungarian cooking Surprised

I'll be interested to see how they get on the Romanian roads.

And last time I checked neither Bucharest nor Târgu Jiu were part of Transylvania... but you can't have everything.

Still Sighisoara and Maramures are nice places to go. Hopefully it won't all be vampire cliches and/or the other Romania cliches.

Pofta buna!!!

Message 2 - posted by pantanifan (U1668940) , Jan 23, 2006

Thanks for that naspa, unfortunately I only get BBC World (and Eurosport of course) here, so will have to manage without this series! Did they show anything of village life or was it just the cities they concentrated on?
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Message 3 - posted by naspa (U1648370) , Jan 23, 2006

It hasn't been on yet so I don't know.

It might end up on BBC World - there is hope yet. I hope they don't spend too much time in the cities - especially Bucharest.

I'm going to be interested in seeing a program about Romania that hopefully won't fall back on the usual cliches.

I want to see how they deal with the potholes though.
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Message 4 - posted by pantanifan (U1668940) , Jan 24, 2006

In the Transylvanian village I visit (Mrs. Pantanifan's home village), around 1 in 5 people keep a pig, which they slaughter with their own hands very early on a cold winter's morning, with the help of friends, neighbours, relatives, etc. who are presumably also there to try out the quality of the pig's meat and the compulsory homemade 60%-proof plum or cherry brandy. This can provide huge quantities of pork to be frozen for the winter supply (temperatures in Hungary at the moment are down to between minus 15 and minus 20 Celsius at night-time, as we're having a very cold spell, this means it is likely to be at least 5 degrees colder in Transylvania right now!). I'd like to see this "ceremonial pig killing" shown on the BBC or anywhere else for that matter!!!

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Message 5 - posted by naspa (U1648370) , Jan 25, 2006

It must be a rich village if 1 in 5 have a pig. I haven't seen any pig killing but I have banned my Romanian friends from telling me any pet stories since the animal will always end up being eaten.

A very different attitude to life. Distinctly brutal.

It's very cold in Bucharest at the moment from what I understand - and no doubt even colder in the villages. Hargita is always much colder anyway.
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Message 6 - posted by pantanifan (U1668940) , Jan 27, 2006

Well the 1 in 5 was off the top of my head but it certainly could not be described as a "rich" village, though it did get some money after being partly destroyed by last year's floods.
I know what you mean about the brutality but I think (unless you're a vegetarian) it's a more honest way of doing things than buying ready-to-cook meals from the local supermarket...
(with apologies to anyone who thought they might find something to do with cycling on this board!!!)
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Message 7 - posted by naspa (U1648370) , Jan 27, 2006

Rich is a relative term in Romania. Some of the villages in the south are really grim.

A friend of mine when she was young had some ducks bought for her as pets. To cut a long story short her grandmother ended up eating them.

Animal welfare is not a concept that has reached rural Romania. (Nor for that matter urban Romania).
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Message 8 - posted by pantanifan (U1668940) , Jan 27, 2006


A friend of mine when she was young had some ducks bought for her as pets. To cut a long story short her grandmother ended up eating them.

Quoted message from naspa




Lucky they didn't buy her a dog!!!
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Message 9 - posted by naspa (U1648370) , Jan 27, 2006

Well I see enough stray dogs in Bucharest and I have enough stories involving them to fill several threads.

Brigit Bardot was busy complaining about the treatment of Romanian dogs - the response of most of my friends was that if she cares so much about the dogs then why does she not adopt them.

Basescu ended up transporting the dogs to the towns of his political rivals. So there were all these stories of vans transporting and releasing dogs in the middle of the night in PSD strongholds.
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Message 10 - posted by pantanifan (U1668940) , Feb 6, 2006

naspa - have you heard about this story at: news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/...?
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Message 11 - posted by naspa (U1648370) , Feb 6, 2006

It rings bells. I remember the incident.

There was a program on the World Service yesterday which was looking at Romania. The show is available to DL.

news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/...

I got interviewed by TVR1 last week. Surprised
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Message 12 - posted by pantanifan (U1668940) , Feb 6, 2006

It rings bells. I remember the incident.

There was a program on the World Service yesterday which was looking at Romania. The show is available to DL.

news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/...

Quoted message from naspa




Thanks for the link. The incident in my link got a lot of publciity in Hungary of course because we got some of the cyanide in the River Tisza over here. Apparently the new mine is going to be much bigger and will involve the hillside being removed, along with various houses, cemteries, etc....



I got interviewed by TVR1 last week. Surprised
Quoted message from naspa




Fame at last! I guess you were being asked for your view on the split up with Sherryl Crowe?!
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Message 13 - posted by naspa (U1648370) , Feb 6, 2006

I was being interviewed about Romanian cultural activities in the UK...

However, I had my Hagi shirt on and the TV guys were more interested in asking me about my thoughts on Romanian football than about my work. Ironic really because I wasn't expecting to be interviewed and I had only worn the shirt for the benefit of a Hungarian.

The interview does include a discussion about Romanian hip hop as well. (So if you see it you'll know which one is me).
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Message 14 - posted by naspa (U1648370) , Feb 14, 2006

The cooking program is on tonight. 8.30 to 9pm BBC two.

I'll let you know what the cliche count is.
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Message 15 - posted by pantanifan (U1668940) , Feb 14, 2006

Thanks - look forward to reading your account of the cliches and other matters while eating my goulash and/or stuffed cabbage later!!!
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Message 16 - posted by naspa (U1648370) , Feb 14, 2006

Have you got your moustache at the ready?

I've already got my bottle of Tuica ready. I'm going to do the Hora after I've fixed my Dacia.
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Message 17 - posted by pantanifan (U1668940) , Feb 14, 2006

A "handlebar" moustache of course (knew we could get this thread onto the subject of cycling at some stage!).

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Message 18 - posted by naspa (U1648370) , Feb 14, 2006

Something for Mrs Pantanifan to hold onto...

What about some nice Franz-Joseph muttonchops?
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Message 19 - posted by naspa (U1648370) , Feb 14, 2006

Not too bad.
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Message 20 - posted by naspa (U1648370) , Feb 16, 2006

Actually it was quite good. I think that the tourism people must have been at them because Romania looked a lot nicer than it normally does.

