South Beach Volley in
Hungary's ELLE Magazine
english traslation courtesy of Anett :)
ONE BITE OF PARADISE
Palm trees, police chase and George Clooney – we
just landed in Miami, and right away we found ourselves in many surprising
situations. But we didn’t expect anything different, since we arrived
to a beach volleyball-colony for a visit. Two weeks on the bright (sunny)
side of life, on South Beach.
I’ve met Willie, the guru of beach volleyball years
ago on the Internet. On my portal, I’ve mentioned this sport as
one of my favorite, when he was just about to come to visit Budapest.
He wrote an e-mail in what he was trying to find out where he would be
able to play when he gets here. I didn’t only show him the courts,
but we traveled through the city as well. While we were walking through
the hot asphalt between the Heroes’ Square and Basilica, he was
telling me stories about his life on South Beach. Seeing my obvious jealousy,
all he said was: “buy a plane ticket! Many people live with me,
you can come anytime and with whomever you want.”
For a long time I thought, I will never get to the land of dreams. But
after I lost my Love, I felt like I must step out of the everyday-life
to be able to continue my life. And since I don’t believe that there
are coincident in life, after long planning I got going with my little
sister to discover an unknown world.
Our host, Willie came to pick us up from the airport. Driving towards
the house, seeing the climate, the palm trees and the whole environment,
we knew it right away that we are in a totally different world, which
was proven to us later in every given minute. Because of the time difference,
we must have had to stay awake and also since we wanted to enjoy every
minute of our vacation, we left right away to look around. We received
two bicycles, and through the pedestrian street we start heading towards
the beach. Even though it is not too easy to look around while you are
pedaling, only in a few minutes we became richer with thousands of experience:
in one moment there is a guy with a stretch dress and high heels screaming
next to you, in the next moment someone with a bicycle and a roaster cruising
by you, in the third moment model-looking men hugging each other on the
terrace of a restaurant. When we got the beach, we had to detour because
of the shooting of a movie – which we found out later – was
George Clooney’s newest movie. On the next corner police cars with
sirens run right by us to capture and put someone in their car. Wherever
we were looking, a part of a movie seen became alive on the front of us
and this was only the first day there. Is it surprising that we were excited
to see what tomorrow will bring?
Games without limits
Next day, the first thing we did is going to the beach to tan. Partially,
to enjoy the Florida sunshine, as well as to get some tan, since we really
looked odd over there, not only because of our white skin but also because
we were “working” our camera like it was obligatory. Our group
of friends named us: “the tourists” because of this.
Oh, yes the group of friends. I could have never imagined that it is possible
to live like this: every day, after work they meet on the beach, than
they play volleyball until they can. And to not be bored, they always
have a bunch of guests over. I mean tourists. Usually people start coming
to the beach around 4 to start the games. That day Willie was the first
one to “put the shadow on our beach-towel”, who is the main
organizer of the beach-volleyball events. Later the rest have come as
well, usually not representing the country itself, but from Spain, France
and Germany, so from the European region.
Willie said that Hungarians are his destiny since somehow they always
find him. And really almost every day we met someone from Debrecen, Pest
or Szeged. But not only him, but everyone was very friendly with us from
the first moment. Right away they threw us in the deep water and made
us play. Who was waiting for their turn were “chilling out”
under the trees, watching the others, talking and listening to music.
In those breaks we had the opportunity also to get to know them.
We asked everyone what are they working and how hard is it to find a job
and to live there. With the answer, usually everyone was positive: “it
always happens somehow and many people help… In this group there
was guy who was an Abercrombie-model 4 years ago, Mark, who even though
works hard, and for sure makes good money, still he moves around with
a huge suitcase every night and sleeps on different people’s couches.
This is very usually here. One of the girls is a booker at one of the
model agencies, while she has a husband who is a well-known model as well.
But not everyone is from the glamorous world. There is someone who is
a supervisor at constructions, someone deals with metals, and someone
is a web designer. Actually everyone says the same: it doesn’t matter
where do you work, if you are humble and genial, then you will be fine.
So, most of the people either studies or have a job where the morning
always find them at a different place. Still, the members of this group
make up a huge family, where they help each other in everything and share
things with everyone. Supposedly, this is not a common thing in Miami,
but on that I cannot coment….
Barbeque American style
On the second day, we didn’t spend our morning with tanning, but
with editing our pictures and keep on sending them home to family and
friends, so they get a little taste of paradise. It is clear though that
neither the pictures nor the words can show the feeling of watching a
sunrise in Florida. The ocean, the beach, the busy city is all –
indescribable, magical feeling. And what a lifestyle! The spontaneous
things always compelling to me, and if anyone the volleyball players really
don’t plan anything ahead. One afternoon we realized during the
afternoon chilling that everyone is talking about the BBQ at Willie’s
house that evening and we didn’t even know about it. I asked right
away, why all the sudden, did anything happen? And how will people know
if they can come or not? Willie answered me with eyes wide open that he
just decided 5 minutes ago. And not to worry about that there will be
too many or not enough people – there are unwritten rules and everyone
knows if they can come or not.
