Paulo Rebêlo The Budapest Sun – 13.junho.2007 link original After almost one year living in Budapest, if someone asks me to make a list of what I have learned or what most caught my attention, it would be a problem to fit everything in this space. What I know for sure is what I will miss, some things more than others, of course. Usually, what catches your attention is not something necessarily good or bad, but the unexpected. And the first thing to catch my attention, completely unexpectedly, was the different treatment you get being a foreigner and being a Hungarian.
Paulo RebêloThe Budapest Sun – 09.maio.2007 – link original Excessive bureaucracy is part of eastern Europe folklore. You will always find yourself in a situation when a bureaucrat is behind a desk and youre the next in line. He’ll make a fuss about forms and different offices you should go, sometimes related to small and insignificant things that do not make sense at all.
Bucareste é sitiada por propagandas gigantescas, trânsito caótico e construções por toda a parte. Considerada o elefante branco da Romênia, a capital possui os mais baixos níveis de desemprego do país, contrastando com outras capitais do Leste Europeu como Praga, Bratislava e Budapeste. Paulo Rebêlo, de Bucareste (email) versão estendida da subretranca publicada ontem (aqui) na Folha de S. Paulo – 29.abr.2007 As semelhanças entre Romênia e Brasil são muitas, a começar pelo idioma que possui palavras praticamente idênticas, passando pela herança latina de simpatia e hospitalidade, e chegando às mazelas políticas de corrupção, subornos, obras inacabadas e agora um impeachment de presidente eleito no currículo deste país de 22 milhões de habitantes, quase a população da região metropolitana de São Paulo.
Traian Basescu é afastado pelo Parlamento logo depois de o país ingressar na UE. De língua afiada e popular entre os pobres, chefe de Estado eleito foi acusado de abuso de poder; Comissão Européia hesita em intervir. Paulo Rebêlo, colaboração para a Folha, de Bucareste ( email ) Folha de S. Paulo – 29.abr.2007 ( link ) Enquanto o mundo inteiro olha para as eleições na França, um pouco mais ao leste, na Romênia, cai um presidente eleito democraticamente e a União Européia (UE) se encontra sem saber o que fazer diante de mais uma crise política nos novos países-membros do Leste Europeu. Por 322 votos a favor e 108 contra, o Parlamento aprovou o impedimento do presidente Traian Basescu, eleito para o cargo em 2004.
Paulo Rebêlo The Budapest Sun – 14.mar.2007 Is Budapest a big city? It depends on whom you ask. One of the demographic oddities of Latin American countries is the general absence of medium-sized cities. We have huge metropoli – usually capital of a State – where most people live nowadays. And then we have thousands of small cities, especially in the rural areas. In Brazil, this is particularly odd, because the landmass has such continental measures that, in theory, we should have more medium-sized cities and less populated mega- cities.
Paulo Rebêlo The Budapest Sun – 14.fev.2007 – link original You have just finished a delicious duck breast with croquette potatoes. You are feeling good after the nice wine, directly from the Hungarian countryside. The palacsinta pancake for dessert was marvelous. You are full, your belly feels happy (and bigger) and all you want on Earth right now is to pay the bill, go home and have a good night’s sleep. There’s only one problem: you can’t leave the bloody place. No matter how hard you try to look for the waiter, or raise your hand once in a while, no one will see you. No one will notice that you are done and want to actually pay; they will make you wait until a good soul finally comes to see if you need anything. When they realize you just want to pay and leave, they will make you wait again. And then a bit more.
Paulo Rebêlo The Budapest Sun – 21.dezembro.2006 link original The holiday season is a time when people get along more, cherish each other and even find themselves to be a little more romantic. In other words, it means that nine months from now we’ll be seeing hundreds and hundreds of shiny-lovely-little-Hungarians being born in Budapest. It is the joy of nature, the magic of procreation. There is only one minor problem: they will all be called Gábor. In the beginning of my stay around the city, I thought it was just my personal impression, perhaps the wrong stereotype that we, as foreigners, commonly carry about a place we don’t know. Perhaps it was by chance that I was meeting dozens of Hungarians with the same name, five out of 10 called Gábor. But after few months and a few wines shared with a lot of Gábors later, I have realized there is an ancient and unsolved mystery in Hungary about people’s names. And it should remain unsolved, because it seems no one can clearly explain why on Earth this happens in Hungary. Some say it’s due to the role of having the family name before the first name. Hard to