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Question for James

Hi James,
I love how knowledgeable you are on Hungary and I'm curious about your background. Both of my parents immigrated from Hungary in 1956. I spent 3 wonderful weeks there as a child in 1970. Two years ago I returned as an Adult for a week with my Husband and in early October I will get to see a little bit more on my upcoming Rick Steve's Prague/Budapest tour.

Thank you,
Georgette

Posted by
12564 posts

Georgette, I shared the long version with you. But for the long term, lets leave the short version.

I went, I saw, I liked, I returned (a lot)

Posted by
43 posts

What an Awesome story and Amazing Picture of Budapest, James!!!
I have to say some of the best men in the world are James. My husband is James too. So I imagine your able to speak quite well in Hungarian. Mine is pretty basic and for some reason the words sound perfect in my head, but far from perfect when they come out of my mouth.

köszönöm

Posted by
940 posts

Good golly, what a story, and it came with such a happy ending too.

Posted by
12564 posts

Georgette, a few years ago I took Hungarian lessons. That in its self was a learning experience. The instructor had been in the Hungarian military and was in charge of teaching Russian to the Hungarian troops. When the wall collapsed the commanding officer called everyone together and announced that Warsaw Pact was strong and life would continue as it had for the last 50 years. Then a week later the commanding officer called everyone together and stated something to the effect "the Warsaw Pact is gone, we must learn English" . So the Russian instructors were challenged with learning English in a matter of months and then teaching the troops. That part was humorous the way she described it. What wasn't humorous was her description of her and so many others who had made huge life sacrifices on the belief that the Soviet system was going to work, it just needed more time and utopia would arrive. They were emotionally crushed to learn how wrong the propaganda was. She described depression and suicide among the believers.

The next amazing event of the lessons was meeting the instructor's mother. She was a survivor of the holocaust and bore the tattoo. A wonderful, cheerful, loving, brilliant and happy woman. G-d bless her.

Old dogs don't learn new tricks so my Hungarian is relegated to a handful of phrases to ask for help and to be polite and courteous. Otherwise I rely on the kindness of the Hungarians to forgive this old fart for his inability to learn.

köszönöm szépen

Nance, the ending hasn't arrived yet .................. still lots of life left......

Posted by
43 posts

James,

If you are not a writer, you should be. Your storytelling skills are Fantastic!

Posted by
12564 posts

I've massaged that for about 10 years. Forgive the massive edit. It was on the edge of my personal bubble.