Wednesday, October 27, 2004

The Saddest Thing in Budapest

So, what's the one thing more pitiful than a Trabante? Yes, a Trabante with a security device! This sad little thing is parked around the corner from my flat. The petrol in the gas tank (which is under the hood in Trabbies) is worth more than the Trabbie itself. Sad, sad.


At 11:59 AM, Blogger Indeterminacy said...

Trabis are something of an East German icon. When East Germany still existed it was very difficult to buy a car, and the only one you could buy was a trabi. There were very long waits. Hence, if you had one, you took very good care of it. Not a big problem as they are/were apparently easy to repair. But it was obvious that trabi owners really loved their car. They put curtains on the windows, and personalized it in any way they could. Their trabis seemed to have a personality, to be an extension of their owner's home, a place you could live in.

Those were the trabis you saw before and (for a short time) after the German reunification. But the East Germans soon abandoned their faithful friend. The months after the two Germany becamse one it was extremely difficult to find a used car, as they were going like hotcakes in the East. Everyone wanted a "Westauto". Soon you stopped seeing the trabis. Excepting for a slight trend that popped up. You might enter a mall somewhere and see mens/ladies fashions shop a trabi set up as a display object piled high inside with jeans and other fashions. Sometimes you'd see them outside on a pole, used for some kind of advertisement.

I still see a trabi on the roads occasionally these days. But never with curtains. They just seem to be another type of car now. I saw one in Poland a few weeks ago.

The trabi in your picture does look especially bare and sad.


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