Three years of nail-biting it took me before I dared go back to Budapest again. I just did not trust the Hungarian authorities’ way of reporting on the Covid threat in their country.
Not that they changed their way of reporting for the better after thirty-six months.
No Sir. They simply ‘canceled’ COVID.
At least, that’s what it looks like to the tourist when he alights from his aircraft at Liszt Ferenc Airport. Almost no masks, not there, not on the trams, and buses, not in the theatres and concert halls, and hardly in the stores.
And not a word from the authorities about the pandemic.
‘What gives’ – you ask yourself.
One million Ukrainian refugees have been admitted to the country. Luckily, most of them chose not to settle in Hungary. The grass in Austria, Germany, and the Scandinavian countries looked greener to them.
There was also a General Election in which the incumbent Party, FIDESZ, won a two-third majority, thereby assuring Victor Orban, the Putin-loving Prime Minister, virtually dictatorial control over Parliament.
The price of heating gas QUINTUPLED (most of the buildings in the Capital are heated with state-distributed heating gas that Hungary buys from Russia), threatening ruin for people with modest incomes who will have to chose whether to freeze to death or starve to death during this coming winter.
And yet … and yet … money from Brussels keeps flowing into the government’s coffers, destined to be used for the beautification of the Magyars’ major cities, including Budapest, a city that has become truly beautiful by day and breathlessly so by night.
Of course, the beautification extends to the cities’ road systems – streets are converted to wide boulevards and avenues, squares are enlarged – to the chagrin of those who claim that the conversion of green spaces to areas covered by stone contributes to the creation of suffocating high temperatures in the new asphalt jungles of the inner cities.
This matter is the subject of intense debate, especially because the Prime Minister’s father is the owner of a number of stone quarries.
Hi, wow….great to catch up my friend…omg…
Insightful on-the-ground observations about Hungary. Thank you, and glad you made it back.
Koszonjuk az jo hiret.
Aye success! you made it 🇭🇺
In countries which were able to provide the majority of its people with a vaccination its inevitable (and I believe acceptable), for their government to then relinquish the burden of responsibility for transmission, back to its citizens. To do otherwise would be seen as sliding into ‘dictatorial’ territory.
For Victor Orban it’s definitely a win win!
God forbid he should be accused of seeming 🤦🏼♀️ ?left??laughable isn’t it. Especially since yes! he is a potential danger to ‘us all’ being such a good pal of Putin’s’
As for the destruction of any green space, I too, see this as lacking foresight. Still, how can I criticize others when here we (i.e.in the Canadian Northwest) are destroying 1000’s of acres of ‘the’ most ‘precious forest (just as vital as the Amazon),for profits. Worse still with a ‘produce’ which fuels ‘polluting’ industries here & abroad.
Anyway, I apologize, all I can really safely wish for, is that you to have the best time enjoying the many ‘positive’ things around you there. Those impressive boulevard’s with all the magnificent historic structures lining them & the evening lights, which transform everything into a romantic wonderland 🤩 sound so delightful👍🏻
Take care, have ‘FUN’’ thanks of sharing your thoughts!
Interesting article – thanks
I think that Europe in general and Hungary in particular do not value green space as we in North America do. Also due to population density, real estate in the cities is just too expensive to be converted to green space. Finally, we must remember that these cities were planned hundreds of years ago (maybe even thousand) when the concept of green space did not exist.
Interesting account about Hungary/Budapest. Frankly, it doesn’t sound like they’re improving the city. Green parks and trees are what used to make it beautiful…along with the old architecture.
Still, I hope you had a successful visit and glad you’re back safely in Canada…