Have you heard about the lomtalanítás in Budapest? Twice a year the local government gives a date in which you have the chance to get ride of your wreckage and all old/big stuff you consider rubbish. The idea is pretty simple: you put the garbage out in the street and it will be collected by the local government truck, so you will finally have room for the new armchair you want to buy for so many months.
Well, so far everything sounds pretty normal, right? I think in all European countries there are official days to get ride of XL “rubbish” but what not all European countries have are gypsies. And here we have quite a few ones. Saying “lomtalanítás” means: my street will be full of gypsies “camping” and waiting for the trash my neighbors will put out. I’m not racist, let’s be clear about it, but me who ever would tell me than gypsies are educated, clean and example of civility, please justify your answer because I do not believe you 🙁
To cut a long story short…. last week our street was full of gypsies. However, this time they managed to organize themselves and instead of having three families (about 15 members each one) fighting (knife in hand) for who have the right to collect the trash from to this street or that other, they parked their vans a few days before the big event an put up a sign stating: “The collection of garbage on this street is ours. We can help you taking down your pots if you need a hand.” Very clever, isn’t it? Help you to bring down stairs you great grandmother’s couch -what a friendly gesture!- and if you’re not careful, they get into your house and take your new TV as well. Sorry, I know… not all of them are thieves. It is commonplace and it is not clever to generalize. I apologize.
Twenty-four hours before the truck picked up the stuff, the neighbors put out all their pots. People throw really good things that I personally would have given away to charity, but give away stuff to charity is not a common thing in Hungary. Going back to the point… I couldn’t believe my eyes when I realized that some of the gypsies were selling what they had picked up from the garbage. You have to be cheeky! So… no happy with the noise they made, the extra dirt they left on the street and the inconvenience of having them occupying about four places to park, they also want to sell you your own neighbor’s garbage!, So ladies, gentlemen, believe me I sang of happiness when on Saturday morning,on my way to the gym I saw the municipality’s truck doing its job.
Is there anything like the “lomtalanítás in your country or in the place you live?
Con la llegada de septiembre me doy cuenta de que ya son 8 años en Budapest. Han pasado tantas cosas desde que llegué a esta hermosa ciudad que me parece que tengo viviendo aquí toda la vida. Y es que aunque de expatriada tengo ya 13 años, las cosas más importantes de mi vida adulta han tenido Budapest como escenario. Para celebrar este aniversario te cuento cómo llegué a Budapest, por qué me quedé, qué me ha pasado y por qué no me quiero marchar.
Cómo llegué a Budapest
A finales de 2008 vivía entonces en Inglaterra desde hacía más un año cuando me enteré de la existencia de una beca para estudiar Hungarología.