Dracula was kept to a minimum although Ceausescu was talked about a lot.
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naspa



Joined: 06 Oct 2006
Posts: 3505


Location: The only living boy in New Cross

PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2006 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Message 21 - posted by MAILLOT JAUNE (U1932045) , Feb 16, 2006

Was that the show The Hairy Bikers' Cookbook with the two guys on motorbikes. I saw it the other night. Quite good show.

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Message 22 - posted by naspa (U1648370) , Feb 16, 2006

Yep. It was nice to see Romania portrayed as being reasonably normal (although to be honest it isn't). It was a bit unrealistic in the sense that a lot of the things they were using are not the ingridents that you would normally use in Romania simply because they cost more - it is not that everyone has access to really good veg and meat etc. It was a bit rose tinted in that sense.
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Message 23 - posted by pantanifan (U1668940) , Feb 16, 2006

Actually it was quite good. I think that the tourism people must have been at them because Romania looked a lot nicer than it normally does.

Quoted message from naspa




Gotta rush into joining the EU somehow, just like their neighbours....
In any case, Romania is one of the "nicest" places I've ever been to - just avoid the cities if you can



Dracula was kept to a minimum although Ceausescu was talked about a lot.

Quoted message from naspa




What, no clichés? Better shave off the moustache then...
This is a reply to this message


Message 24 - posted by naspa (U1648370) , Feb 16, 2006

I don't know the Transylvanian cities are pretty nice - Cluj, Sibiu, Timisoara.

I would avoid anywhere in the Regat if at all possible.

I think the moustache should remain - there is still a second episode. Including Hungarian cooking...
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Message 25 - posted by pantanifan (U1668940) , Feb 17, 2006

OK it was another sweeping generalization on my part, I'm sure there are some great cities over there, just my overall view based on my personal experience. Of the cities you mentioned I've only been to Cluj (mainly passing through) - the central area is nice, but the concrete jungle area seems rather large too!
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Message 26 - posted by pantanifan (U1668940) , Feb 23, 2006

Hát nekem is!
(note to other readers of this message, nick has a Hungarian wife and so do I, thereby proving beyond doubt the Hungarian theory that everyone comes from Hungary originally!


Pantanifan I thought you were a girl and you are telling me you have a wife.
Quoted message from




Sorry to disappoint you! It could always be an Elton John style marriage though...

By the way I am copying this message into the thread entitled "pantanifan", just in case anyone is more interested in who will win in 2006 than pantanifan's private life...


I know I started interupting the who will win in 2006 thread by asking nick about his "cica" but I think it's better to keep any Eastern European related comments or pantanifan's wife comments over here!!!
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Message 27 - posted by nickcica (U2805232) **, Feb 23, 2006

Pantanifan, how do you cope with Sipos János and Knézy Jenő jnr? They are an atrocious pair of numbskulls, the people in my local bikeshop hate them the kind of passion the French reserve for a certain American...
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Message 28 - posted by pantanifan (U1668940) , Feb 23, 2006

Is Sipos János the guy with the Barry White voice who does the eurosport cycling commentaries in Hungarian? If so, I have managed to avoid him now by getting eurosport programmed into English, and sharing in the "delights" of David Duffield, Sean Kelly, Christy, et al....

By the way, do you live in Hungary as well?
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Message 29 - posted by pantanifan (U1668940) , Feb 23, 2006

I remember Knézy Jr. from his days at m1, but maybe you're talking about cable channels sport1 and sport2? In which case I can't comment because I don't have cable TV - live out in the sticks you see, so have to use message boards to communicate in English!
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Message 30 - posted by nickcica (U2805232) **, Feb 23, 2006

I'm not sure who Barry White is actually, but you can also hear Sipos reading the traffic information on Petőfi! The amazing thing is that he was the president of the Hungarian cycling association for many years and a racer himself, and yet has absolutely has no understanding of the tactics of road racing. He sees Bodrogi at the back, bring water to his team mates and he starts yelling "gyerünk, gyerünk, gyerünk Lacikám! there's no point being at the back, get to the front!!" The fact that Bodrogi's team job is to try to win the time trial, get in certain breaks, while undertaking domestique duties on the other stages somehow goes quite over his head. And he has the same (although less partisan) attitude to everyone else! Knézy, whose dad was a famously dim football commentator, is just bitter and nasty and seems to have no knowledge of what any riders have ever done in the past. Grrrrr.

On the other hand, Duffield (on the few times I've heard him) is unbearable and as for Phil and Paul, so beloved by our American cousins, well, words fail me. Compare this to the French coverage where you have highly intelligent analysis ... what a shame I don't have satellite.
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Message 31 - posted by pantanifan (U1668940) , Feb 23, 2006

I'm not sure who Barry White is actually, but you can also hear Sipos reading the traffic information on Petőfi!
Quoted message from nickcica




Must be a generational thing, Barry White is/was(?) a singer with the deepest voice in the world, used to sing very slow, smooth luuuuuuuurve songs...


Knézy, whose dad was a famously dim football commentator, is just bitter and nasty and seems to have no knowledge of what any riders have ever done in the past. Grrrrr.

Quoted message from nickcica




Wasn't his dad the commentator for the famous 6-3 defeat of the English at Wembley in 1953, and the slightly less famous 7-1 victory in Budapest a few months later? If so, no matter how good/bad a commentator he was he will always be a legend!

By the way, did you notice a couple of years ago Mike Smith (of eurosport fame) couldn't mention Bodrogi's name without commenting on the fact that he had denied Britain's David Millar 2nd place in the world champs TT, by (presumably rather unsportingly) speeding up towards the end and thereby getting inside Millar's time - he seemed to hold some kind of grudge against Bodrogi for this for about 2 years afterwards...

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Message 32 - posted by nickcica (U2805232) **, Feb 23, 2006

No no, that was Szepesi György. He was later succeeded by Vitray Tamás (who speaks perfectly English by the way) and Knézy the older took over when Vitray withdrew from soccer commentating. At the last World Cup he made an extraordinarily unpleasant comment about a linesman from the Maldives, saying "no one from there has any business being on a football pitch in the world cup" ... which caused a minor scandal. He died about a year later.

