Thursday, March 29, 2007

Dream Empire

Announcing Rick and Garth's brand new Dream Blog, Idle Brains!

They're publishing real dreams from readers, plus dream-related news and musings. Sneak a peek into others' sleep! Share your wildest dreams! Hooray, Idle Brains!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Street Theater

Riot Day

I don’t know why, but for some reason I’ve been dreading writing anything about National Day, March 15. Fellow bloggers: you know when you feel like you can’t write about anything because there’s something you should write about first, but don’t want to? That’s my problem.

Why? I guess I’m sick of thinking about worrying about all the Árpad flags on the street (you can read all about the significance of the flag on Dumneazu's great post). I’m grossed out by “protesters” who are clearly just skinheads who want to throw things for fun. I’m disoriented by being caught in the middle of demonstrations I can’t understand, surrounded by signs I can’t read, listening to chants of “vashty vashty vashty.” I’m just done, you know?

But bowing to popular demand, I set down for posterity my personal experiences on last Thursday, March 15, AKA Hungarian National Day. Make of it what you will.

11:00: National Museum.

Rick and I check out the official commemoration of the 1848 revolution at the National Museum. It appeared to be a little pageant—poetry readings, narration, music and folk dancing, people dressed as Hussars riding their horses up the steps of the museum. Rick and I found ourselves in the biggest clutch of Árpad flags I’ve seen yet; and I marveled at how normal the flags’ bearers look. People I pass every day. When government officials took the museum stage there was loud chanting, hissing. Some of it almost sounded like English: I could swear I heard “Less than a poor man” over and over. Angry hard faces, whistles. Unease and almost panic. Thinking about the resonances in Hungarian history; the 1848 revolution was crushed largely thanks to the Czar’s Russian forces; the far right associates the current Socialist government, many of whom started out in the Hungarian Communist party, with Russians; hence the right claims the 1865 revolution as their own.

1:00 Violence on the Streets!

The crowds have left, and there’s a children’s fair going on outside the National Museum. Kids are making Hussar hats for themselves and learning how to chop off an enemy head from horseback.

As we leave Melissa asks me, “Wait, they lost this revolution, right? This is a memory of a defeat?”

2:00 Marcius 15 Ter.

Apparently a couple hours before the mayor of Budapest got pelted with eggs, but Melissa, Rick and I enjoyed the crafts fair.

4:00 Fidesz Aftermath.

Melissa, Rick, Ryan and I wade through the crowds leaving the big Fidesz rally. It’s pretty claustrophobic. The crowd between the bridge and Astoria is thick and intimidating.

5:00-10:00 Síraly!

There’s a party going on at Síraly, a bastion of irony and critical remove from the wild nationalism outside. The top floor features a DJ and several art installations playing with the image of Petofi, the star hero of National Day.

Ryan does a magic show. The crowd is puzzled at first but as the Dreher and pálinka flow they get into it. Ryan communes with the spirit of Petofi. Ryan does an incredible act with grapefruit.

10:00 Saddle Up.

Eszter, who knows Melissa is a journalist, comes up apologetically: “I am sorry but I know you work for the radio…my mother has just called to tell me there are riots at the Octogon, and you probably want to go, but please I think you should stay here.” It’s time to go collect some audio.

Melissa uses her press pass to muscle past lines and lines and lines of riot cops. She has me play the role of her “interpreter” (ha ha) as we question police and other journalists, but this is such a joke that I start claiming the title “guide” instead. I admire her technique; the one press pass should only get her past the lines of cops, but she manages to claim me as a guide, Rick as a producer and Ryan as her husband.

However, we’ve missed the riots. On the deserted Andrassy we see the detritus of some sort of action: an overturned phone booth, a wooden scaffolding torn down and used as a barricade—but the people are long gone. Smell of tear gas still in the air.

10:45 Bajcsy-Zsilinszky útca.

Lines of riot cops face towards Astoria. Drama! Cops and protesters face off.

We pass a guy with blood on his face. This is the scariest part of the night.

We see small groups of protesters—about 15 or so Soccer Hooligan-looking drunk kids staring down lines and lines of riot cops, wondering whether to rush them or just run away now. The whole thing reminds me of capture the flag or paint ball or something; it doesn’t feel like anything is actually at stake.

