Hungarians - I will miss you
- Published on Saturday, 25 June 2011 10:00
- Written by Martin Rep
Dr. Sándor Pinczés met me at the airport Ferihegy of Budapest. His friend András Boda had asked him to pick me up and bring me to Dunaújváros, the small Hungarian town where the next day the first Hungarian championship would take place.
It is just 70 kilometers from Ferihegy to Dunaújváros, but due to the heavy traffic the trip can take up to a couple of hours. During that ride we talked about almost anything, Sándor and me. About his Greek wife (he seems to speak Greek very well), about his academic study (what’s the Dr. before his name - a title by the way, he insists should always be included in rankings and classifications). About Dunaújváros, about mahjong of course.
When he dropped me in front of the tournament hall, I was welcomed by András, the then president of the Hungarian mahjong league. I told him I was very grateful to Sándor that he had taken the trouble to bring me all the way to the venue. And I told him what we had talked about. Well - I appeared to have misunderstood almost anything Sándor had told me. His Greek may be excellent, his English is rather poor; same as his German.
Nevertheless, we had had a great time. Sándor is one of the friendliest people I have ever spoken with. (If you meet him at the mahjong table, take care to keep your ears open; he more or less whispers his ‘chi’, ‘pong’ and ‘hu’.)
Same goes for Zsolt. You know Zsolt Nyulasi? You can have a good laugh with him. He showed us around at Dunaföldvár near Dunaújváros, where we had a great day after another championship.
You know András? He looks like an Hells Angel, even after his hair was cut some years ago, and if you see him on his Honda Goldwing you think he actually is one. But he is far from that; actually, he is one of the most sensitive people I know, and his true passion is playing with those small mahjong tiles.
Talking about angels: you know Zsanet Lákos? She can sing like one. You know the kind Eszter Várnai, your girl next door who is always so glad to see you? The mahjong couple Eti and Norbert? Magdolna? Any of the other Hungarians?
Well - so they will not be there next month in Venice, when the Fourth Open European Mahjong Championship will open. For the Hungarians, the event is too expensive. They just cannot afford it. I am sure all players in the OEMC will miss the kind and welcoming Hungarians. I will miss them - all of them.
During the 2005 in Nijmegen, cineast Jelte Rep talked with Zsolt Nyulasi. Zsolt and András (in the background) rode all the way to Holland to witness the European championship. They did not hear about the event until it was too late, so they could not participate. But they wanted to see it with their own eyes.