I seem to remember that the Bodrogi / Millar thing happened when Millar was leading Ullrich at the intermediate splits and Ullrich caught up with Bodrogi in the last few kms. Laci then sped up a bit, and effectively gave Ullrich a target, helping win by a few seconds. That at least, is one version I've heard. I didn't see it myself though
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Message 33 - posted by pantanifan (U1668940) , Feb 23, 2006

OK, thanks for clearing up the confusion, so Knézy snr. was commentating on the last World Cup - he must have been the guy who was in love with the whole German football team in gerneral and Oliver Kahn in particular, even after Kahn's spectatcular mistakes in the Brazil match...?
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Message 34 - posted by pantanifan (U1668940) , Feb 23, 2006

Getting a bit away from the subject here, but do you have a favourite Hungarian football team? Mine is MTK, as Illés Béla was the (slightly overweight) star when I first came to Hungary, a quality attacking midfielder, and the type who looks completely knackered when he has to run back and defend, and springs back to life as soon as his own team has the ball...
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Message 35 - posted by nickcica (U2805232) **, Feb 23, 2006

Yes, Knézy and his love affair with the Germans was truly toe curling.

I can't watch Hungarian domestic football. They always seem to be playing in desolate, near empty stadiums, and you then have to suffer studio discussions in which they try to convince themselves that Hungary has an attacking tradition that no other country possesses ... all too reminiscent of the English and tennis. But what about Görbicz Anita and the handball team? Now that is worth watching...
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Message 36 - posted by pantanifan (U1668940) , Feb 23, 2006


I can't watch Hungarian domestic football.
Quoted message from nickcica




A lot of Hungarians would agree with you, and I'm not a big fan of football via TV in any case, but since moving out to the countryside and having two young children I don't really follow it much myself these days...

But what about Görbicz Anita and the handball team? Now that is worth watching...
Quoted message from nickcica




Must be something of the Englishman abroad about me, but I've never really got into handball (I think the Hungarian women always win the silver medal in any case?!)
The men are pretty good at water polo (another glamour sport) as well - all that underwater grappling when nobody's watching...
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Message 37 - posted by naspa (U1648370) , Feb 26, 2006

When I was in Constanta I bumped into the Barcelona handball team.

Romanian football is so corrupt it isn't even funny. Basically it is the Bucharest teams and everyone else playing for crumbs.

Still Hagi is back on the scene.

There is some interesting work being done about how the violence that the football fans had learnt was used during the revolution. Steaua being the army team and also the PSD team.

I don't know if you get it in Hungary but in Romania a lot of the players are Roma - when the team plays well they are of course good Romanians but when they play badly then all the racism comes out.
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Message 38 - posted by pantanifan (U1668940) , Feb 28, 2006


Still Hagi is back on the scene.

Quoted message from naspa




What's he doing these days?



There is some interesting work being done about how the violence that the football fans had learnt was used during the revolution. Steaua being the army team and also the PSD team.

Quoted message from naspa




You can pretty much tell people's politics here from which team they support in Budapest: Ferencváros for the nationalists/ right-wing parties; Újpest for the socialists/left wingers; MTK for the liberals. Kispest Honvéd was the old army team here that Puskás and the like were forced to play for...
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Message 39 - posted by naspa (U1648370) , Feb 28, 2006

He is managing Poli Timisoara.

He had just been appointed when I was in Timisoara last.

The funniest thing was that when the new government was elected all of sudden Steaua stopped being the dominant team and Dinamo (backed by members of the new government) suddenly won the league.
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Message 40 - posted by naspa (U1648370) , Mar 6, 2006

How did the Hungarians get on in the Winter Olympics?
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naspa



Joined: 06 Oct 2006
Posts: 3505


Location: The only living boy in New Cross

PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2006 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Message 41 - posted by pantanifan (U1668940) , Mar 6, 2006

How did the Hungarians get on in the Winter Olympics?
Quoted message from naspa




Well, it's not really their speciality, they're much better in the Summer Games (where they usually finish in the top 10 overall), 'cos although we are doing quite well for snow and ice at the moment there are no real mountains to speak of here anymore (post-1918 and 1945 of course!). I think the best they did was a 5th place in something but maybe nickcica is more up-to-date than me...? They have a pretty good woman skater but she's also pretty good at falling over in the big competitions...
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Message 42 - posted by naspa (U1648370) , Mar 9, 2006

Leave our hills alone. They are ours!!!!

Despite having the hills - the Romanians are still crap at winter sports.

Whisper it very quietly but the only reason why Romanians win anything anyway is because of the minorities. Hagi is Macedonian.
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Message 43 - posted by pantanifan (U1668940) , Mar 10, 2006

Don't worry, I'm not a Hungarian revisionist, simply pointing out that they once had mountains and now they don't, in the same way that Britain once owned the Taj Mahal, Hong Kong and America, but is now owned by at least one of them...!

What factors make a country good at winter sports then - any ideas?

Mother Teresa was also born in Skopje, though there are plenty of arguments about what nationality she can be claimed as...
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Message 44 - posted by naspa (U1648370) , Mar 10, 2006

I think it is the same with any sport - success breeds success. So for as long as the Romanians are good at gymnastics and it is an important sport then people will participate in it. I actually shared a carriage on train journey in Romania with about 150 child gymnasts who were travelling back from a weekend competition. It wasn't even a big competition but it still got local TV coverage etc.

I guess it is the same with waterpolo in Hungary.

The isn't the sporting infrastructure for people to play winter sports - and because there isn't the interest then people are not likely to take it up.

You (or Mrs Pantanifan) might be interested in this

www.tol.cz/look/TOL/...
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Message 45 - posted by pantanifan (U1668940) , Mar 10, 2006

Thanks for the link: interestingly, they usually put subtitles on the TV here when Csangos speak Hungarian, though their dialect is completely understandable (even to a "bloody foreigner" like me!)
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Message 46 - posted by naspa (U1648370) , Mar 10, 2006

I've never quite worked out when or why the subtitle certain groups - the other interesting one is my other half is Romanian and learning German at the moment but claims that ethnic Germans from Romania speaker clearer German than Germans from Germany.

Maybe you are naturally attuned towards Csangos. I am not a linguist so I don't really understand how people learn languages etc.
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Message 47 - posted by pantanifan (U1668940) , Mar 13, 2006

Your other half should try listening to German speakers from Austria - takes a while to get attuned I think (depends what you get used to)...
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Message 48 - posted by naspa (U1648370) , Mar 18, 2006

I see that there is 'a big scandal' (as these things always are in the eyes of Romanians) because Bela Marko said that officials in Magyar areas should speak Hungarian because 'they are fed on Magyar bread'.