11:00 Gyros.

We retire to the gyro shop and call it a night.

Friday, March 16, 2007

As Seen On TV

I'll post more about the "riots" soon, but suffice it to say that we should have waited to catch them on video. Much more exciting with all the long, boring stretches of empty streets edited out. That one burning dumpster was dramatic, huh? Yeah, we were nowhere near it.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Small Victories

So tommorow is the Hungarian Fourth of July, if you will; a gigantic celebration of the 1848 Hungarian Revolution. Our street is festooned with flags, cafes are full, happy crowds are knocking off early from work, businessmen are wearing little red-white-and-green ribbons on their lapels. Riots may be involved tommorow; stay tuned.

I'm celebrating my own small victory: a recent marked improvement in my ability to communicate with the veggie lady. When we first got here I had to point at fruit and mime an amount. Now... (translated from the flawless Hungarian):


SARAH: When close?
VEGGIE LADY: Thursday?
SARAH: No, now day.
VEGGIE LADY: Half seven.
SARAH: Six hours and twenty...uh...thirty?
SARAH: Close Thursday?
VEGGIE LADY: Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Open VASHTY VASHTY.
SARAH: Uh...

Mental lightbulb flickers on.

SARAH: Wednesday. Open Wednesday.
SARAH: 1 kilo tomatoes kindly. Soup!
VEGGIE LADY: (impressed)Tomato soup?

Sarah pays.

SARAH: Thank you! Tommorow!
VEGGIE LADY: Tommorow!


SARAH: Yesterday soup good!!!
VEGGIE LADY: Good! Anything else?
SARAH: Thank you! I kiss your hand! Goodbye!

Doody Utca

Back in January I was walking with Pablo along Kertész utca, talking philosophy, as one does with Pablo. Then I almost stepped in a turd.

Not just any turd. An enormous dollop of poo. Because I can't censor what comes out of my mouth, I screamed, “Look out for the dogshit!” Deep in thought, Pablo brushed it off continued talking about Hungarian attitudes towards outsiders. We continued walking.

SARAH: There’s another! There’s another! Holy god, what is this? Look, there’s more! Look, there’s EVEN MORE!!! OK, sorry, Pablo, you were saying...

PABLO: It is NOT a nation, it is a tribe. The Hungarians, they were nomads, and they—

SARAH: Dogshit!! More dogshit!!! Sorry.

PABLO: Sarah, are you alright? It’s not so funny.

SARAH: (trying to catch my breath) I’m sorry. It’s really incredible.

PABLO: ...They have come here, the Hungarians, no one knows where they come from. The right wing here, the Nazis, they—


The doody bonanza continued for the entire avenue-length of the block. There were turds in the spaces behind cars, climbing up walls, trails of little poops that brought Hansel and Gretel to mind.

I put the episode out of mind for a while. Then last week—a full two months later—Rick and I were walking down the SAME STREET, and there was STILL dog turds there. Or was it NEW poop?

Is this where wild dogs with dysentary go to die? Why is all the poo on one side of the street—the side with all the peep shows? Why were all the other pedestrians were walking on the other side of the street? Do they know something we don't? What is the secret of Doody utca?

Apparently I'm not the only one who's noticed this problem. Too bad you made the video in English, geniuses!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Gift From LA

Do I really need to comment on this? That's love.

Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Hasids)

When New York comes to Budapest, New York comes to Budapest.

I was already planning on meeting Mel and Ryan at the airport. As you can imagine, after hearing that Method Man and Redman were on their flight, I was hyped to see who would come off the plane. 20 minutes before the arrival of Delta Flight 98, JFK-Budapest, a small cluster of Hungarian Hip-Hoppers began to form: clearly the Wu Welcome Wagon. I waited breathlessly as tourists and Hungarian grannies and businessmen wandered off the plane.

Finally Redman burst through the baggage claim doors, thrust his wheely cart in front of him, hollered “What’s Up Budapest!!!” and gangster-leaned his way towards the ecstatic Wu Welcome Wagon. I waited for Method Man to emerge.

