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Mongol Rally via Slovakia

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BBC LE Student Blogger | 07:34 UK time, Wednesday, 26 January 2011

From Anita, Slovakia


Hello everyone,

Can you remember Andrew, the head of the BBC LE department, writing about the Mongolia Adventure on Staff blog in July? I am sure, you can. If not, please take a look here.

Well, I would like to tell you the story of how I met Andrew last summer. Andrew offered a free English language conversation class in his blog and you know how mad I am about English (hahaha) so there was no reason to wait and I invited him and his friend, Mike to stay with me and my family in our home en route to Mongolia.

Days went by and one day I received an email saying that Andrew and Mike were supposed to be driving their ambulance, called the Beast, through Slovakia and they might be able to visit me. I was over the moon.

The day arrived. I was so excited. I knew they would arrive around dinner time, no earlier so I had enough time to think about what to cook. I was in two minds whether to cook Hungarian or Slovak dishes. (For those who do not know, I am Hungarian living in Slovakia so that is the reason why this problem might arise.) In the end, I decided to cook both. As a starter we had a very typical Slovak dish: bryndzové halušky - Potato dumplings with bryndza (sheep's cheese) and bacon. As a main course we had chicken paprika stew with home-made noodles - it is one of the traditional Hungarian dishes. And finally I baked cocoa snails. Andrew and Mike also tried Slovak and Czech beers and home made peach spirit. I believe my guests enjoyed emptying their plates. OK, that is enough to talk about food.

Getting back to the afternoon - after exchanging some short text messages about where we exactly live, the Beast and his travellers finally arrived in my teeny-weeny village and parked in our garden. Words cannot tell you how happy I was to see Andrew again. I would have never thought that there would be a day to meet him in my home. Well, after greetings we took a short walk in our garden to move their numb legs and get some fresh air. Then we had dinner together. (no more words about it, promise). Mike was quite tired and wanted to have an early night so he went to rest up for next day. But Andrew gave me the promised English class and we were talking and talking about everything under the sun until midnight. Needless to say, I had a whale of a time. Just take a look at the photo

Andrew, Mike & Anita

Next morning I prepared an abundant breakfast for my lovely guests and I had a lovely time again talking over a cup of coffee in my kitchen. After that it was time to say goodbye to each other. We gave each other a big bear hug, wished all the best and the Beast and my friends rolled out of the yard and disappeared in the bend of the road.

In the garden

I was following their journey and reading Andrew's blog with great interest. They arrived in Mongolia and then back to England safe and sound. Maybe we can read some lines from Andrew, what his feelings are about the whole Mongolia Rally, whether the charity was prosperous and so on. It would be really nice.

Dear friends, I think it is my last blog this January. I am looking forward to hearing from you and hope that you will drop me a line.

In the meantime, take care!

Anita from Slovakia


  • Comment number 1.

    Hi Anita
    I have found the blogs can be very interesting, too.
    Good luck to you.

  • Comment number 2.

    Hello Anita,
    Oh yes, I do remember the Mongolia adventure! In fact, I offered Andrew and his colleague free board and lodging if they should chance to take a detour across the east of Austria - but alas, they preferred the route via Slovakia. (Can you read my envy between the lines?) Anyway, from what I can see they were better off staying with you! My cooking skills definitely don't match yours.

    In the meantime I've managed to find your blog of Sept. 2006! I hope you don't consider me too intrusive, but I've read all of it - I thought it was so interesting, very moving, too. I have a daughter who started travelling on her own at a very young age, too. Then she spent an exchange year in the USA, and this year she is going to take her final exams. Who knows where she will be taken next? Well, between you and me, I'm very glad she has this boyfriend - so chances are she will stay around for the time being. But this is narrow-minded mother's thinking. Of course, you are right - we have to let our children live their own lives - even if good-byes are a painful thing, reunions on the other hand are some of the best moments I have had in life. And getting the experience of living abroad is definitely something very valuable and enriching.

    Hoping to hear from you again,
    Best wishes,
    Elisabeth (Austria)

  • Comment number 3.

    Hi Anita, how nice you could write & how friendly you are!!! wish to have more writing from you... your foods seams very much delicious & mouth watering... I hope, Andrew & Mike will travel Slovakia again at list to have those Hungarian & Slovak tastes(hahaha..just kidding)

    Arnob Sharif
    from Bangladesh

  • Comment number 4.