Apparently the bread reference is causing in the problems.

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Message 49 - posted by naspa (U1648370) , Mar 24, 2006

Off to Ro next week for a few days.

Planning a summer trip as well. Considering checking out some of the spa towns.
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Message 50 - posted by pantanifan (U1668940) , Mar 27, 2006

Have a good time in Ro - don't drink too much pálinka (unless you get a stomach upset of course). We're going at Eastertime for the traditional custom of boys sprinkling girls with perfume after reciting a verse ,in return for painted eggs (and money these days)...
Don't know much about Romanian politics, but Béla Markó seems like a clever politican to me...?
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Message 51 - posted by naspa (U1648370) , Mar 28, 2006

Bela Marko is a smart guy simply because he has held the Hungarian minority together - and he has got an extremely good deal. His position is that UDMR has to be in government in order to safeguard the rights of Hungarians and therefore he will form a coalition with the largest other party - whether this is PSD or DA. Hungarian districts always have the highest turnouts in elections - normally around 70-80%.

The interesting dynamic is the electoral threshold which is 5% and the Hungarian minority is about 8-9% - so therefore any split within the Hungarian bloc might result in there being no electoral representation in the Romanian parliament. As a result Marko holds the group together - despite accusations of being too moderate and a sell out on one side - and of being a separatist on the other.

The joys of being a psephologist... and a Romanian one at that.


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Message 52 - posted by pantanifan (U1668940) , Mar 28, 2006

Pretty much agree with that - they'll only realize how good he is when he's not there any more (a bit like a certain American cyclist?!)
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Message 53 - posted by naspa (U1648370) , Mar 28, 2006

Yeah - the situation is not helped by the tendency of Romanians (and Hungarians) to make mountains out of molehills. I tend to think that they enjoy being offended and outraged about things.

Still, all good fun. I can enjoy the latest 'crisis' that is engulfing Romania.
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Message 54 - posted by pantanifan (U1668940) , Mar 28, 2006

Hope that I don't have Boney M and Phil Collins fetish on the radio over there as well, like they do in Hungary at the moment
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Message 55 - posted by naspa (U1648370) , Apr 1, 2006

Ah yes. They had Phil playing on the bus on the way from the airport. Lots of fairly forgetable Romanian music as well.

Is it the Girl Fair you are going to?
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Message 56 - posted by pantanifan (U1668940) , Apr 4, 2006

Ah yes. They had Phil playing on the bus on the way from the airport. Lots of fairly forgetable Romanian music as well.
Quoted message from naspa





You didn't escape the ubiquitous Mr. Collins either then! I start throwing things at the radio here when they play the cheery Boney M version of Bob Marley's classic "No woman, no cry"



Is it the Girl Fair you are going to?
Quoted message from naspa





Sounds interesting, but don't think Mrs. Pantanifan will let me go!

There is a traditional Hungarian Easter custom (now dying out in Hungary, but stronger than ever among Hungarians in Transyvlania) where all the boys (and men) in the village visit their female acquaintances on Easter Sunday, and recite a well practised verse (the longest ones I've heard seemed to last about 5 minutes) before spraying perfume on the girl's hair (they have to do this to all females who happen to be in the house at the time!). The girls spend Easter Saturday decorating and painting eggs (everybody has their own hens of course, regardless of bird flu'!) and they offer the boys one of these in return for the verse. The old men use it as an excuse to get drunk and grope....
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Message 57 - posted by naspa (U1648370) , Apr 8, 2006

No, they also love their power ballards here. So I have had plenty of Celine et al.

The Girl Fair takes place in Muntela Gaina - and is pretty similar to what you are going to. Traditionally it was supposed to be a chance for the shephards to meet women (due to them being away for 8 months of the year). So the girls put on their best clothes, with other displays of wealth etc. Followed by much singing, dancing and drinking.

But there are hundreds of these types of festivals in Ro.


The old men use it as an excuse to get drunk and grope....
Quoted from this message





So not so different from any other evening out in Eastern Europe then.

Watched some Hungarian TV last week - couldn't understand a word of it. Admired the moustaches though.
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Message 58 - posted by pantanifan (U1668940) , Apr 10, 2006

No, they also love their power ballards here. So I have had plenty of Celine et al.

Quoted message from naspa




Have you got into any of the local music yet? Some of the Hungarian stuff is pretty good...


Watched some Hungarian TV last week - couldn't understand a word of it. Admired the moustaches though.
Quoted message from naspa




Don't worry it was probably only a political debate (we had the first round of the general election yesterday) in which case you didn't miss anything apart from the usual trading of insults...the guys with the moustaches are usually the conservatives /nationalists in my experience.
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Message 59 - posted by pantanifan (U1668940) , Apr 10, 2006

And have you noticed that the Eurosport cycling forum now has a Romanian language version - half expected to see posts from naspa/Mrs Murphy on there...
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Message 60 - posted by naspa (U1648370) , Apr 13, 2006

I'm a pretty big fan of Romanian hip hop. It's very good for improving my Romanian swearing.

There is some good stuff - a lot of crap as well. The best bands seem to come from Moldova.

The odd thing is that I haven't seen much Hungarian music. Plenty of Manele. I was stuck in an internet cafe the other week and this girl played the same song at full volume on loop.

There was another article about the Szeklers www.tol.cz/look/TOL/...

BTW - have you ever cycled in Budapest?
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naspa



Joined: 06 Oct 2006
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Location: The only living boy in New Cross

PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2006 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Message 61 - posted by pantanifan (U1668940) , Apr 14, 2006

BTW - have you ever cycled in Budapest?
Quoted message from naspa





Not very much at all - that's why I didn't respond to your thread about cycling in different cities. Tend to do a bit more now we're living out in the country, but just for fun. I've enjoyed doing a lot of sports over the years but personally have always thought of cycling as one of those rare sports that are better to watch (and comment on) than to do - like boxing and rugby for example!
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Message 62 - posted by naspa (U1648370) , Apr 17, 2006

No worries. I noticed in Romania that you are far more likely to meet people cycling than in the towns. Unlike in the UK.

Have you been flooded out yet?
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Message 63 - posted by pantanifan (U1668940) , Apr 24, 2006


Have you been flooded out yet?
Quoted message from naspa





Managed to keep my feet dry though you can see a lot of water everywhere driving through eastern Hungary...

