In the WittyLeaks section of Diplomacy&Trade, diplomats accredited to Hungary give account of their personal experiences or some lighter aspects of bilateral relations. In the December 2021 issue, the Portuguese ambassador writes about his experience gained when walking his dogs in the Buda Hills.
Lucas is six years old and Angie is six months younger. They are both German shepherds born in Mexico City, my previous posting. I arrived in Hungary in the middle of the winter of 2020, two weeks before the first lockdown. Angie and Lucas were in Portugal and could not join me as planned. I only saw them again in July and brought them to Budapest that summer.
Budapest – a dog-friendly city
Mexico City is a very friendly city for dogs. The dog-walker is an institution there. What I didn’t expect was that Budapest is even friendlier. I have learnt a lot about this city, and about Hungarians, through Lucas and Angie.
First, the Hungarian capital is a city with a lot of dogs. That makes everyone generally empathetic towards them. I know some people cross the street when seeing two German shepherds approaching, but they couldn’t be friendlier. And when at the park, every day there is a child with parent wanting to see the dogs. They let anyone pat them.
A linguistic benefit
Walking the dogs also helps with my Hungarian. “Barátságosak” (‘they are friendly’), “nem baj” (‘doesn’t matter’), “nincs probléma” (no problem’) – these are my passwords when walking. I have also made friends with many elderly ladies walking their dogs. “Jó reggelt kívánok”, I always greet them, and then they start talking. “Nem értem, magyarul nem beszélek”. With this reply, they go talking even more. A smile seems to be always the best option for me. Everyone is so nice.
In Budapest, one has numerous alternatives for walking dogs. From the woods of Szépvölgy to the Hajógyári Island, or even on the Pest side, there are lots of places to walk them. I like taking them to the woods of the Second District, near a grass ‘airport’. It is also a great exercise for me, throwing sticks and making them run.
What we also have here is an excellent veterinary support. Lucas has already had to be operated twice and Angie once – orthopedics and the results are excellent. They have never had so much energy and stamina. The way I interacted with the surgeons and the way they received us were and are absolutely top of the profession.
I haven’t travelled much to Portugal lately, due to all circumstances. The first semester of this year was also our Presidency of the Council of the European Union and I remained all that period in Hungary. I took the dogs to Portugal for the summer holidays, a logistical enterprise which they don’t mind. In Mexico, they were used to boxes and travelling. But for Christmas, they stay here and again, towards the airport, I found a fantastic ‘farm’, which takes the dogs and treats them very well. I can see that by their happiness.
Lucky dogs – lucky ambassador
My wife works in development projects across the ocean and the void is filled in great part by the dogs. The first snows fell this November and the walks in the woods were absolutely marvelous. In the summer, they enjoy the beach, in winter the snow. Lucky dogs they are, and lucky me.
I know I am biased, for I enjoy living in Budapest, probably one of the nicest places I have ever lived. But having the dogs with me, in these pandemic times, not only offers solace but makes me like Hungary even more.
Leave a Reply Cancel reply
Top 5 Articles
- Hungarian Inflation Rate - the Highest in Europe December 16, 2022
- Sharing Business Experience December 10, 2022
- In Strategic Partnership with the Client January 2, 2023
- Customer Focus Above All January 6, 2023
- Future FM, the Solution Provider January 4, 2023
Articles by Date
- ► 2023 (600)
- ► 2022 (1249)
- ► 2021 (941)
- ► 2020 (899)
- ► 2019 (237)
- ► 2018 (161)
- ► 2017 (310)
- ► 2016 (279)
- ► 2015 (324)
- ► 2014 (229)
- ► 2013 (233)
- ► 2012 (250)
- ► 2011 (303)
- ► 2010 (167)
- ► 2009 (43)
- ► 2008 (3)
No comment yet. Be the first!