    Hello Anita,How are you
    I did manage learn many words from both blog(Anita and Elisabeth)
    Anita you have a really value freindship and Because I am sure with
    this kindly relation you will acquire good frend.
    By the way you have got rich english.

  • Comment number 5.

    Hello! Anita, Anita! Do you not know I am on the diet trying to give my body in shape? Yeah, your wordly known cooking skills and slim figure; where is the secret? However, the smile on your face is something good to see. Thanks to Andrew (where is he?) for causing the happy change! Though, I do not posses virtues like you I am still waiting all the secrets you are going to reveal to me in person the day you´ll travel my direction! Hope you remember my office place. Take care and GOOD LUCK! marianna, Slovakia

  • Comment number 6.

    Hello Anita,

    Just read your comment, and i liked it a lot! So, i´m new here, and for a while, i´m knowing the people...I want to improve my english too and i think you have a very good english, congrats!
    Well, i read about the foods, hummm it all looks like delicious!


  • Comment number 7.

    Well, what may one say?Lucky you!

  • Comment number 8.

    Hi everyone,

    Thank you for your comments. It is always a pleasure to read them. However, I cannot answer you in detail now as I have got a terrible flu. Although I am feeling better today than yesterday (no fever today but still aching body and cough), I have not gone to work. I am resting at home to get back my energy. I actually need “good health” rather than “good luck” at the moment. ;)

    I will keep in touch and write soon. Take care,

  • Comment number 9.

    Dear Anita, thank you for your fantastic blog!
    I do remember the Rally and how happy you were to have such important guests in your house :-)
    Andrew and Mike couldn't have chosen a better host. I'm really sure all of you had a whale of a time.
    BTW, I'm sending you good vibes and wishes for your total recovery my dear friend. You know you need some rest and patience. Your good health will come back to you soon.

    A big kiss from here.

  • Comment number 10.

    That's awful.Maybe it's the drink..lOl.
    By the way , Was it a Dog behind you in the picture?It's lovely.

  • Comment number 11.

    Hello dear Anita,

    Thank you for sharing about the Mongol Rally and all the memories are rushing in again. I must say the guests had the best host and of course the best food.

    Wish you all good my dear.


  • Comment number 12.

    Jimbeckworth: With Anita's permission. The dog in the picture is Anita's dearest pet Bobo and it's beagle.

  • Comment number 13.

    Great blog. I read it only today at night. I can see that you had a special day with that visit. Hope you get well soon.

  • Comment number 14.

    Hi dear Anita ,
    First of all sorry for my delay ..... you were so lucky to be host of a guest of BBC LE Lucky you . As you said hope to read an updated Blog from Andrew and hope your entry could persuade him to write some lines for his fans : )
    By the way as some of your fans are interested I 'm eagerly want to know the secret of the slim woman in the shots which is a master chef : ) recently I 'm some how into cooking and I guess it will means some more kilo unfortunately : (
    I don't know how some one can prepare different delicious dishes without gaining some extra weight ....
    See you around

  • Comment number 15.

    Hi Anita! I think you are a great cook so I am going to gate-crash for a dinner. LoL It is always a pleasure to hear from you. Chow!!

  • Comment number 16.

    Hello everyone,

    Have a nice Sunday!

    For as long as I can remember I have never been ill with flu. I have been in bed for almost 3 days because of flu-like-symptoms and I am still weak. I cannot tell you “I am fine” but I am feeling much better than the other day. What is more, my son and husband have become ill too with high temperatures. We were aching and have got the shivers. Hope you are all healthy and doing well.

    @ Taru, glad to know you have found the blogs interesting.

    @ Elizabeth! There are many disadvantages of living next to a main road but one of the advantages was that the route Andrew and Mike had planned took right across my village so they did not even have to change their route. ;)
    Thank you for reading my blog written in September 2006. I am glad you liked it. Anyway, I took part in the Open blogs every year so you can follow my family’s life and my stories there. I would like to be in touch with you so maybe if you are also interested we can make friends on Facebook. What do you think? I would like to hear more about your daughter too. I am wishing her good luck with her final exams.

    @ Arnob Sharib, @ Seymor, @Gabi85
    Thank you for your positive feedback which was very encouraging.

    @ Jimbeck!
    Naheed has already introduced to you our dog, called Bobó who is behind me in the pic. If you take a look at my first blog this January you can see him there in another shot. Anyway, thanks Naheed.

    @ Dear Marianna! How nice to read your lines. I really missed you. I know for sure your office place. Please do not be surprised when I knock at your door one day. I have read in one of your comments about the new bookshop in a big shopping centre in your town. Did you mean Korzo? If yes, please let me know. I would like to tell you something about it. Looking forward to hearing from you.

