The Nice Thing About Strangers

Non-Fiction Short Stories. Travel, oldsters, love, moments worthy of pause. Monday, Wednesday, Friday.

Among The Many Things I Can’t Say in Hungarian

St. Matthias Church, Budapest, Hungary, travel

St. Matthias Church, Budapest, Hungary.

In a Budapest shopping mall, I spot a boy with one bleached white eyebrow. The other is dark like his hair, like his eyes, like his gaze. I begin to smile at him, and he doesn’t like that greeting, as he wants to seem tough. I grin anyway. He sniffs, looks down, walks on.

We run into each other at a bottleneck by the exits. An elderly couple in motorized wheelchairs have parked for a long kiss just before the sliding glass doors. They stop everyone’s movement. Shoppers crinkle their bags of goods, look up from their cell phones. No one says anything. After a reflex of annoyance, the shoppers realize what is causing the hold-up, then sigh and feign polite impatience while moving around the graying lovebirds.

White eyebrow boy keeps seeing me looking at him. I raise one eyebrow and he finally laughs. What a joy to navigate a foreign place without actually having to speak.

–Budapest, Hungary.

No, I don't speak Hungarian.  (Lower right: Sack. For groceries.)

No, I don’t speak Hungarian.
(Lower right: Sack. For groceries.)

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11 comments on “Among The Many Things I Can’t Say in Hungarian

  1. cgmyr
    April 19, 2013

    Haha what a cute story. Communicating without words with a stranger can certainly brighten your day :)

  2. Daniela
    April 19, 2013

    Words are not always necessary … or even required. But I rather fancy smiles are -:)!

    • Smiles have taken me through many a foreign land. I’m grateful that this tool for navigation is always at the ready!

  3. Rosie Amber
    April 20, 2013

    A lovely tale!

  4. joannerambling
    April 21, 2013

    Such a great and cute story……………….

  5. catbirdinoman
    April 23, 2013

    What a fun little encounter. It’s funny when you connect with a complete stranger just from raising an eyebrow. :-)

  6. Jeanne Webster
    April 24, 2013

    ~ :) That’s supposed to be a raised eyelid! I know it won’t come out looking like one, but I had to try anyway. Loved your humor here and interplay among peoples.

    • Hehe, I get it! Nice! I appreciate the comment. I think if I hadn’t seen that eyebrow, it would have been an ordinary afternoon. :)

  7. Eddie Two Hawks
    May 22, 2013

    words can be awkward at times but expressions seem to say the right thing; you have a great idea for interesting stories

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This entry was posted on April 19, 2013 by in Blogging, Europe, Happiness, Travel, Writing.
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