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Message 64 - posted by naspa (U1648370) , Apr 24, 2006

How was Ro? No near fatal accidents involving taxi's and carts?
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Message 65 - posted by pantanifan (U1668940) , Apr 24, 2006

No near fatal accidents involving taxi's and carts?
Quoted message from naspa




Just 2 or 3 this time around - quite a safe trip!

How was Ro?
Quoted message from naspa




Still a great place to visit in my opinion. Maybe it was just me but it does seem to be changing a little and becoming a bit more like the "rest of Europe", which is a shame from the point of view of the visitor though don't know what local residents would think

Slight change of subject - the governing socialist/liberal coalition in Hungary has just been reelected - the first time a ruling government has won an election here (in the post-1989 era), so you should see fewer droopy moustaches in parliament next time you're watching Hungarian TV
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Message 66 - posted by naspa (U1648370) , Apr 24, 2006

That sounds remarkably safe.

Romania is indeed changing. I notice it when I visit. However, it does not take much to jolt you back into the present in Romania. A couple of run ins with officials is normally all it takes.

I hope that the victory of the left might finally kill off Orban.
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Message 67 - posted by pantanifan (U1668940) , Apr 24, 2006


Romania is indeed changing. I notice it when I visit. However, it does not take much to jolt you back into the present in Romania. A couple of run ins with officials is normally all it takes.

Quoted message from naspa




I'm sure that's right and bureaucratic officialdom will continue in all forms for a long time yet (if the Hungarian experience is anything to go by!), but my first impressions of my first visit to Romania (1998) was that the old regime was still in place and only the leader (Ceausescu) had been removed in the revolution...


I hope that the victory of the left might finally kill off Orban.
Quoted message from naspa




In terms of domestic Hungarian politics I don't think there are any cleverer right-wing politicians than Orban (though people are fed up with him now as he's been around since 1988), but I think his rhetoric about "Hungarians abroad" is often counter-productive, as he has contributed to a split among Hungarians living in Romania...

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Message 68 - posted by ArtillerySarge (U1695136) , Apr 24, 2006

Hi,
I'm cycling between Belgrade and Bucharest in about 5 weeks time. Going via Timisoara and Brasov.

Reading up it sounds like the people are nice, the terrain is lumpy and the roads are very poor.

I am trying to find a bike shop in Bucharest, where I can get hold of a bike box (one of the cardboard ones they are delivered in) to put my bike in for the plane trip back. Any ideas?

Also any suggestions of places to visit on the way?

Cheers
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Message 69 - posted by pantanifan (U1668940) , Apr 24, 2006

Hi ArtillerySarge,

You should have a great time...I envy you. Some of the Carpathians you'll be crossing will test your climbing skills on the bike, as they're pretty big (depending on what you're used to I suppose). Get ready to sample the local homemade pálinka (over 60% proof, good for clearing your head and getting rid of any tummy bugs and essential when getting to know the locals!). Watch out for millions of Dacia cars (based on the 1970's style Renault, though there are more modern versions these days) driving at one speed of 75-80kph, the new Bucharest-registered cars of the extra rich (Audis, Passats, etc.) mingling with horses and carts, hitchhikers and old men and women cycling from one village to the next even in the middle of the night.
As for places to visit, try and stay out in the sticks somewhere (much more fun) and get a view of an old rural lifestyle that will probably die out before too long. The villages I go to are between Cristur Secuiesc and Odorheiu Secueisc (largely Hungarian areas), but apparently Timisoara is a very international city (bordering 3 countries), Brasov (from personal experience) is a very nice town with a Black Church, steep hills, various nationalities (incl. Germans from Saxony)
Don't expect 5-star service with a smile everywhere, learn a few words of Romanian and Hungarian and try and differentiate between the two languages (the locals will get very upset if you address them in the wrong language, so if you're not sure then German, French or English are safer!)
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Message 70 - posted by naspa (U1648370) , Apr 24, 2006

There are plenty of places between Timisoara and Brasov - it depends on how you are getting between the two.


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Message 71 - posted by ArtillerySarge (U1695136) , Apr 25, 2006

Cycling between the two, thinking of stopping in Sibiu and Sighisoara.
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Message 72 - posted by pantanifan (U1668940) , Apr 25, 2006

Sigishoara is definitely worth a visit, with an attractive castle on the hillside....by the way a lot of Romanian towns/cities (in my opinion) are pretty ugly around the suburbs, with Communist era industrial sites (sometimes derelict) and tower blocks, while the central areas are generally more attractive. Expect to be offered meat with everything if you eat out...
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Message 73 - posted by pantanifan (U1668940) , Apr 25, 2006

Never been to Sibiu, so don't know anything about it...
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Message 74 - posted by ArtillerySarge (U1695136) , Apr 25, 2006

Thanks. I've been to a few post communist towns, usually pretty shocking in the 'burbs but the centres are usually well preserved.

Any idea what the road surfaces are like? General perception is that they are awful.

There are 4 of us going, only one of whom is vegetarian (not me), so meat with everything sounds fine!
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Message 75 - posted by pantanifan (U1668940) , Apr 25, 2006

Good luck to your vegetarian friend!!!

Road surfaces are generally pretty reasonable these days on the busy main roads (those marked with E and a number on your map I presume), and OK in the mountains, but once you get off the beaten track (or even in the cities) expect to come across huge great potholes - maybe craters would be more accurate - and uneven surfaces to say the least. We tried to take a short cut by car once following a minor road shown on the map and eventually the road just stopped in the middle of nowhere so we turned around and came back - I'm sure this was the exception rather than the rule
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Message 76 - posted by naspa (U1648370) , Apr 25, 2006

Sibiu is next year's city of culture so that is definately worth visiting.

Sibiu and Maramures are my favourite places in Romania.

If you go to Sibiu eat in the Crama Sibuiul Veche. The address is Str Papiu Ilarian 3 - just off of Str Balescu.

www.sibiulvechi.ro/

be warned streets in Romania are notoriously hard to follow (not always signed). It really is in the cellar. But if you ask someone they should be able to tell you. Be warned a second time Romanians are very bad at giving directions. The phrase 'Bucuresti pe la stanga' is not a joke. So you might have to ask every 5 minutes.