    @ Cris! @ Naheed!
    I do remember that you were really happy for me when I had my guests from the UK. Your comments mean a lot to me. Thank you so much.

    @ Pary! Do not worry about being late. I know it is difficult to find some free time if someone has two small children. And it is better late than never. Thanks for writing. Hmmm… being slim…. I think it is in our genes as no one in my family is fat. We are fortunate! Or maybe the secret is (if there is any secret): it is better to eat more frequently but in small amounts. What do you think?

    @ Beatriz! You are right: it was such a privilege to meet him again and a unique experience I shall never forget.

    @Fili! We are agreed - you do not need any invitation; you can decide to gatecrash at any time. :D

    Have a nice weekend everyone. Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Take care,

  • Comment number 17.

    Dear Anita,
    It's good to hear you are better again - and I wish your son and husband a speedy recovery, too.
    Thank you for your kind answer and the good wishes for my daughter! I am very glad you suggest being friends on Facebook - so I have just tried to find you there. It wasn't easy because your name does seem to be a popular one, but in the end I found you (and Bobó...) - so that Elisabeth sending you that request is me, okay? I AM looking forward to meeting you there.
    So long,

  • Comment number 18.

    Hi Anita! I am happy knoving at least you are getting better in the family. Flu is the most hated illness which had been years my frekvent companion. Bingo; you are right it is KORZO I wrote about. And now, you´s made me so curious and impatient to get to know the news from you. Hopefuly, the clients in my office who made the delay from writing this let the chance on receiving the respond yet, for I don´t have acces to FB.
    Friends, it´s a big excitement for me to write to you again. Yesterday evening I was pondering and came to the conclusion Anita was the best from all the learners for visiting the BBC office back then. As I look at me being there in London, which I haven´t been to till now, I am in a big doubt about me being able gathering the courage to do the same! All the best, marianna

  • Comment number 19.

    Hello friends,

    Thank you for your concerns and attention. Now, I am back on my feet. Peter has also gone to school today and my hubby is well enough to work again.

    Hi Elizabeth!
    I am glad to be your friend on FB so we can build our friendship up there. See you then,

    Dear Marianna!
    First of all, I would like to suggest you sign up for FB too. We all would be so happy to meet you there to chat and share etc. If you want excitement, you should try facebooking. ;)
    As for the Korzo. Last September I was on a business trip in your town. I am sure, you can remember as I wrote about it in one of my comments on the blogs. Well, the story is about the bookshop you mentioned. My husband's company, so I dare say that we installed the hidden lights in the mentioned bookshop. So next time if you are visiting it you might take a peek at lights too.

    Best wishes to everyone. Take care,

  • Comment number 20.

    Hey Anita! Hohoo, now, when the lights somehow crash there, the company have to come for repair! Hm, I am going to be on a visit more often there! About FB I am still doubtfull, at first I spend long hours just sitting working at the screen that is why I wouldn´t stand more. If yes, I suppose it´d be hours watching primarily pages with art and photos. Not to mention with a shame the fact that more than a year I utterly stopped working on my poor grammar knowledge. The rest of my usual activities goes without much change as you know yet. Best wishes and many thanks for kind words to me from all my friends! marianna

  • Comment number 21.

    Hi dear Mariana , Waht a pitty you don't like FB . I do agree with what you said about long hours spending on PC and I do don't like it . But on the other side I love to be in touch with you as a old firend form BBC LE Blog : ) and How lovely it would be to see your kind shot and your paintings as well . Don't forget to mention I have already made lots of friends with most BBC LE Blogers and now we are really good friends after few years .I 'm sure if you registered FB you won't regret and every thing is in your control and you can manage every thing so one more time please think about it : )
    Pary from Iran

  • Comment number 22.

    Hello Anita

    Thank you so much for this blog, it brought back wonderful memories of our time in your house, and the incredible hospitality you and your family showed to us!

    To all readers of the Learning English blog: I can't even BEGIN to tell you how delicious Anita's cooking was!

    I must say it kept us well-fed and going as we headed East into somtimes tougher conditions 'on the road' with our faithful ambulance. But we got to Mongolia in the end and donated it for use by a local hospital.

    And I can recommend to anyone planning a trip or an adventure, Slovakia is an excellent stopping-off and 're-fuelling' point!

    Best wishes to you all

    Andrew Thompson



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