Thursday, 1 November 2012

the blue danube

We couch surf in Bratislava.  In completing the standard statement 'I would like to couch surf with you because.....' Gayle writes that we really enjoy meeting local people who can tell us more about the place we are visiting.  Our host sends us his address and happily makes no reference to this.  Eros Ferrari turns out be a very cool engineer working in Bratislava.  Italian engineer.  I think the clue is in his name.  He tells us that no-one really understands the concept of Couch Surfing in Italy.  "What? You let a stranger into your house? C'mon!"  It's probably not so different to Britain.  He thinks that to be into couchsurfing you have to be cool.  I guess he's right.  Dominica, a smart young Slovak woman is also staying with Eros.  There's an odd pause in the conversation when I ask her what she does. "I'm a manager, a regular manager."  "What do you manage?" "Oh, I manage sex shops".  A few things cross my mind but I can't bring myself to double-check "Did you say six shops?"  She continues to explain that she's in town to do some training and also be a mystery shopper.  I clam up.  I suddenly feel quite English.  I don't feel particularly cool.

Slovaks start smoking early
We wander around the old town and go in search of the Blue Church - an art nouveau confection.  The wind is bitterly cold but there are still a few groups of tourists knocking around.  In the evening Eros kindly takes us out to a typical Slovakian pub called 'The Slovakian Pub'.  There will be a holiday on Thursday - All Souls Day - and he's looking forward to a long weekend at home in Modena.  Meanwhile we cycle westwards along the big river and on into Austria.

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