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Tiny Hungarian Village Puts Itself Up For Hire


This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Visitors to Hungary can now upgrade their accommodations. Alongside hotel rooms, hostels and bed-and-breakfasts, you can now rent a village. The village of Megyer, Hungary can now be rented for 210,000 forints a day. That's a little less than $800. But if you have to ask, you can't afford it. Barbara Balogh is handling bookings for the village of Megyer. She joins us now.

(Speaking Hungarian).

BARBARA BALOGH: (Speaking Hungarian). Wow. (Laughter). Your Hungarian is very good.

SIMON: Well, thank you very much. I spent a little time in Cleveland.

BALOGH: Really?

SIMON: How did the town decide to put itself up for rent?

BALOGH: Well, it's a funny story. It all started as a joke. We were just drinking wine together Sunday evening and we were talking about how we could promote the village as the entire village, like, you know, we could rent out all the houses that we already have for a couple of years as B-and-B's. And so our mayor came up with the idea that we should just put in an advertisement, as if it was a flat or a house. And - but just, you know, the whole village, with the streets, the bus stop, the chicken coop, and the animals and everything - just give the deputy mayor's title to one of the guests and rename the streets as they wish. And we were laughing a lot and we didn't really take it serious. But then, next day he just, you know, created the advertisement and it went out.

SIMON: This is the mayor that did that?

BALOGH: Yes, yes, yes.

SIMON: So I mean, aside from what you've detailed, what else have you decided that somebody who rents the village for a day and a night will get?

BALOGH: The price includes only the accommodation and obviously all what I was talking about, but it doesn't include food or drinks or anything else. But we can provide food. And if somebody is interested then we can organize lots of things in the area. Even though it's a dead-end village and even though it's really the end of the road, the area is very popular. It's very touristic.

SIMON: So you call it a dead-end village. It wounds me to hear that because I'm just thinking of renting it.

BALOGH: Oh, OK. Come, we'll take care of you (laughter).

SIMON: Well, why do you call it a dead-end village?

BALOGH: Because there is no road further.

SIMON: Oh, it's really - it's truly a dead-end. Oh, I see.

BALOGH: It is truly a dead-end. You can't go anywhere else from there.

SIMON: Anyone book it so far?

BALOGH: Yes, yes, yes.

SIMON: Oh, my gosh.

BALOGH: There are lots - yeah, we already have a booking for a wedding this April. We have a company outings coming to us already. So, there are lots of inquiries already.

SIMON: Do you have any worry, Ms. Balogh, that someone's going to rent this village and because they're going to be more or less in charge for a day, they'll change the traffic laws? You know, say, from now on we're going to be like London - other side of the street, or outlawing chicken Paprikash or something?

BALOGH: That's OK because we only have two cars in the village, so...


SIMON: Kind of doesn't matter where they go, does it? Barbara Balogh. And if you are looking to reserve a Hungarian town for the weekend, you can give her a call or, of course, book online for an increased fee. Thanks so much for being with us.

BALOGH: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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