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Heimweh strikes again

March 8, 2014

It’s hard for me to avoid two things here: homesickness and delving too deeply into serious dislike of this country. Today I give way to the former.

A simply genius article by Harald Martenstein on the current German ADAC crisis drove me into deep nostalgia.

Growing up with ADAC, how beautiful it was! I saw myself at age 8, standing beside a Southern Bavarian country road with my brother and dad, all dressed in ski gear, waiting for the yellow angel. Our Volkswagen had broken down. The snow was blinding, the sun shining brightly. I’m sure the smell of wood burning fire was in the air. We had a cup of tea from the thermos. Then ADAC hauled us home.

Eating Kaiserschmarrn at a Skihütte at the Brauneck. Same blinding snow, same sun, same brother, ten years later. I don’t remember what made us have time during the week, but I do remember it was a Wednesday. Bavarian radio hits were playing. We got a tan.

Same brother, another 5 years later. This time in Budapest, waiting in the baking sun for the bus to arrive at Árpád híd, headed towards Sziget festival. The asphalt was melting. We had a steady supply of túró rudi in our pockets. One day we had enough empty packages and won a pair of boxer shorts each at a promotional event. White with red polka dots. My brother still has them.

Then the rooftop scene at FAO in Rome! You would imagine it’s fading but it’s not! The bartenders, the caffè macchiato, the ruins, Saint Peter in the distance, Mr. J – can’t get over it. Seriously, I refuse to give up hope that this scene will eventually repeat itself at least once again in my life. So much saudade for Rome.

What else? A crazy mix of the Perlacher Forst, driving down Nockherberg, trips to Venice, drinking wine out of canisters at the Balaton, Ronyva utca, the Romanian railway system, you name it. I miss it all. Even the half liter mango-passion fruit juice at the poolside of the Fairview in Nairobi. It was so good that it has become part of my nostalgia catalog.

I realize this is the first time in my life that I am homesick specifically for Germany, maybe even just Munich and the Alps. Michaeligarten, Sarcletti, Ammersee, Lenbachhaus, Bayern 3 – God, how I miss you! People here ask me a lot where I am from and what I am more culturally, Hungarian or German. My standard answer has been that I feel truly European. Maybe that my mind is German but that in my heart I’ll always be Hungarian. But I guess almost 30 years in a country do make a difference, even if you are part of a minority mafia. At IDB I am definitely German.

But then you know, there is this last frozen túró rudi in my fridge. The quintessential Hungary for me. If I eat it now, I’ll start to cry. I cry already. I can’t bear it. Long live nosztalgia!

One Comment leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    March 17, 2014 14:03

    Katikám, milyen szép írás! Nem is tudtam, sírjak-e vagy nevessek!
    Sajnos, így van: az életünk folyamán mindannyiunknak csak egyre vastagabb lesz a “nosztalgia-katalógusa”. Akárhol is töltjük azonban a jelen életünket, a múltat már csak legfeljebb felidézni tudjuk, de újraélni nem. Hát igen, a túró rudolf: savanykás is, édes is – sokoldalú, ellentétes, amilyenek mi vagyunk. De ne sírj Katikám, gondolj arra, hogy holnap már a mát fogod múltként emlegetni!
    Búcsúzóul ide szerettem volna másolni egy szép példányt, de nem ment!


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