Heading further down I would suggest that you stop in Peles/Busteni. This is a big resort town in the mountains and basically the gateway to Transylvania from the South. The Royal Palaces are here. Once you get south of there you hit the plane which is pretty painful on the eyes.

In Bucharest - La Mama is good to eat at. And Carturesti is a good place for books and tea. Quite bohemian and very popular with students.

Your vegetarian friend should be ok (don't listen to Hungarian nationalists who tell you Romanian food is horrible - There are plenty of salads and soups. Actually there is a lot of vegetarian food because Romanian Orthodoxy requires that you fast on Wednesdays and Fridays. Although the only people who seem to do this are women - so I suspect it might be church approved dieting. Needless to say, you should be ok.

The Rough Guide to Romania is pretty much my bible when it comes to visiting places. For the most part it is pretty good. But things in Romania can be very hit and miss. One day you'll find things with no hassle and you'll have good service and food, the next day it'll take all day to do one activity, you'll get lousy service.

One other thing - watch for the dogs. They love nothing more than to chase cyclists.

You may need to contact the embassy for information about bike shops - Bucharest does not actually have a tourist office!!!!!!
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Message 77 - posted by pantanifan (U1668940) , Apr 25, 2006

Your vegetarian friend should be ok (don't listen to Hungarian nationalists who tell you Romanian food is horrible - There are plenty of salads and soups. /quote>
Not in the village I go to there aren't (salads), but then the only Romanian speakers there are the police and the Romanian teacher at the school, so it's probably a Hungarian thing
Plenty of soups containing different types of meat
Quoted message from naspa



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Message 78 - posted by naspa (U1648370) , Apr 25, 2006

You can see how unevolved Hungarians are by the fact that they haven't yet worked out how to use the quote feature yet :p

Yes, a lot of chorba does contain meat. But it isn't all cabbage soup and mamaliga.

If your friend gets stuck then they should ask for "mancare de post" lit - 'fasting food'. That will be meat, egg and milk free.

Actually another really good place to get food is the Astra Museum outside of Sibiu.
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Message 79 - posted by pantanifan (U1668940) , Apr 25, 2006

You can see how unevolved Hungarians are by the fact that they haven't yet worked out how to use the quote feature yet :p
Quoted message from naspa




The twirly moustache keeps getting in my eyes...

Yes, a lot of chorba does contain meat. But it isn't all cabbage soup and mamaliga.
Quoted message from naspa




Chorba soup is definitely very tasty, and I wasn't complaining about the food - just commenting on my experience that there's plenty of meat in the diet. In any case I would interested in hearing ArtllerySarge's comments when he/she returns from this cycling adventure...
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Message 80 - posted by naspa (U1648370) , Apr 25, 2006

I think that food does get a bad press in Romania as being all meat - but a lot of that is to do with being guests and that meat was/is considered to be a luxury item - therefore to show what a good host you are you give your guest meat. Being a good host is very important in Ro.

I'll be interested to hear about cycling in Romania. Not something for the faint-hearted I think.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2006 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Message 81 - posted by ArtillerySarge (U1695136) , Apr 25, 2006

Thanks for the advice. Will try the embassy for some help re the bikeshops.

Went cycling in Hungary last year (Crackow to Budapest). Naspa - to answer your question about cycling in Budapest - it's shocking! Roads are bad, traffic is very bad. Not a big fan, but saying that I wouldn't cycle through most UK cities either.

All the other areas were fantastic. Food was pretty good (although we has a fair share of healthy pizza and chips in roadside cafes, obviously ideal for cycling).

I'll let you know how the trip goes, we are going on the 2nd-11th June.
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Message 82 - posted by naspa (U1648370) , May 17, 2006

Brasov is (according to my Romanian friends - so that for what it is worth) the best place in Romania for Pizza. No idea why but that is what they say.

Pantanifan - there was a TV program about buying houses on the shores of Lake Balaton on monday. Pretty cool - some really nice houses around there. And very cheap.
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Message 83 - posted by pantanifan (U1668940) , May 17, 2006

I've just come back from a few days in the UK but didn't see that program as I was flying back (to Balaton Airport!) on Monday - you can now fly direct to Lake Balaton from Stansted if you're thinking of investing - might make some politicians' moustaches droop even more if they read my advice to "foreigners" about buying their beloved land...


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Message 84 - posted by naspa (U1648370) , May 17, 2006

Especially Romanian-speaking foreigners Very Happy

It was quite cool because one of my students worked on the program as a researcher. So if I ever decide to buy a house in Hungary I'll ask her.

The problem with watching programs like that is that it always induces the question 'what the hell was I thinking when I thought "I know I'll study Romania"'...
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Message 85 - posted by pantanifan (U1668940) , May 19, 2006

"Especially Romanian-speaking foreigners"
You should be alright as long as you're not carrying a Romanian passport or wearing an "I Love Trianon" badge

"The problem with watching programs like that is that it always induces the question 'what the hell was I thinking when I thought "I know I'll study Romania"'..."

Maybe it's because the grass is always greener on the other side of the road but I think there are probably more places worthy of investment in Romania...
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Message 86 - posted by naspa (U1648370) , May 21, 2006

I see loads of adverts for Bulgarian property but none for Romania.

Did you admire the stunning Romanian entry in the Eurovision song contest yesterday?
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Message 87 - posted by pantanifan (U1668940) , May 23, 2006

I don't think we had the Eurovision song contest over here (probably no Hungarian entry) - can't say it's one of the things I really miss about not living in the UK though - does Terry Wogan still do the presenting?


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Message 88 - posted by MAILLOT JAUNE (U1932045) , May 23, 2006

Tat's the best bit about the Eurovision Song Contest - listening to Terry's commentry. I wouldn't watch it if he wasn't commentating.
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Message 89 - posted by naspa (U1648370) , May 24, 2006

The Romanian song wasn't too bad. The Romanians and Moldovans take it very seriously.

I can only imagine that the Hungarians failed to make the semi-finals.

Romania's problem is that only the Moldovans ever give them 12 points.


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Message 90 - posted by naspa (U1648370) , May 24, 2006

Check this out.

www.ador.ro/_lucrari...

Be warned it is Romanian and so very slow...
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Message 91 - posted by pantanifan (U1668940) , May 25, 2006

"The Romanian song wasn't too bad. The Romanians and Moldovans take it very seriously.

I can only imagine that the Hungarians failed to make the semi-finals.

