Kicsi a világ! - It's a Small World!

Olga Vállay Szokolay

It was toward the end of one of those miserable hot and humid days in Westport, Connecticut, at Rive Bistro, the nice waterfront restaurant.  We usually sit in the outdoor part of the place, but the weather did not favor that on this particular day.  After our usual nice dinner, enjoying the water view from indoors, we were heading out.

Opening the door from the air-conditioned comfort, we were literally stopped in our tracks, being rudely hit by the humid, tropical outdoor air that makes one suddenly unable to breathe.  To gradually acclimatize, we stopped at the door, holding it open for a crowd of people swarming out.  The last couple walking through stopped, thanking us for the service.  Still standing in the doorway, a polite conversation started, complaining about the weather.

The man started to guess my accent.

He said, “It’s not German, it’s not French.  I am Hungarian…”

Whereas I interrupted him, saying, “Can you speak Hungarian?”

“Sure”, he said, “and my children can, too.”

At this point we were talking Hungarian.  He told me that although he was born in Paris, he was of Magyar stock, on both sides.  His name was François Balogh (no relation to our late Founding Father, Joe) who, being given a Magyar News card, hopefully has become one of our readers!