Kalocsa, Hungary. Group Tour. May 2013
A Hungarian old woman walked by. We saw her approach outside of the Paprika Museum. Some in our group take notice of her; a few photographs were taken, but not some much as to draw undue attention. We try to respect the privacy of the local townspeople. Richard takes her photo and she approaches Nicole, our tour guide, and shows her some embroidery work that she has done.
Nicky, listens to the old woman and then looks at us and incredulously says “Unbelievable. This woman has done some embroidery and now she is trying to sell it to us.” Nicky shakes her head and rolls her eyes. “Hungarians!”
I step closer, “that’s all right, let us look.” I smile at the woman and Nicky to let them know that there may be people in our group who would be interested. The old woman pulls out the pieces and several in our group gather closer to admire her handwork.
“Nicky, how much?” I ask. Nicole works out the price in Euros and dollars as we do not have any Florins. Nancy and Janie buy two pieces with $5 each. The old lady looks confused, agitated and speaks to Nicky with a sense of something is amiss. Cathy is admiring one of the larger pieces and Don offers $20 for a $15 piece, “No change” he says as he is always overly generous. However, the old lady sadly shakes her head and conveys that she is not interested in the money we are offering (even if we overpay, which Nicky tries to reason with her).
“I’m sorry.” I say to her and pat her hand. She turns her head away from us and I notice there is a tear on her cheek as we leave one another.
There must be a story there.