Sunday and low and behold more Hungarian sun. Our tan’s were definitely in full swing by now and I had a beautiful jandal tan line forming. Shade and beach zone was becoming a favourite spot. We headed over that way past the platoons of tents lining the island with every national flag under the sun, including a large selection of New Zealand flags! The beach was already packed with many festival goers asleep on the various colourful hammocks and cushions for hire. The dance workshop I had attended earlier in the week was starting and Royce and I decided to play a board game in the shade. We found a board game called Battle Sheep, me being a shepherd whenever I see anything sheep related in “normal” life I get ridiculously excited. So of course we had to play!
Battle sheep can be played with 2 to 4 players. you each get a stack of coloured tiles. Players start the game by constructing the board from identical four-hex tiles in any which way you want. It can be a perfectionist circle or have holes in the board if you want an added level of difficulty. Then each player places his/her tall stack of discs on one of the border hexes. Players take turns removing some number of discs from the top of one of their stacks, moving that new stack of discs as far away as it can go in a straight line. Players must leave at least one disc behind when moving, so the board gradually fills up and movement opportunities become more and more scarce. The player occupying the most spaces at the end of the game wins! Naturally with Royce and I playing this game got quite competitive and the board got quite elaborate, it might be a game we have to add to #vanlife.
From there I took part in another yoga class and Royce headed off to take photos. After a relaxing morning of Yoga we decided we had better actually fill in all the stamps in our passport and headed over to the dance and arts area. Here we found a number of tents from the Budapest Museum and Royce joined in on an escape room challenge, while I found myself learning about prostitution in World War One. In the beginning of last century our world map and especially Europe as most of you know looked quite different to what it does today. Hungary was a much larger country apart of an Austrian/Hungarian empire
During World war one when the soldiers from this large predominantly christian national were out conquering and fighting. Hungary was losing men, this was war after all. The concerning part was that Hungary was losing men not only from gunshots and war related activities but they were also losing men at almost the same rate from syphilis and other sexually transmitted diseases! The government at the time didn’t condone adultery at all but what they condoned less was was gay sex and rape in conquered areas. Which due to the largely female deprived armies was occurring far to often, and meant the spread of diseases was becoming more then a little bit of a problem. The Austrian-Hungarian governments answer to this at the time was to have prostitutes enlisted as part of the army and travel alongside the soldiers.
These woman were paid by the army and had regular medical check ups which greatly reduced the rates of syphilis. There was differing ranks of prostitutes as well. Red garters indicated the prostitute was for officer ranks only and stocking colours and different garters indicated different troops ranks. Woman higher up the ranks got paid better as well. The exhibit was enlightening and extremely interesting, it came complete with images of the travelling brothels and sex toys available for soldiers to hire. It certainly wasn’t something I had even thought about!
From board games to museum talks and back to the main stage. While waiting for Florence and the machine to play we caught up with Xpache the French friend Royce had made while playing chess. Xepeche and his wife clementine are multi lingual language teachers and van-lifers. They had parked up their van outside on the mainland and were tenting inside Sziget island for the 7 days. This was their 3rd year attending Sziget and remarked that no matter how many times they had come back they still never managed to see everything! We sat down with Xepeche and got talking about tattoos (he has a few!) And about farming and veganism (they are vegan) it was a great and insightful discussion ending with an agreement to disagree. We caught up with them after the festival when they had been reunited with there two rescue dogs who were being looked after back in Buda for a really tasty vegan lentil curry. They have also made a vegan vanlife cookbook!
As the sky dimmed and the main stage filled up we moved closer for the arrival of Florence. Her unique and captivating voice filled the air as she danced barefoot in a floaty white dress up and down the stage and into the crowd. The crowd roared along with her as we collectively sung Dog days are over and Florence told us stories of how some of her songs came about and the mental health issues she has struggled with. Half way through the set she made her way off the stage down to the barriers and sang directly into the crowd. She held hands and sang forehead to forehead into the face of one fan as they sang together for a whole song her voice never faltering. What an amazing experience. I had been told many times that Florence was one of the best live performances and I was not disappointed, she loves her fans and their devotion to her was clearly reciprocated in her live show. She owned the stage and created an atmosphere as unique as her voice.
As always don’t forget to hit the like and subscribe and see you next week for more out the gate adventures and the stars of the week Foo fighters!