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Journey 1913 - 4

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  • Martin Votruba
    Another abridged part from Jozef s diary is below, the translation retains his irregular but determined writing. The 43-year old farmer remembers how he was
    Message 1 of 3 , May 2, 2007
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      Another abridged part from Jozef's diary is below, the translation
      retains his irregular but determined writing. The 43-year old farmer
      remembers how he was sea sick most of the time as he was crossing the
      Atlantic in late August 1913. Moreover, the passage took 9 days
      instead of the promised 7-8, perhaps because of the rough seas.


      Martin

      votruba "at" pitt "dot" edu

      x x x
      |

      Such awful people were on board that one could not imagine if one
      didn't see them, Musulmans from Turkery, also from Bulgaria, and
      Greeks, and Italians, and Arabians. One does not see such crude,
      dirty, immoral People often, that's how it is! When sailors brought
      us bowls with breakfast and bread, that they would snatch it with
      their hands, and three-four would have something on their plates and
      the rest [of us] had nothing. And although they didn't need bread
      much, each took more than necessary and then wiped the table with it
      and tossed it under the table. And they were very improper as they
      ate, although they saw that they were stuffing themselves for no good
      purpose, they still ate like pigs. And they left the table and threw
      it up wherever, there was lots of stench! The windows were shut to
      keep water from splashing inside, I thought I would perish from the
      stench.

      And when noon came, I became quite concerned, my head was spinning and
      I felt sick. Although I was hungry, I only ate a little soup and
      bought a paltry apple, it was completely green and sour, and a small
      glass of beer. And I went on the deck after lunch again, and I spoke
      to my fellow countrymen. There were 17 from [Slovensky/Chorvatsky]
      Grob, mostly young single men, and 2 were from Pajs~tu'n and one from
      Ruz~indol [villages close to Bratislava]. And so was our time passing
      into the sea of eternity, and so were we looking at those Waves and
      said that should danger come, it would be useless to put on those
      belts that were ready [for us] and it would be useless to swim, too,
      because if such a Wave came, it would jump over a boat and cover all
      those who would swim.

      And so evening came again and as the sun set I always sighed for God,
      one more day had passed in our lives and would not return, and who
      knew whether all of us would be so lucky as to get up in the morning
      again. I prayed the Rosary diligently and oft remembered my family.
      If only they could see me day after day, for numerous days, and always
      only on water. The sun had already set, night began, we spoke for
      some minutes and then went to that stench. I had a very bad place, my
      bed was right by the pump that drew water to the Ship's engine. It
      rattled the whole night like an old Mill on the Danube. But it was so
      that we'd gotten used to that like the Oxen transported from our
      Kingdom's lowlands [today's Hungary] all the way to Prussia
      [north-eastern Germany today].

      http://tinyurl.com/35h7a2

      And I was already on the deck at daybreak and always waited for the
      Sun to rise, it rose from clean water and shone on all of us on those
      wide waters, and I sighed for God Almighty. And when I finished my
      morning prayer, I figured out that it was Sunday, August the 31st.
      And when noon came, the Wave Surge grew stronger. And as we were
      sitting down at the tables for lunch, I wondered, should I eat or not?
      I recalled my Friend's advice, and when the Sailors brought us
      [lunch], I only took a little soup and gave the meat to my Friend.
      And I went to the deck right away again and watched out whether a ship
      would appear from somewhere, but we looked in vain. We sailed the
      whole day and not one ship passed. We were wistful since we had to
      sail so much alone.

      I mostly remained in the middle of the Ship where it didn't rock as
      much as at the ends of the Ship. And yet I was sick and would have
      thrown up my lunch, only there was nothing to throw up, because I was
      hungry. And so I thought to myself, this is a poor and tiring life,
      especially for me! Since I didn't have the money to improve things
      for myself. It was a bitter Sunday. And when dusk came, they drove
      us downstairs, because it was dangerous to stand on the deck. On
      occasion water splashed all the way up to the 3rd-class deck, perhaps
      30-35 ft high. So we had to make way to that stench again, it was
      miserable sleeping!
    • Helen Fedor
      Martin, In the passage: And I was already on the deck at daybreak and always waited for the Sun to rise, it rose from clean water and shone on all of us on
      Message 2 of 3 , May 2, 2007
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        Martin,
        In the passage:

        "And I was already on the deck at daybreak and always waited for the Sun to rise, it rose from clean water and shone on all of us on those wide waters..."

        I wonder if "clean" here means not "not dirty", but rather, "nothing but". I could easily imagine my mother or father saying (in dialect) "Tam bula cista voda," meaning "There was nothing there but water."

        H



        >>> "Martin Votruba" <votrubam@...> 05/02/07 10:36 AM >>>
        Another abridged part from Jozef's diary is below, the translation
        retains his irregular but determined writing. The 43-year old farmer
        remembers how he was sea sick most of the time as he was crossing the
        Atlantic in late August 1913. Moreover, the passage took 9 days
        instead of the promised 7-8, perhaps because of the rough seas.