Little did I realize the best was yet to come: DOZENS AND DOZENS OF HASIDS wheeling two invalid rabbis in fur coats. The rabbis were so ancient that they looked a little like apple dolls, or slightly melted wax figures. Every once and a while the Hasidic flood was broken by a member of the Wu Entourage rocking expensive sweats and a massive wheely cart. It was like Duck Duck Goose: Hasid, Hasid, Wu! Hasid, Hasid, Hasid, Hasid, Hasid, Hasid, Hasid, Wu!

Mel and Ryan, as you can imagine, had a hilarious tale to tell. As their plane filled in New York, they realized the composition of their flight was as follows:
25 % Hungarian
25 % Tourist
25% Hasid
25 % Wu

Ever the gum-cracking girl reporter, Mel struck up a conversation with a couple young Hasids, who were on their way to a religious pilgrimage in Poland. She asked their views on the state of Israel and was told to listen to Sean Hannity. She also got her picture taken with Redman.

After deplaning (I love that verb) she tried to strike up a conversation with Method Man. He was distracted and withdrawn; he only grunted responses and wouldn’t meet her eye. He was compulsively shaking a jar, and she could hear something rattling around inside. Finally she ventured, “What’s in your jar?” He sighed with annoyance and opened his hand. Jelly beans.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

PSA: The Wu

Apparently my cherished friends Mel and Ryan, winging their way to Budapest as I type, are on the same plane with The Wu! ... (Well, at least with Method Man. Redman is on the plane too. I guess one out of KILLA BEES ain't bad.)

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

My New Baby

It's mine! Mine, I tell you! WA HA HA HA HA! WOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Signs of Spring

Blue Sky: Check.
Blossoms on tree: Check.
Workmen Restoring Historic Building: Check.
Old Men on Bench: Check.

Yesterday's beautiful weather cheered my soul. And yet, as always, my sunny American enthusiasm collided with rock-solid Hungarian pessimism. A few minutes after taking this picture, we ran into our friendly landlady.

Sarah: Agnes! Look, what a gorgeous day!

Agnes: Yes, spring is almost sky, warm in the air... Only you know my soul is black, I am so heavy, because of my health, you know...

Sarah: At least the winter is over.

Agnes: Yes, but you know this was not winter. There was no winter this year. You know they keep it the records every year, how high the temperature, how low the temperature. They never a winter like this. They say that Hungary will be desert in 20 years. I see it on the National Geographic. In Europe it is only Belgium and Hungary that will be desert, because we have no mountains. Only I like it the warm so I not care. I like so much the hot, I want be hot all the time! No, I kidding. It so bad, you know, the future. I maybe am die first, but you will see it, your children will see it. We must make it the change but the people don't want to make the change, nobody change.

Sarah: Well at least Hungary seems like it's pretty good to the environment already. You have really good public transportation here. In America...

Agnes: Excuse me, but I not think so. Before, before the 1989, it was so good, the bus, the tram, everything work so good, so clean. It's important, the clean! And now every year worse than before.

Sarah: But still, compared to America...

Agnes: And every year they take it more money for the train. The tram get worse and worse, and they want more and more money. So expensive for the people here. Oh, it so bad. You pay it your heating bill? So much money.

Sarah: (slowly falling into a black pit of depression) Yes...we just paid it yesterday.

Agnes: This so much, this bill. All the price go higher. (laughs as if strangely delighted.)

Sarah: (attempting a joke) Well, I guess when Hungary is a desert I won't have to pay this heating bill.

Agnes: Excuse me, I sorry, but then it will be the air condition. And if Hungary desert this will be so high. Because in 20 years they will not have it the oil...

In the Maskmaker's Workshop

On Carnival Monday, I interviewed maskmaker Englert Antal in his Mohács workshop. Since Antal only speaks Hungarian, his lovely director/actress/storyteller wife translated into French for him. I’m not even close to fluent in French, so I was amazed that I understood as much as I did.

Antal explained how at many points in history, the buso tradition almost died out. Sometimes it was outlawed by the church; sometimes other carnival activities like balls nearly wiped it out. But the greatest change in the Mohacs carnival, Antal claims, came with the invention of photography and film. “Organizers of films” started journeying to Mohacs to record the Carnival. The buso tradition flourished in the spotlight, but also transformed. The masks became more elaborate, more exotic. The town began to organize exclusively tourist-oriented events. Antal thinks that Mohacs is at the very beginning of a buso renaissance, as busos begin to rediscover the roots of their own carnival. Here’s are some excerpts from our (translated) conversation.

