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Budapest and mother of Gavor's Girlfriend

When we reached Budapest, the temperature was -8 degree Celsius with a heavy windy wave which felt like    -21 degrees. As a tropical country citizen, the cold was supposed to feel terrible to me, but in reality, I felt good and different. The city of Buda and Pest are small but organized old cities. My hotel, Four-seasons, was by the side of the famous river Danube so when we reached the hotel, we felt it’s amazing wind waves. I felt a curious sensation from them. It felt more like a lovely hug of a young girl than just wind. So I came out to the road that night by the calling of the waves, which instantly freshened me. The looming prospect of Christmas made the city appear gorgeous by its many lights and decorum. That night I did not feel like preparing any report or search for reporting components, instead just enjoy the night and the soothing wind of Danube. I can honestly consider it as one of the best nights of my life. As the Night grew older, I felt as young as ever. There was no tardiness in my mind and body rather the cold wave of Danube was a young lady to me. At three in the morning, I started to walk to my hotel, but I did not go to bed. I took a long shower and wrote for three hours; and went straight to take breakfast.

However, in the morning, I forgot the night as a young boy forgets his lover from boyhood. Taking breakfast, I started to see the roadside food shops and others.

Roadside restaurants were not so busy but walking half a kilometer, I saw a street beggar who was sleeping under the shade of a hotel. He had only one rapper. Judging by her hair, I supposed she was a lady of around fifty. I saw another street beggar by the side of Danube, he or she covered his or her body by goods carrying gunny bags.  By then it was 9 AM, so I started for a bookshop. I got to the bookshop named Bestseller first. It was a good bookshop; not very big but not small either. Zita, the only salesman was there. The bookshop was established in 1992. It was after the political transition of Hungary. I was searching for central European books which were translated in English. Though I found the books I was looking for, most of the bookshelves were full of American printed English books and the bestseller books. Some bookshelves were full by the English learning books. I asked Zita, how her business was going? She said, fine, the young generation loves to read English; they are hungry to learn good English. While I was talking with Zita, I saw a mother with her daughter entering the shop and took some books, which they sorted out earlier. I saw all were English learning books. I found a similarity with the guardians of our country, as they too, are intent upon teaching English to their children, binding them to read just these English lesson books. In my opinion, children should read the books they love and by reading them, one day they will learn English by nature. However, it is a matter for the intellectuals, not a journalist.

Now the question is why the young generation of Hungary wants to learn English. I tried to understand that by talking to several youngsters. The young generation of Hungary has an understanding that as they are one of the poorer countries in the European Union, they have to join the main part of the European economy and the United States. So they need to learn English. On the other hand, now the computer and English language are jointly responsible for the digital technology. Without the English language you cannot use the computer. My understanding is that, now Hungary is not a very rich country, but it may be richer soon, because they are not suffering any type of fundamentalism, like religion, color, race or other issue-based extremism. Even though they are not totally out of it, but a very little problem has touched them. Some Syrian refugees are going to Austria in the way of Hungary, so in the border of Hungary and Austria, they made a gate. If anyone crosses the gate hole, the Austrian authority thinks, he or she may be Syrian; they check them. When I went to visit Vienna, my driver Gabor told me to take the passport with me; I did that, but nobody asked me and I did not see any check post. 

I went to the countryside of Hungary and Austria; it was a beautiful landscape though most of the grasses and trees lost their leaves in the winter giving it a different kind of beauty which I saw back in America and Japan as well. But central Europe was a little bit different. In that bitter cold, some small trees were stood green, I even went to touch them. It was a huge area but there was neither any village nor any villagers. The highway was very busy with goods-carrying transports. A Huge number of Lories were carrying cars which made me think that in this season normally the Lories of my country carry cabbages and pumpkins. At that very moment of my quiet musings, my driver Gavor, suddenly asked me, "Sir, `in your country, do ladies smoke?" I replied, "Very often." Then he said that he did not like the ladies smoking. As I saw most of the ladies in Hungary do smoke, I told Gavor, "In your country most of the ladies do smoke." He replied, "Yes, my first girl friend's mother was a chain smoker, so I did not marry my first girlfriend."

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Swadesh Roy's picture

The author is a senior journalist of Bangladesh. A highest state award winning journalist Roy can be reached at

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