After a cold and long winter with the first rays of sunlight, the people of Budapest come out of their dim and grey homes to enjoy the spring. To forget the long frosty nights waiting for the night-bus that never comes. We hide our boots in the back of the wardrobe until the next autumn and change them to ballerina shoes. To take the first refreshing walks at Margaret Island and to drink beer at the outdoor bars.
As the Hungarian saying goes “if the bear comes out of it’s cave the spring has come”. In my neigbourhood there’s a middle age lady. When she starts to wear her skirt with the most vivid colors of stockings we know the spring is here. As well as when the Erzsébet square is filled with the youth on a warmer day.
It was closed for almost six months, because it was under construction. It opened on the 30th of March and of course my friend and I couldn’t miss it! It is a tradition, with a friend of mine on the first warm day of the year we sit out on the square to draw some sketches to clear our heads.
I can compare it to an oasis in the heart of Budapest: you can sit on the grass if you would like to, enjoy the company of your friends (if there is two of you going out it is not rare that you could accidentally catch other old friends passing by and until the end of the afternoon there would be ten of you chatting and enjoying a slice of pizza from Király utca).
We went out around 3 PM and drew until it was too dark to continue. I saw an old lady sitting on a desk, a man reading his book very studiously and a boy with his guitar . At night in the summer there’s a lot of keen musicians who are playing the guitar to amuse their friends as the guy did that night too. The boy played a very unique song from a Hungarian artist when a middle aged couple arrived with huge backpacks like they came from hiking. They stopped and they were listening to the music for a while then started to dance. They had some very unique style, but we could see they already knew each others moves. They had gone back in time as if they were teenagers again. When the song ended they applauded briefly and left with a huge smile on their faces hand in hand.
It was amazing to see how the atmosphere of spring and music connects complete strangers, cements relationships and has a universal language that everyone understands.
I went home with a serious resolution: I want to learn how to play the guitar.