Sunday, 25 October 2009

Another conductive upbringing…

And a tiny gimpse into the Magyar soul

Following yesterday’s item on the outcome of Holly’s long conductive upbringing in New Zealand, Emma McDowell writes from Belfast to tell of a recent trip, with George:

We have been away to Hungary with George for a week…

In Hungary we managed to catch the "winter-week" that started straight after their October heatwave... However, it was brilliant, with three days in the Gellért Hotel (spas galore!), two days in Szeged, the rest with my sister (also in Budapest).

We saw (FOR THE FIRST TIME on stage in the Operettszínház), Imre Kálmán’s Csárdáskirálynő (Tschardasch-fürstin), where it turned out that we knew all the songs, very well. My sister (a classical musician) also saw it for the first time. She had wanted to take us to a string-quartet concert, but George chose the operetta, a wise choice!

On the next day my brother took us in the bucketing rain down to Szolnok (an hour from Budapest by car, beside the river Tisza, now connected by motorway) where, in the high- standard local theatre we saw a production of the famous Hungarian drama by József Katona: Bánk Bán. George just had to have the book; he still reads Hungarian better than his younger brother Andrew, who is also bilingual and has spent two separate working years in Budapest...

This is what a "conductive upbringing" meant and means in our case.

Don't you think for a moment that it is easy to manage the traffic in Budapest, we were not always in a car, in fact that was the exception rather than the rule. George took to the fast-moving stairways in Budapest (up and down to the various Metro lines) with gusto. Of course he had to be helped, but his courage!!

In Szeged the weather was better (although still cold) and we walked a lot, especially to restaurants.

And to manage Gatwick Airport, well, you don't need to be disabled to be frightened or confused there... In fact, to use their much-hailed "Disabled Assistance" is the easiest way to miss your connection. So, we gave up on it. George only fell once, and that on his way into the aeroplane, where the path started treacherously to slope...

I am a "double" conductive carer at such trips, but it makes me feel proud of him (and myself) - and grateful to Pető and Hári, and Sutton.

I really enjoyed reading the poem, excellent! Congratulations to the fellow conductive-carer and initiator. I hope that their story makes you feel happy, too.

Lots of love to them and you.

From Emma.

A taster

This is a different production from that which Emma and co. saw, but the Magyars always put on one helluva show…!

By the way, can anyone identify the biplane? My first thought was a JN-4 but that’s hardly likely. Anyway, the tail’s wrong.

I sure has me beat.

1 comment:

  1. Emma

    It was lovely to read of your week in Budapest, not without a little envy I must admit!

    George really does have courage if he goes on those very long escaltors, they make my head spin just thinking about them. Hopefully he didn't have the experience that I have often had of them coming to a sudden stand-still and then having to find the power in my legs to climb out of the depths beneath Budapest.

    I sympathise with the airport story, I have on more than one occasion missed connections when travelling with my wheelchair-user friend through having to wait for Disabled Assistance! The "powers that be" at the airports had no idea of the problems caused by having to unexpectedly stay over-night.

    If you have a disability conductively is still the only way to really get about in Budapest despite lots of changes.
    It is always interesting to see so many other people, probably PAI "students" tackling the city conductively too.