The railway line between Budapest and the West-Hungarian town of Győr is being renovated to breathe new life into the struggling public railway system. Győr, incidentally my hometown, features two university buildings connected by a skybridge shaped like a railway car. As of recently, these few meters are the only reliable means of long-distance transportation that railcars can carry passengers in the country.

The X platform (formerly Twitter) might not be the most popular platform in the CEE region, but posts regarding a European Parliament committee’s visit to Hungary in May 2023 gained attention nevertheless. An analysis revealed that the posts about the visit were targeted by suspected inauthentic accounts in an attempt to discredit any perceived opponent of the Hungarian ruling party.

There is a well-known saying, popular both in Poland and Hungary, that goes ‘Pole and Hungarian brothers be, good for fight and good for party’. It is humorous, but it is also a symbol of the unique relationship between the two nations, which is a rarity compared to other countries or nations. The saying refers to mutual friendship, similarities and good relations.

In the fifth installment of the popular Harry Potter books, Dolores Umbridge, the personification of government meddling in education, forbids professors in Hogwarts from disclosing anything beyond what is strictly pertinent to their lessons. One rebellious schoolkid, however, points out in Umbridge’s class that she cannot reprimand him for misbehaving during the lesson, as it is irrelevant to the subject. He gets detention.

Ivan Shishkin: Rye Fields // Public domain

Hungarians are eager to eradicate mosquitoes, but it seems that the government is reluctant to collaborate with its citizens in doing so. Mosquitoes are a big problem everywhere. Not only do they annoy people with their hums and the itchiness of their bites, but also spread a lot of diseases. Therefore, when I visited rural Hungary, I inadvertently served as an open buffet for a cloud of these pests while conversing with someone from a small Hungarian village.

Although history repeats itself, if it is not taught properly, we will not learn from it. Hungarian education distorts the events of the past to accommodate a glorified but inaccurate image of historic Hungary. Instead of teaching historic facts, classes often incorporate folk tales and other romanticized stories. In the lower grades of primary school education, history is taught through stories, which is appropriate.