Delightful weekends? – The Hungarian weekend house phenomenon

Buying a weekend house can solve all your vacationing needs forever. Or maybe not? Holiday homes come in many sizes and forms, including some American dream versions that actually deserve the name of a second home. Quite naturally, having holiday homes is not unique to one nation or another. Right now, however, I am giving you the Hungarian perspective. In Hungary, the luxury-version would be a large house by Lake Balaton. Even a smaller house can be quite nice. Average weekend houses are a different matter, though.

Why don’t we love weekend houses?

But what is the problem with having a weekend house? Isn’t it wonderful to have a place where you can rest? On the one hand, sure it is a fantastic thing but go ahead and ask a few Hungarian teenagers and they might have a different opinion. A definite disadvantage of having a weekend house is that they don’t just pop in and out of existence. They are there and they require a considerable amount of maintenance. If your idea of a perfect weekend does not include hoeing, weeding, planting and fixing the toilet (for some reason, they always go wrong in weekend houses), then a weekend house might not be for you. And why did I mention teenagers? Because they are old enough to help out in the garden but just not old enough to decide if they really want to do so. I felt particularly sorry for a poor girl who, at one point in her life, was required to share all her weekends between the weekend house of her parents and that of her boyfriend’s parents (gardening, of course, not resting).

Weekend houses (for average people, let’s leave millionaires out of this) tend to be in the middle of nowhere. I remember one extreme case when reaching a friend’s weekend house required an approximately two-hour walk uphill. Which is nice, provided you find something really exciting when you get there- well, it wasn’t the case.

Why do we love weekend houses?

Since thousands of Hungarian families are proud owners of weekend houses, there must be something positive about them, right? In fact, getting out of the city is also a blessing for many people, especially the ones who spend their entire day sitting in front of a computer. Also, the above mentioned gardening practices have two by-products: One: cheap and healthy fruit and vegetable for the family. Two: some much-needed exercise.

All in all, the idea of weekend houses is appalling to those who have not given up their (slightly unrealistic) dream of spending their summers backpacking all over the world but it can also be a dream come true for a number of families. Which group do you belong to?

[Magyar]

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