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Budapest
2009

At the tram stop, mumbled words pierce the ceaseless and echoing rain. Standing there, focused, I try to remember what drove me here to collect these precious moments of life. Something guided me here mid-November, like a dog chasing a bone, with the calming instinctive reassurance that I will find something. I am determined to see past these faces.
Paths that lead nowhere.

Today, reflecting on what time I have left on this voyage, reminiscing distances myself from all this. In several Balinka bars of Jozsfevaros where the homeless dance to the tunes emanating from the jukebox, I try to answer questions I do not understand. Always: the question on the importance of communication, but not its meaning. Like this night-trip to Balaton. I must have seen that in a Hungarian movie before hatching the idea to take this train another rainy afternoon, heading towards that 77 km long lake. Closed motels, grand hotels that look like mountains, empty and surrounded by their own shadows, and a sleeping guard at the entrance in the darkness of November. There isn’t a single path to the lake that isn’t private. Imre Kertesh and Moby Dick as my only companions, I explore the village from top to bottom.
There is a very peculiar Hungarian expression concerning frogs. It goes, “Under the asses of frogs,” and the explication is as follows: If you put a frog in boiling water, it jumps out, unless you put it in cold water and slowly heats it until it boils. That’s what happened to me with Hungary: Budapest boiled me slowly.

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