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Reflections along the way

I’ll never forget walking up to Hősök tere, Heroes’ Square, at about ten thirty on my last night in Budapest. In 1989, 250,000 people had gathered in the square for the reburial of Imre Nagy – alongside the heroic Pál Maléter and others – but that night I found myself alone amidst the indescribable beauty and grandeur of the millennium monument and its colonnades. I wandered to the middle of the square, exactly central, sat cross legged on the ground and relaxed; a lone rollerblader glided gracefully by and circled the monuments, as if sent by some benevolent choreographer to perform a silent ballet and add to the...
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Forever Grateful

I’ve come to realise, in recent months, that I’m quite the expert on the subject of eternal gratitude. The realisation came to me while driving. I had pulled over to allow another car to pass and they passed without a wave, a little flash of the headlights, a wiggle of the indicators, or even so much as a precursory glance in my direction. Naturally I was furious; surely an appropriate response would have been for them to acknowledge my kindness, maybe look up my address online and send a gift hamper, or have their first born cycle eternally in front of my...
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Centre of the universe…

1543. The Renaissance was transforming the way people thought about both art and science, and Nicolaus Copernicus published a book called De revolutionibus orbium coelestium. On the revolution of the celestial spheres. Why is this relevant? Copernicus was one of the first humans ever to realise that the whole world didn’t revolve around him. To the most learned and educated minds in the world, for thousands of years, we were the centre of the universe. Galileo Galillei was called a heretic for furthering Copernicus’s theory and teaching it, but I think he did us a great favour. In his own...
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His Love Never Quits

It’s funny, I wasn’t really surprised when it happened; I guess it had been coming for a while. Four years ago my then best friend of fifteen years cut me off cold. My sister had just died and I guess terminating the friendship was easier than having an awkward conversation around condolences. I don’t relate this in the hope of sympathy, or to air a grievance, I’ve long since forgiven, but I relate it because I know that so many people in life have, at one time or another, felt the feeling of being abandoned by someone they trusted. Don’t...
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Welcome Home

I’ll never forget the feeling, sat on a train at a station somewhere west of Budapest, that something ominous was about to happen. I’d cut it scarily fine getting to Kőbánya-Kispest station and dashed through the halls trying to find my platform; I was shocked to find that even in that suburban station there were people slumped against walls and hovering with desperation in the ticket office. I got on the train, with a minute or two to spare, and found that our carriage was filled with people fleeing the war in Syria. As we stopped at the first station outside of Budapest, I glanced up to see a dozen...
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