“Everyone is interested in making masks. It is something mystic, something out of the everyday. The work is easy, it’s not hard to learn. The hard thing is to truly understand this festival, why we keep it, why we hold it. It is not hard to make the mask, it is hard to understand the mask, the ideas behind the mask. In Mohacs you will find 17 or 18 different mask makers. They know the mask but they don’t understand the spirituality of the mask. You see these masks, they are not pretty. The mask is not supposed to be pretty, not supposed to be well-made, well-crafted. It is made to have power for the person that wears it.” […]

“Socialism didn’t change the buso tradition because it is a primitive tradition, it has no ideology. It said that men could change their normal personalities. And men always want to change into something else, men always have something they want to escape. The roots of the carnival never changed—it’s something very primitive, very human, the idea of transforming into something else. Other carnivals are about putting on fancy clothes and having a good time. In Mohacs, Carnival is something more—something older, more important.”

"We have two words in Hungarian that illustrate the difference. There’s álarc and maszk. An álarc is a normal mask. You could wear it as a disguise, or as a costume for the theater. It could be for a party, or a decoration for your house. Like the carnival masks from Venice. They are very well-made, and pretty, and original. You put them on to amuse yourself and other people. It is not religious. A maszk is something much more. An álarc changes the outside of the person who wears it; the maszk changes the inside. The purpose of the maszk is to transform the wearer into something else."

(Antal shows me a book of photographs of “primitive” masks, animal masks, cave paintings of men disguised as animals.) “We can say that the animal mask is the origin of the buso mask—like a totem. This is a very old religious idea, taking on an animal spirit, becoming a fusion of man and animal. Of course the question for us here is, why did the form of the mask change in Mohács, why did it become human? The clothes, the instruments stayed the same, but the form of the mask changed when the Sokacs came to this area. I have my theories about this, but no one knows for sure…”

“The mask has power—it gives you power—a power that is a little more than human. If I put on the mask, I have more power, I take the power of the mask into me. By the way, here is another difference between buso masks and other carnival masks. Every man in the world is different, and every buso mask is different. And the buso mask should be connected to the man who wears it, to share his features, share something of his spirit. That’s why I sculpt each mask individually, for a specific person—except of course those masks that are for tourists or museums or something. If I make a mask for a man here, I try to capture a small part of him. “

“The mask is always made of one piece of wood. It’s always a human, always a man. Traditionally the mask is always red, a variation of red. Why? Red symbolizes life—the color of blood. What do the Busos do? They bring the resurgence of life, the rebirth of spring. Red is the color of perpetual rebirth. There aren’t other mask colors—just black and white. You never see a green mask, or an orange mask.”

“The form of the eyes and the mouth are symbolic—it’s the form of the female sex. The horns are masculine. And here you have the duality in the buso—man and woman. The buso wears women’s stockings, men’s pants. This is very old symbolism, very deep, hardly anyone knows it anymore. The gap tooth in the busos’ smile? That’s practical, for drinking or smoking or spitting. You know a buso should never take off his mask.”

“The power in the mask, the transformation of the man in the mask—this is why the buso has always been a man. He is something like a shaman, or like a religious actor in the ancient Greek theater. The shaman is something in between the men and the gods, a link between these two worlds. The buso is something similar. And this is also why children, who cannot understand this, should not be busos. In the past, putting on the buso mask was a rite of passage—there is a moment in life where men put on the mask.”

“But this is not to say that women should not participate, that women have no role. All the traditions of man speak of life, of rebirth, the changes of nature. There isn’t a difference, there’s no difference between men and women in this way. Everyone must participate in renewing the world, in bringing the world back to life. For women the easiest way to participate is to change their sex, to put on men’s clothes... During carnival everyone can do anything they want. Women also can do anything. They don’t have to be a good wife—they can amuse themselves with another man. In the past, during carnival a woman did not have to cook for her husband, she can go where she wants, meet who she wants, spend time with who she wants, do what she wants—but only in a costume. And if she has a child that is not by her husband conceived during this time, no one can question her. “

“What is this tradition really about? For the Sokacs people, you have to understand, a small group, away from their homeland. During this time, you make babies. It doesn’t matter with who. Because what is carnival about after all, what is all this renewal, this fertility, what is life about—it’s about children, not just about spring, but also about life, human life, continuing and renewing. It’s about the continuation, the survival of this tiny group of people, because it’s a such a tiny group, a little minority, separate from other people, they could disappear so easily—and they had to continue their traditions, continue their existence. For them it was a question of survival, not a question of ethics. To survive the past. To fight through the winter. And this is important for all people. “

“In the past this was the question; it’s no longer the question today. But the mask contains its history, hidden inside, it carries its history. The men of today search for this secret, but they don’t know its roots.”