Romania's problem is that only the Moldovans ever give them 12 points."

I think all the "New Europe" countries take it pretty seriously (I'm sure the Estonian/Romanian equivalents of Terry Wogan are not presenting it in their respective countries!)

Nice of the Moldovans to suppport the Romanian entry - this could be Hungary's problem, as they have not always been on great terms with some of their immediate neighbours (though this does seem to be changing a bit now)
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Message 92 - posted by naspa (U1648370) , May 25, 2006

Actually, there was no Polish, Slovak or Czech entries - so maybe Central Europe doesn't do Europop so well.

I am sure that if the Hungarians were to start giving points to Romania then the Romanians would reciprocate.

That said I have never had the chance to listen to much Hungarian music so I don't know what it is like.
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Message 93 - posted by pantanifan (U1668940) , May 25, 2006

Not qualifying for Eurovision is probably quite a good recommendation for the music scene of any European country!

On another subject, what do you think of Romanian beer? My favourite is Ciuc (dark ale)... Hungarians don't do good beer, they do good wine instead, it seems impossible to do both well?
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Message 94 - posted by naspa (U1648370) , May 25, 2006

I love Timisoreana. Ursus is good and you can get it in the UK. I also drink Ciuc and Silva.

The best thing I find out East European beers (Poland and Romania being where I get drunk most often) - is that I don't get a headache or hangover - unlike in the UK.

Nothing beats a beer, some mititei with fresh bread and mustard on an afternoon. Although just watch the Mititei - I've had food poisoning 3 times after eating it.
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Message 95 - posted by pantanifan (U1668940) , May 30, 2006

Not a big fan of mititei - makes me burp a lot and I used to be a vegetarian (no I'm not Robert Millar in disguise!) - but Mrs. Pantanifan would agree with you. I've tried Ursus beer as well, that's pretty good, and also Harghita beer - not as good as Ciuc but still goes down well.
When do you reckon Romania will be invited to join the EU?
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Message 96 - posted by naspa (U1648370) , May 30, 2006

The date is set Jan 1st 2007 Surprised So 6 months time.

The reason why it makes you burp is they put baking powder in it. Also, I am never quite sure of the origins of what was in them to begin with.

I have never had Harghita beer - although I do like the mineral waters from there.

The annoying thing is that it is getting harder and harder to get local stuff - they would rather give you imported Skol or Carlsberg instead of the decent local stuff.
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Message 97 - posted by naspa (U1648370) , Jul 11, 2006

How was your holiday?
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Message 98 - posted by Berks_Stallion (U1688869) , Jul 11, 2006

Where did you go?
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Message 99 - posted by pantanifan (U1668940) , Jul 11, 2006

Very relaxing thanks (apart from being hit from behind at a roundabout - in a car and not on a bike though!), mainly visiting family in the North of England, with a week "doing" Ireland and visiting my sister in the North/6 counties/N.Ireland...
I did miss the start of my favourite bike race and the unfolding of another doping scandal though, still at least I have an excuse for another poor showing in the fantasy league (I was on holiday when the favourites were dropping out like flies!)...
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Message 100 - posted by naspa (U1648370) , Jul 11, 2006

How is Mrs Pantanifan?

Are you going to Ro this summer?
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2006 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Message 101 - posted by naspa (U1648370) , Jul 25, 2006

I'm going to the Apuseni Mountains later this summer.

I need a crash course in Hungarian. I should be ok with my Ro, but you never can tell.

So I need the basic and important phrases that you need in Romania:

i) Go away

ii) no

iii) some good insults - better than du te dracu - more in the suge pula range.

iv) ordering beer would be useful

v) 'please call off your dog'

Anything else you think I might need
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Message 102 - posted by pantanifan (U1668940) , Jul 26, 2006

"i) Go away

ii) no

iii) some good insults - better than du te dracu - more in the suge pula range.

iv) ordering beer would be useful

v) 'please call off your dog'

Anything else you think I might need"


Hi naspa, here goes:

i) "Menj el" or "menj innen" ("menjetek el" if you're speaking to more than one person)

"Hagyd békén" or "hagyátok békén" (if more than one person) is slightly less insulting, meaning "leave me alone"

ii) "Nem", or if someone is offering you something that you wish to refuse "nem kérek"

iii) I don't understand your Romanian insults I'm afraid, but Hungarians are very proud of the rich variety of their swearing - one common very insulting one is "kurva anyád" = "your mother practises the oldest profession..."

iv) "egy sört kérem" - you will probably then be asked whether you want a "kicsi" (small) or "nagy" (large) "sör" (beer)

v) "elhívna a kutyát..."

Another useful one might be "köszönöm" or "köszi" = thanks...

Let me know if you need any more...

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Message 103 - posted by naspa (U1648370) , Jul 28, 2006

Cheers.

Kurva I knew. I think it means 'bitch' in Polish.

I will let you know how I get on.
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Message 104 - posted by naspa (U1648370) , Aug 23, 2006

What's the weather like at the moment?
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Message 105 - posted by pantanifan (U1668940) , Aug 24, 2006

dry, sunny, 27/28 degrees...
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Message 106 - posted by naspa (U1648370) , Aug 24, 2006

Excellent. It's minging here.

How is Mrs P btw?
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Message 107 - posted by pantanifan (U1668940) , Aug 25, 2006

Mrs Pantanifan is pretty good thanks - just 2 months to go before the latest happy event (fingers crossed)
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Message 108 - posted by naspa (U1648370) , 3 Weeks Ago

Have you been out rioting? Nothing beats a good East European punch up.

BTW - consider yourself lucky to have a boiler - living in Bucharest all the hot water is centrally provided. Unfortunately they tend to switch it off at random times during the summer. Cold showers = no fun.
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Message 109 - posted by pantanifan (U1668940) , 3 Weeks Ago

"Have you been out rioting?"

Didn't think you'd miss the opportunity to comment on this story - news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/... - for any casual readers of this thread... managed to avoid any scorch marks to my handlebar moustache while ramming the Parliament and national TV buildings with my 1970's Lada, thanks for asking

I've had the hot water experience on the Black Sea coast in Romania (usually turned off after around 6 a.m.!), but living here in a house out in the sticks does have some advantages, such as hot and cold running water
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Message 110 - posted by naspa (U1648370) , 3 Weeks Ago

Well it is the anniversary of 56 so I guess that everyones blood is up as well. Mind you the point underlying it all is true. The Hungarian economy is on a knife edge. Does anyone seriously believe that FIDESZ can do any better?

