This Kind of Place

Doesn't like small talk.

Doesn’t like small talk.

Hungary is a place where you wait for the doctor sitting next to one of the founders of the first post-communist governing party (the Hungarian Democratic Forum). 

Hungary is a place where your best friend’s first girlfriend was the daughter of the System Change liberal-party (Alliance of Free Democrats) leader. 

Hungary is a place where the former President of the Republic was the father of one of your wife’s elementary-school classmates and your mother-in-law says he was polite, but shy and didn’t like to make small talk. 

Hungary is a place where you look at your father’s communist-era secret-police files expecting to discover something about international espionage and find nothing but reports about his overly frequent trips to the company snack bar. 

Likes to do crossword puzzles on the 86 bus.

Likes to do crossword puzzles on the bus.

Hungary is a place where your grandma used to hear one of the Kádár-era state ministers rip farts in the stairwell.  

Hungary is a place where you ride home on a city bus on a winter evening sitting kneecap-to-kneecap with the Hungarian Socialist Party National Assembly caucus leader, who is working crossword puzzles from a book she has removed from her attaché case. 

Hungary is a place where your wife’s friend’s father becomes a government minister and a mutual friend calls him on the telephone to see what he can do about her Swiss franc debt. 

Hungary is a place where the head of the radical-nationalist National Assembly party lives just around the corner and you often see him getting into his car to go to work. 

The Smallholders chief lets one fly.

The FKgP chief lets one fly.

Hungary is a place where the presumed price of a National Assembly representative’s brief case makes news and spurs jealousy among the population. 

Hungary is a place where one of your mother-in-law’s good friends is the wife of one of the leaders of the post-System Change Smallholders’ Party (FKgP) National Assembly caucus and they refer to him by the nickname “Mr. Senator” in ironic comparison of him to a U.S. Congressman. 

Hungary is a place where your wife’s good friend from the rowing club is the grandson of one of the country’s  Second World War prime ministers. 

Hungary is a place where you learn from the formerly high-ranking communist grandfather of one of your friends the names of all those among the Fidesz administration whose fathers were also communists.

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