An Afternoon with My TA

One of my Teaching Assistants wanted to go to lunch with us today, but not being from Budapest, he had no ideas as to where. There is a vegetarian restaurant on the Buda side we have heard great things about, so decided on this. However, when we arrived, they are closed on weekends.

At that metro stop, Batthany ter, there is a church of some historic interest, but why escapes me. The front door was open so we went in for a peek. The actual doors to the church were locked, so we were only able to see the church through the door windows. It is not terribly impressive, but our curiousity was satiated.

When we turned to leave, in the vestibule on the step was a plastic cup with a note. I suspected that the person begging when elsewhere for a pitstop, but left the cup just in case. My TA read the note and then translated it. It was a prayer to some saint regarding charity, then he confidently explained “and the rest of it is asking God to hear our screams for help.” I almost choked to death on laughter with the word ‘screams’ which probably was cries. When we walked out, I could not hold it in any longer, and exploded into rioutous guffaws at the change in wording as I mentally pictured people screaming at God for help. I quickly reassured our young translator that I was not laughing AT him, but how the words could be misunderstood. He was a bit self-consious for the next half hour, but soon seemed to get over it.

We finally decided on the palacsinta place across the street, four filled crepes for 900 Huf. They were delicious.

On the way home, we stopped at the Kossuth ter metro stop. There was statue installed in the lower level of a blind looking man seated with his arm outstretched and pointing. In front of him is a dog. We have been curious about this for some time, but were never with a Hungarian speaker at any time to read the inscription. The TA said it was the name of the artist and gifted by the BKV, the transportation company and the name of the statue. We were still in the dark. My brilliant TA said he thought the title was taken from Greek mythology, a muse of some sort. We had no recollection of this at all.

When we returned home, Ron Googled the name and sure enough, the TA was correct. A very obscure mythological figure that looks over government institutions to keep them honest. Kossuth ter is the metro stop for the Hungarian Parliament building.