by Miodrag Colic - 4 years, 7 months ago

For me some Hungarian people are special, like my friend and film director Artin Tóth. His unusual way of life and documentaries conveying his unique view of life and death make him special. I would say the same about my dear colleague and friend Gusztav Gulyas, who told me, without a hint of embarassement, about the times when he came to Yugoslavia in his Trabant car with a sleeping bag, for summer holidays; at the time that was his only visit to 'the West'. Many years later, since Belgrade airport had been closed due to international sanctions, most air traffic was carried out from Budapest, Hungary's capital. It is said that the sheer volume of Serbian travellers has brought enough for Budapest to build another airport. Regardless of everything, going to Budapest, at least for the weekend, has always been a special experience of walking through the gates of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which left behind so many beautiful things in this city for us to enjoy. Then, everything is forgotten, the view of the Danube and its bridges from the ramparts of the old city of Budim leaves you speechless. In the famous patisserie Gerbeaud bitter tastes were replaced by sweet ones, the discussion about which place sells the best foix gras goes on for days, and spicy goulash and other delicacies can be had in various restaurants which are the subject of many a conversation. A renowned Belgrade gallerist and friend, Vlada Paradinović, organised a painters colony every summer in Szentendre, where he gathered artists and art lovers. That was a unique opportunity to get to know the contemporary Serbian art scene, as well as to spend some time in art workshops in this little town which has always been the focal point of Serbian cultural life in Hungary. Staying in famous thermal spas, such as Gyula spa, was also very pleasant; many Serbian families found a sanctuary there during the bombing of Belgrade. Szeged, a city geographically closest to Serbia, was always a destination for quick shopping trips, and little attention was paid to its cultural heritage. So many years after the unhappy events, I would like to visit Hungary again and experience a different sentiment and a warm welcome. Whatever chip on the shoulder we each carry from the past, needs to be forgotten by both sides, because our life together in this region is our reality, and hopefully our better future.

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