        Martin

        votruba "at" pitt "dot" edu

        x x x
        |

        Such awful people were on board that one could not imagine if one
        didn't see them, Musulmans from Turkery, also from Bulgaria, and
        Greeks, and Italians, and Arabians. One does not see such crude,
        dirty, immoral People often, that's how it is! When sailors brought
        us bowls with breakfast and bread, that they would snatch it with
        their hands, and three-four would have something on their plates and
        the rest [of us] had nothing. And although they didn't need bread
        much, each took more than necessary and then wiped the table with it
        and tossed it under the table. And they were very improper as they
        ate, although they saw that they were stuffing themselves for no good
        purpose, they still ate like pigs. And they left the table and threw
        it up wherever, there was lots of stench! The windows were shut to
        keep water from splashing inside, I thought I would perish from the
        stench.

        And when noon came, I became quite concerned, my head was spinning and
        I felt sick. Although I was hungry, I only ate a little soup and
        bought a paltry apple, it was completely green and sour, and a small
        glass of beer. And I went on the deck after lunch again, and I spoke
        to my fellow countrymen. There were 17 from [Slovensky/Chorvatsky]
        Grob, mostly young single men, and 2 were from Pajs~tu'n and one from
        Ruz~indol [villages close to Bratislava]. And so was our time passing
        into the sea of eternity, and so were we looking at those Waves and
        said that should danger come, it would be useless to put on those
        belts that were ready [for us] and it would be useless to swim, too,
        because if such a Wave came, it would jump over a boat and cover all
        those who would swim.

        And so evening came again and as the sun set I always sighed for God,
        one more day had passed in our lives and would not return, and who
        knew whether all of us would be so lucky as to get up in the morning
        again. I prayed the Rosary diligently and oft remembered my family.
        If only they could see me day after day, for numerous days, and always
        only on water. The sun had already set, night began, we spoke for
        some minutes and then went to that stench. I had a very bad place, my
        bed was right by the pump that drew water to the Ship's engine. It
        rattled the whole night like an old Mill on the Danube. But it was so
        that we'd gotten used to that like the Oxen transported from our
        Kingdom's lowlands [today's Hungary] all the way to Prussia
        [north-eastern Germany today].

        http://tinyurl.com/35h7a2

        And I was already on the deck at daybreak and always waited for the
        Sun to rise, it rose from clean water and shone on all of us on those
        wide waters, and I sighed for God Almighty. And when I finished my
        morning prayer, I figured out that it was Sunday, August the 31st.
        And when noon came, the Wave Surge grew stronger. And as we were
        sitting down at the tables for lunch, I wondered, should I eat or not?
        I recalled my Friend's advice, and when the Sailors brought us
        [lunch], I only took a little soup and gave the meat to my Friend.
        And I went to the deck right away again and watched out whether a ship
        would appear from somewhere, but we looked in vain. We sailed the
        whole day and not one ship passed. We were wistful since we had to
        sail so much alone.

        I mostly remained in the middle of the Ship where it didn't rock as
        much as at the ends of the Ship. And yet I was sick and would have
        thrown up my lunch, only there was nothing to throw up, because I was
        hungry. And so I thought to myself, this is a poor and tiring life,
        especially for me! Since I didn't have the money to improve things
        for myself. It was a bitter Sunday. And when dusk came, they drove
        us downstairs, because it was dangerous to stand on the deck. On
        occasion water splashed all the way up to the 3rd-class deck, perhaps
        30-35 ft high. So we had to make way to that stench again, it was
        miserable sleeping!
      • Martin Votruba
        ... Thank you very much, Helen. It s certainly possible. He uses it twice, once with the diminutive _do tej c~istej vodic~ky_, which sounded to me like it
        Message 3 of 3 , May 2, 2007
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          > I wonder if "clean" here means not "not dirty", but
          > rather, "nothing but".

          Thank you very much, Helen. It's certainly possible. He uses it
          twice, once with the diminutive _do tej c~istej vodic~ky_, which
          sounded to me like it had to mean "clean," and the two occurrences
          aren't far from some religious musings, which seemed to go with the
          meaning of purity, too.

          However, what you say is completely plausible, and of his 9 other uses
          of variations of_c~isty_ (besides the 2 with "water"), 3 certainly
          mean "only X," "X all over." I'm not sure that I'll find a definitive
          support for one or the other option in the text, but I lean towards
          your suggestion at the moment, because I do remember (I translated it
          earlier) that "clean" did strike me as a somewhat unexpected thing for
          him to say in that instance.

          I know the style is awkward, so it's difficult to make suggestions for
          improvement, but I'll appreciate any comments from others who read
          Jozef's travelogue -- e.g., when something sounds _too_ weird,
          unexpected, etc. It may turn out that it's equally weird in Slovak,
          but Helen's comment shows that there's room for meaningful changes in
          the English version.


          Martin

          votruba "at" pitt "dot" edu
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