“The man in the mask makes contact with the world of the spirit, and brings it into our world, to renew life, to bring the world back to life. And our rules, our laws, they are only little, human laws. The spirit is too big for them. Life is bigger. So we forget rules during this time. The busos today feel that during these three days they are something more than they are in normal life—that there are no rules for them—this is the secret of the carnival’s survival. Men always have the same wish to live. That is why the carnival can never be forbidden, because the wish exists.”

Friday, March 02, 2007

Carnival Time: The Movie

Carnival Time Part II: Do a Little Dance

Post Prelude:
I love carnival. I love the idea of a time when all life’s normal rules are suspended: a vacation from order, from responsibility, from accountability, from moderation.

We spent this carnival in Mohács, Hungary, home of the Busojárás carnival. Busojárás originally came here with the Slavic Sokacs people, and has roots in ancient Slavic paganism. But unlike other Slavic carnivals, Busojárás does not feature animal masks. Here and only here the masks (“busos”) are humans with horns, wooly hair all over, and no self-control.

Do a Little Dance, Make a Little Love, Get Down Tonight
The busos are an embodiment of life-force, of spring, of fertility. So they’re given free reign to grab any girl—or guy, or buso—and hug them, grab them, try to kiss them, etc. You often see them come up on either side of some dishy girl and grind on her while their cow-bells clang. It sounds creepy but it’s totally charming; never aggressive, and always welcome. They steer clear of girls who look cranky, and aren’t above grabbing guys or grandmothers either.

Of course music and dance are part and parcel of the festival. Everyone dances the kolo, a Sokacs circle dance. These musicians—apparently Mohács’ most in-demand—were at every carnival event we went to.

The guy on the extreme right proposed to me after I managed to pick out the “super-duper” kolo on his guitar.

Once only Sokacs men could be Busos. That rule was forgotten long ago; today everyone in the city wants to be a Buso. There are tons of masked kids—to the dismay of those who take the buso tradition seriously and see it as a rite of passage for young men. I even saw a couple girls and one old woman suited up as Busos.

Other Troublemakers
Other girls have their own traditional costumes and their own masks—and almost as much freedom as Busos. One girl pointed her cane straight at Rick’s crotch and chased him!

Boys who would rather chase girls than kiss them have another costume; the jankele. Jankeles dress up in rags and chase men and women around the streets with flour-filled socks. Apparently this figure is based on a real person, a famously cranky Jewish leather merchant who lived in Mohács during the 19th century.

Carnival Time
On the big tourist day, Carnival Sunday, Busos parade from Kolo Square to the main square by the church. There’s the sinking of the Carnival coffin and a bonfire at night, where a strawman is burned on top of the giant bonfire. Busos and locals and tourists join hands to dance kolo in a circle around the fire.

By Carnival Monday, the tourists are long gone. We spent the morning with maskmaker Englebert Antal (more on him later) and the afternoon following a group of busos as they went door to door in Kolo Ter. Once, Busos used a plow a bit of a farmer’s field and bury a bit of cinder for a good crop. Then they headed to the stable and hit the farmer’s animals to “protect them from illness.” None of the houses in Kolo Ter have animals or fields anymore, but the door-to-door tradition was recently revived. At each house where they stopped, the busos were offered hot wine, palinka, homemade donuts, cookies and other sweets. The busos danced kolo.

Sometimes they plowed a little bit, sometimes they horsed around and destroyed the lawn furniture.

Carnival Tuesday is strictly for locals.

The whole town turns out—this time with 90% less tourists and 250% more booze. The busos show off for each other, not the cameras.

The guys from Boros Kolo had reached their apex of goodwill towards man. Here’s what happened when they played the old “try this garlic-chili pepper palinka” trick on Rick.

