Vices we love: Guess the village of my weekend excursion

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Guess the village of my weekend excursion

The above is a map of Slovakia with the cities which supposedly have synagogues neatly, if misleadingly marked. I say misleadingly because, for example, this is ours. It's the favored type of Eastern European synagogue- namely, a deserted one.

Everysooften when the spirit hits me (which is pretty damned rare) I would like to show up at a synagogue. This is not an easy thing to do in Eastern/Mittel/whateverEurope where a classmate of mine once suggested that I can visit a cemetery on the Shabbat. (For the record, I declined.)

Anyhoo, I picked up the scent, so to speak, of a shul on the southern border. After two trains I arrived in a decidedly one horse town where the first and largest establishment to be seen was, of course the "Stein/Pivo/Sorozo". It was about 5 PM and just about time for men to file in for the amber refreshments.

The street where my elusive Hebraic destination was supposed to be was referred to, in email correspondence, as Ulica Partizanske. (Partisans Road.) MittelEurope, eversokeen on symbolism, loves renaming streets. You can take the countrys' temperature by seeing what the name of the local streets are. They change, in rapid fashion, catering to whatever political wind happens to be blowing at the time. You may find yourself on Freedom road in the morning, HitlerLuvsYou Blvd. at noon, Partisans Road in the afternoon and Freedom Road again at eventude. The address for the Temple was supposed to be Partizanske, but that has of course become Passe, and the street is now known as Ulica Zoltan Kodaly (I am rather pleased that they did not pick some pseudo-populist Anti-Semitic war hero/political leader/oligarch to name the sttreet after. Credit where credit is due.)

Anyway, Ulica Zoltan Kodaly petered out long before I could reach my supposed destiny. I mentioned this via email (cuz that's the kind of Jew I am) and they informed me that services are held in the "largest house of worship" (A Catholic Church) in town. Which sounds totally logical.

About tennish I made my way back up the dusty road, just in time to see the men file out of the Pivo/Stein/Sorozo and congregate around the bushes behind the bus station to relieve themselves while letting each other know that Joska bacsi will be there AGAIN tomorrow, so Feri is totally not missing out. They had this conversation five years ago and will have it again ten years from now.

I returned at two AM, after two equally exciting train rides that I nearly missed. I had initially considered a bus ride, but Slovak bus schedules give me the shakes. It is never just a bus schedule, but rather a conglomeration of excuses as to why buses will not run. A sample:

Hickville: 6:45 (f1), 7:50 (2-4), 8:55 (5, f2, f3), 10:45 (f2-f5, f20), 12:20 (N)

This corresponds to a series of codes listed in no special order at the bottom of the schedule. f1 may mean no service during Easter, f2 may mean no service during summer, f3 may be no service during...etc. What this boils down to is that if you come at the right time, none of the above buses will be running.

P.S.: I am listening to Tom Petty counseling me that I do not have to be a refugee. Do y'all agree or not?


Blogger asiatown77 said...

More updates:

1- the address does not exist
2- the email I got for the guy who is supposed to run the shul bounced. Tomorrow I shall try the phone number and can confidently report that it will be out of service.
3- the current track is hotel california

10:15 PM  

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