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Wednesday 23 November 2016

A long Friendship

With Budapest, 1989 - 2016!

I first went to Budapest in 1989, in September, just before the Berlin Wall came down. It was a time of change.

I have been back since on many occasions, but just for short visits and not much appeared to have changed, not on the surface, which was all I saw being there as a visitor for just a day or two.

Twenty-seven years ago I went there for a long haul; I lived there for four years so I scratched a bit deeper than the surface. I just loved every aspect of my life in Hungary, I even got used to the oral exams which at first came as such a shock to us Brits!

I loved learning to be a conductor, I loved getting to know Hungarians, I loved the language and the culture and I loved travelling around the country. Much of this I could do thanks to my fellow student conductors, who enjoyed taking me to visit their families in the countryside, and thanks to my bike which I once rode to Balaton and back.

As I prepare to return to the place that I once called home I wonder what I will find. 

Will I be shocked by the changes or won't I see them? Will I still get as excited as I land at Ferihegy Airport as I did all those years ago?

Will I still enjoy riding the trams, buying pogacsas at Moszkva Tér, swimming at the Gellért, riding the cogwheel and the children’s railways, perusing the book stalls and speaking the language? I am sure that I will!

I know I am going there for a busy congress but I am determined to do as many of my favourite things too, especially tea at the bookshop, Litea, where I spent most Sundays between 1989 and 1993!

I know that the website for the congress has been counting down the days for months, but it has only really now dawned on me how close it all is. And I am actually beginning to get just a little bit excited  and startiing to look forward to going “home”. 

With my posters finished and I hope already being printed, some of my colleagues' posters proof-read and my notes all written, I suddenly realized that apart from mountains of everyday work to do I can begin to relax as far as the congress is concerned. Perhaps i can begin to anticipate with more than I little bit of joy in my soul.

Budapest and friends, see you soon!


Unknown said...

moskva ter is gone all modern and called sel kalman ter if I remem
ber and many changes in Budapest but people are the same which is good.

Susie Mallett said...

I saw Moszkva/Sél Kalman Tér as it was being dug up, the clock was still there but not much else. I hoped the clock would remain so there would still be a meeting place 'Moszkva Tér az ora alatt!', but I suspect that it wasn't saved. Not modern enough. I am still looking forward to being there and finding old haunts.

Do you still live in Budapest, Nick?

Unknown said...

I don't live in BP but did live there and in the countryside for 12 years . Moskva Ter has changed a lot as has most of BP but still has the same kind of atmosphere in the city. Outside BP nothing has really chnaged at all .Interesting fact is that Moskva Ter was called that name before 1945 so not sure why they changed it's name now.

Susie Mallett said...

Not being sure about many things was part and parcel of my life in Budapest for most of the four years that I lived there, and probably part of what made it such an interesting place.

Yes, the countryside was always a separate entity, I loved my visits to the provincial towns.

I remember in 1989 how during my language lessons I practised street names which a few months later were changed and became much easier to pronounce!

I will report my new experiences on my blog.