So after the games we went home and right away went with Willie for a
shopping – of course not a usual way, but with a mini-boat, since
next to our terrace in the house, there is a canal that goes into the
ocean and we just need to row a bit to buy things for the party. The night
was exactly how we imagined: instead of guitar, the French François
played the trumpet, while the rest holding their beer cheered for their
favorite basketball- and hockey teams.
Baywatch, luxury, karaoke
The next day was very windy, which was proven by the lifeguards
with the whistle in their mouth waving at the tourists because of the
huge waves and the sand dunes. Many people were not concern because of
this at all. The guards were bringing out of the giant waves men, women
and children one after the other – like if we were at “Baywatch”.
To take a little rest, that night with a huge American car we went to
a karaoke-bar, with many of us sitting on the platform. Another realization:
here everyone has very good voice. Without hesitating, the members of
the groups were asking for the songs one after the other, and with so
much emotions sang their songs. Nobody cared about what others think about
them. Around midnight we got going to the famous “Rockbar”,
where with the help of Cyprian Tony we didn’t have to stand in line.
An unimaginable seen was waiting for us: beautiful girls and boys everywhere,
above people’s head phosphorescent drinks were served, on the bar
tasteful girls were dancing and on the couches instead of sitting, people
without shoes dancing their hearts out. We found out that we are in a
Shopping and Amusement Park – Adrenalinflash
Since the next day the weather was cloudy and of course because of my
job as well, we decided that it was time to check out the famously huge
selection of Miami clothing. We started at Aventura Mall, where besides
the Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s and JcPenney, every imaginable
brand was found. For a stylist, this is the second paradise. A whole day
wouldn’t be enough to check all the supplies, but we really didn’t
even want to push it. Instead, on the way home, we asked Willie to show
us the residencies of the “rich and famous”. I’ve seen
wonderful houses before, but this quarter was amazing. Huge gates, amazing
plants, beautiful mix of styles and tastes where ever we were looking.
We were excited about the next night as well; we had a table reservation
to Tiramisu, where by the side of the fountain, in the company of our
friends we were tasting the different bites of Italian kitchen. Then we
walked to Segafredo bar. This place is a popular destination for every
young tourist. Thanks to Tony we didn’t end up in one of those clubs
where most of the tourist go, instead we went to Set, where world famous
DJ’s and dancers with torches were entertaining the visitors. The
night was a bit too long; we didn’t have much time to rest, since
the next morning we left at 6 to Orlando, to Island of Adventures. Since
most of the people are free only on the weekends, we went on Saturday,
therefore there were crazy amount of people there. There were many types
of tickets, and it is worth it to pay a bit more, so you don’t have
to wait in line to get on the breathtaking rides. A whole magazine wouldn’t
be enough to tell you about the adventures, the scene, the joy and the
adrenalinflash on the roller coaster…. It was amazing.
The pirates like palinka, not rum
The next day, totally different adventures and waves were waiting for
us. Since Gege, the Hungarian guy fixed the 80 years old neighbor’s
boat; he gave it to us to use it. First we went to the open ocean, where
in the middle of doubts and fear of sharks we got in the water, and then
our first ride was taking us to a deserted island. The boat was followed
by dolphins, and when we got to the island, again a breathtaking environment
was waiting for us: palm trees were hanging into the see-through ocean,
what was bordered by white sand. After we had enough beauty, we got going
again. Soon we ended up by a pirate boat. The captain thought about palinka
right after the mentioning of Hungary. Later he told us that he and his
wife along with their two dogs are waiting for the wind so they can get
going. We had a much easier situation with our boat with engine. When
we were cruising by the “rich and famous” residency, we saw
Latin workers picking coconut, and of course we asked them for a few.
One of them right away cut through the outer part and gave us the fruit.
“Enjoy it” he said with a smile, like that was the most natural
thing in the world. Even though we ate the coconut, we got hungry and
start heading up to Brickell, where we wanted to find a small place next
to the fishermen to kill our hunger. In a small local place called Casablanca,
the waiters with a big smile on their face were serving us delicious sea
creatures. Our mouths were just wide open from all the experience.
Since wanted to enjoy every given minute, at night we got going again
to discover different places. Tony took us first to a “loungy”,
dinner place to Hotel Astor, what was open only until 1; therefore we
get going to a hip-hop, funky place called Mokaai. It was not only good
because it was the shooting of the new video of Kim Kardashian, but also
since they were playing all our favourite songs. The most magical place
for me wasn’t this one, but a well-known elite club in Fontainebleau
Hotel, where beautiful women and men were arriving dressed in the latest
fashion and where Ferraris and Lamborghinis were parked on the front.
On the last day, my fate has found me. I wanted a tattoo for a long time,
just never knew what I really wanted of. Since life is unpredictable,
and my destiny was to lose my Love, I got a tattoo of our symbols together.
We start to get going on the way to the airport, a bit sadly, but full
with wonderful experiences. On the plane we felt like someone who was
dreaming throughout the past two weeks and got a bite of paradise.