Do you live properly in the sticks with a pyschotic dog, cat, chickens, pig and ducks?


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Message 111 - posted by pantanifan (U1668940) , 3 Weeks Ago

"Well it is the anniversary of 56 so I guess that everyones blood is up as well"

That's true, historical events are always politically charged over here AND it's the 50th anniversary this year (specially long ceremonies coming up)

"The Hungarian economy is on a knife edge. Does anyone seriously believe that FIDESZ can do any better?"

As in most other European countries, you have the committed supporters of the Left or Right, and then you have the people who are not really bothered most of the time, change with the wind, don't trust anyone, etc. Fidesz helped to divide the country, and have contributed to the present economic problems as well, but I think what you need to appreciate is that this was (I think) the first ex-Eastern bloc government to be re-elected since the political changes of 1989, which they achieved (like all other lying political parties) by saying things were going to get better, and then promptly introduced an austerity program (which not everyone was expecting), and now comes an admission that they lied their way back into power from the Prime Minister himself...
But then I guess the people demonstrating on the streets were never really Socialist Party supporters...

"Do you live properly in the sticks with a pyschotic dog, cat, chickens, pig and ducks?"

Pretty much, all our neighbours have psychotic dogs (which means we know if anyone's coming to us a few minutes in advance), cat - yes, some pig slaughtering in the village but we don't have our own I'm afraid...


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Message 112 - posted by naspa (U1648370) , 3 Weeks Ago

I actually teach a class on the subject of why East European Governments don't get re-elected Although a number of Presidents have been relected the Socialists were the first party to be re-elected.

I am sure that the TV people are having a field day with this. Certainly in Romania the TV stations have no compunction in whipping up the crowds.

I guess a lot depends on what happens tonight - if there is a second night of rioting then things could get interesting. I think the government were maybe caught by suprise.

Fidesz under Orban also knew how to whip up the crowd. He's a really nasty piece of work. I am not sure who is worse - dodgy ex-communists who got very rich after 1989, or a bunch of equally dodgy nationalists.

I am not sure what breed of dog they are in Romania and Hungary but they are not very bright but they are vicious. One tried to bite the car I was in when I was in Ro last.
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Message 113 - posted by pantanifan (U1668940) , 3 Weeks Ago

"I am sure that the TV people are having a field day with this. Certainly in Romania the TV stations have no compunction in whipping up the crowds."

They're covering it pretty responsibly as far as I can tell, but then the TV stations are also clearly divided over here between pro-Leftist/ pro-Rightist...

"I am not sure what breed of dog they are in Romania and Hungary but they are not very bright but they are vicious. One tried to bite the car I was in when I was in Ro last."

Reminds me of a story about the first time I went to Romania, after a very long journey, large quantity of alcohol and bright sunny weather in the quietest village in the world, for some reason (presumably being too relaxed due to the above) I decided to go and stroke my friend's cute little dog (which was tied to a chain), the cute little dog responded by biting my arm and my friend lambasted me about why I was stupid enough to stroke a dog that was tied up...
Needless to say, I keep my distance from dogs these days
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Message 114 - posted by pantanifan (U1668940) , 3 Weeks Ago

"I am not sure who is worse - dodgy ex-communists who got very rich after 1989, or a bunch of equally dodgy nationalists."

A pretty accurate assessment of the situation, BUT:

- some of the dodgy nationalists were probably also involved in the old regime in some way...
- politics is a pretty dirty business everywhere, I mean we could start taking about what the options are in the UK/US/wherever ....

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Message 115 - posted by naspa (U1648370) , 3 Weeks Ago

A student of mine in Budapest says that the protestors are a combination of far right football fans and the elderly.

FIDESZ are particularly evil IMO - well Orban in particular.

There remains a certain naiveity about politics in Eastern Europe. That said politicians seem to fall into two camps - the moral but ineffective and the corrupt but effective.

I also feel that Habsburg attitudes still remain very strong.
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Message 116 - posted by smutcakes (U4296852) , 3 Weeks Ago

I was in Budapest the other day when the rioters were at it. Every news agency has made a complete mountain out of a mole hill. The local football team had just lost, hence a group of about 50 drunken youths decided they would have a bit of a riot. Its amazing how one camera shot can make things look ten times worse than they are!
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Message 117 - posted by pantanifan (U1668940) , 3 Weeks Ago

"A student of mine in Budapest says that the protestors are a combination of far right football fans and the elderly."

I haven't actually been to Budapest in the last few days, so your friend (and also the poster who says it is all a mountain out of a molehill) will probably know a lot more than me, I'm going mainly off what I hear/see in the media and from speaking to people. From the accounts I have heard/seen (on TV) there seems to be a relatively large number of mainly peaceful demonstrators on the streets during the early evening (as I said in an earlier post, certainly not disappointed supporters of the Socialist Government!), followed by some fighting with the police in the nighttime (largely instituted by the football fan brigade) - football clubs have been traditionally linked to various political factions here in any case.


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Message 118 - posted by pantanifan (U1668940) , 3 Weeks Ago

"Every news agency has made a complete mountain out of a mole hill. The local football team had just lost, hence a group of about 50 drunken youths decided they would have a bit of a riot."

Local news reports suggest 150 people (police and civilians) have ben injured so far, including one policemen who underwent brain surgery...
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Message 119 - posted by pantanifan (U1668940) , 3 Weeks Ago

"FIDESZ are particularly evil IMO - well Orban in particular."

As you probably know, Orbán was a young student who played an important part in the 1989 peaceful transition from Communism. He is also a very talented speaker, with a good sense of humour.

BUT:
- he has played a large role in dividing the country (a bit like Thatcher in the UK) when he was PM,
- he has helped to create the cult of personality politics in Hungary (since imitated and if anything outdone by the Socialists, with the current PM Gyurcsány),
- he keeps some very dodgy company (refusing to distance himself from the extreme right), didn't really condemn Jorg Heider (Austrian extremist), seemed to be quite friendly with the likes of Berlusconi and the Bavarian CSU leader (his name escapes me but he was the CDU candidate pre-Merkel),
- has some pretty strong rhetoric about the "family of Hungarians" living abroad, which can be counter-productive...

Just my opinion.


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