Ready for a dose of Hungarian football sorrow? Hello dear readers, I have decided to re-invent myself as a true flag waving patriotic Magyar and strive to be all things and feel all feeling in the true Hungarian manner. So come with me on a short journey. Of an afternoon and evening filled with depression, antisemitism, pessimism, homophobia, nationalism, intolerance and Hungarian football.
Introduction: An Afternoon of Hungarian Football Sorrow
For today I’m meeting up with my old factory work mates and we’re off to watch the football derby: Ferencvaros versus Ujpest. According to online sports book news in Hungary, these two Hungarian football teams have a long history of hatred towards each other. I dig out my Fradi green and white hat and scarf and then walk down to catch the bus to the Groupama Aréna. Once there, it seems that all the fans and ultras are outnumbered by the buzi fascist police, dressed in riot gear, hiding like homosexuals behind pathetic shields. There are horses and dogs and even a water cannon. If I were a younger man I’d love to have a go at them…I’d show those homokos a thing or two.
Hungarian Football Sorrow: One Man Team
Of course, as with every Hungarian football game, the match is shit. Even though I love football, the way Hungarians play is supremely irritating. As reported by Hungarian sportsbook news, everyone is just a one man team. A pathetic player gets the ball, and holds on to it for dear life, making a solo run for the opposite goal, only to lose it in the final few meters. And then the player they lost it to, does the same but in reverse. They are beyond the realms of stupid. It’s tiring to watch. As I’m quite near the field, I manage to throw some coins at the head of the Ujpest goalkeeper. I bet that after the match he’ll be on his hands and knees looking for those. Filthy Jews! Probably he even bet with Betsson on losing his own match. If he could find a Hungarian sports book.
To The Kocsma
By the time we get through the exit gates and back onto the street, it’s already getting dark. The police appear to be blocking most of the surrounding streets so we join the noisy throng for some minutes before the crowd starts to peter out. Some of my mates make their sad excuses and go home. I’m bursting for a piss so stand in a doorway and relive myself. The rest of us decide that we all need a strong drink and head towards the nearest kocsma. Down the steps we go and into a basement. The sudden light stings my eyes, as does the smell of bleach, cheap alcohol, sweat and vomit.
To The Drinks
The place is almost empty apart from a couple of lonely souls sat at different tables. They are hunched over nursing their beer and staring vacantly into space, with their red sullen cheeks and glazed eyes. We all sit away from the door in a rough wooden booth. A young woman approaches with a pen and notepad and asks what we’ll be having. “Your pussy”, we all chorus and fall about with laughter. She stands without expression and repeats the question. We all become sheepishly quiet and shamefully whisper our orders. Of course the second her back is turned, we turn up the macho posturing but fall silent again when she returns with a tray laden with glasses of palinka and beer, and lays them out for us.
To The Past
I look down at all this drink and then look around at my friend’s faces. I’ve known these people since we were at school together. It’s so typical that we Hungarians stay rooted with friendships made so many years ago. Something seems to stop us from moving forwards. Or if we are moving forwards, then we do it facing backwards. Were things really better in the past? Why do we cling on to our history when it only speaks of defeat? Why are we so afraid?
Hungarian Football Sorrow: “Egészségedre”
We raise our glasses of palika in unison. “Egészségedre”, and down them in one. The plum brandy ignites a fire within and we all start talking loudly at once, about Hungarian football, about work and about politics. About the unfairness of life. About how we were all cheated out of our lot. And why the dice never rolled in our favor. As the beer and spirits flow, the animated conversation gradually subsides in both volume and frequency, until, like those two we saw on the way in, we all sit in maudlin silence staring down into our now empty glasses.
To The Sadness
For the second time today, I feel a heavy ache deep inside. A bitter sadness of a loss I cannot describe or quantify. A dark cloud robbing my soul of light. I hear the noise of a small child. And looking up, I see that one of my friends has started to cry, his shoulders heaving silently as hot tears roll down his face. Though we all console him, I realize that we are all inconsolable. That the weight of history, of loss and defeat bears down on us, warping our views and yet filling us with a false sense of pride, born from the hopelessness of our condition. We pay and collect our coats in silence. The day is done. It’s time to go home.
OK…that was depressing. Now cheer yourself up with a Hungarian football wager via Betsson.