We wanted to stay for the final bonfire, the burning of the carnival coffin, the official end of winter—but our bus left just as the fire was lit. I slept exhausted as we drove the frozen backroads back to Budapest, dreaming of spring spreading silently over the dark fields.

Carnival Time Part I: The Buso Kit

Post Prelude:
I love carnival. I love the idea of a time when all life’s normal rules are suspended: a vacation from order, from responsibility, from accountability, from moderation.

We spent this carnival in Mohács, Hungary, home of the Busojárás carnival. Busojárás originally came here with the Slavic Sokacs people, and has roots in ancient Slavic paganism. But unlike other Slavic carnivals, Busojárás does not feature animal masks. Here and only here the masks (“busos”) are humans with horns, wooly hair all over, and no self-control.

The Buso Checklist:

Mask. Of course the mask. Unlike other carnival masks, these are never mass-produced—each wooden Buso mask is different.

Our friend Tamasz's grandfather made these masks, which his crew Boros Kolo still uses. (Their group’s name is a pun on fave Hungarian drink “wine and cola,” using the word “kolo,” the official dance of carnival). This is him before “suiting up” for carnival, with the very first mask his grandfather made for him.

Many Mohács men still make their own masks. Although even many natives don’t realize it, every part of the mask—from the horns to the color to the shape of the eyes—is symbolic…but more about that later. Ideally, a Buso never takes off his mask.

Wine. Check. Our Boros Kolo friends told us that the government actually gives them free wine for the duration of carnival.

Cowbells and noisemakers. Used to a) announce the busos’ approach, b) ward off the evil spirits of winter and death, and c) raise the roof. The wooden Buso-Horn—for those who can actually sound it—sounds like a plastic football rally trumpet.

Women’s stockings under traditional Sokacs mens’ underwear. This local in-joke harkens back to the time when almost no one went masked. Centuries ago, before carnival was a tourist attraction, most Sokacs revelers crossdressed: the men dressed up as women and vice versa.

These womens’ stockings are a reminder of that tradition, which still survives among a few serious Mohács partiers.

Hay-stuffed trousers. Theoretically a buso should be totally anonymous, free to do whatever (and whoever) without fear of recognition. Stuffing hay down your pants keeps your wife from Where’s-Waldoing your legs.

Chilis and paprikas and other plant life. old pagan decorations, reminders of the return of life in the spring.

Pitchforks, paddles, cannons, maces and donuts. There’s an added layer to carnival in Mohács: remembrance of the Hungarian defeat at the Battle of Mohács (1526). This defeat opened the door to the Turkish invasion of Buda and Turkish domination of Central Hungary. Memories are long and bitter here; the battle is an essential part of the town’s identity. There’s a “pretty legend” that Busos scared the Turkish occupiers away from Mohács. One dark and stormy night (the story goes), local people hiding in the wilderness of Mohács Island donned terrifying masks, crossed the river in boats, and frightened the Turks away. To commemorate this victory, the Busos paddle across the Danube from Mohács Island every Carnival Sunday.

The donuts on the Busos’ horns are symbolic Turkish heads. Mmmm...symbolism...

The funny thing is that Mohács wasn’t settled until after the Turks were long gone. Many Mohács residents confessed to us that the legend probably wasn’t true. One drunk Buso told us the “real” Buso connection with Mohács Island: once upon a time—before anyone lived on the island, before dad’s car—young couples used to go there to get it on.

Still, the story of the Terrified Turks lives on. The Busos carry weapons to drive away the Turks—and by extension, winter, death and oppression.

The idea of Busos socking it to The Man survives in other ways, too. Here’s a poster of a buso beating up Hungarian PM Gyurcsany:

Staffs. Many people told us that these are just for decoration, but some staffs hint at a more universal symbolism (modest readers avert your eyes):

Water-Carrier. This is a yoke with hooks to hang water buckets from. In the old days, when the Busos used to go door to door bringing good luck to houses, they carried this with them. If a buso entered a house and handed the water-carrier to a young lady, it meant one of his masked brothers wanted to marry her.

Baby buso. When a buso carries a buso doll, it means he has a baby boy and is asking for the community’s blessing. It can also mean that the buso is married and hoping for a child. Our friend Árpád just became the proud father of his first child, a baby boy, three weeks ago: