From Hungary with Love!

So let me get this straight, you are going to fly to Budapest on the 8.30am flight, meet a women you have just made contact with through a friend in Israel, hand over money for a suitcase of medicine and get on the next flight back home without leaving the Airport?  And you don’t think any of this will alarm the authorities at the airport? ” No, why should it?” says superdad, adjusting his flat cap nervously.

nothing to declare here!

It does seem too good to be true, but these were the actual events that unfolded yesterday in Budapest!  Here is the background…

My Dad had researched a product called Avemar : http://www.avemarresearch.com/pdf/C-AvemarFAQ.pdf and as I mentioned in an old post (are my white blood cells French c 1940), had set about securing 6 months supply in the most economical way possible.  Having found out that the product is manufactured and sold in Hungary, my Dad dusted down his little black book and remembered that on one of his visits to Israel, he had got talking to a lovely lady called Eva who had lived in Budapest during the war. Her story was worthy of a film script.  For much of the war she was hiding in a mine shaft until she was discovered and imprisoned.  Thankfully she survived and emigrated to Israel.  In passing she must have mentioned she had a niece in Budapest called Erika which my Dad had tucked away for future reference.

Now Erika is a women who in the truest Jewish sense, takes hospitality as an olympic sport and not only did she research where the product could be purchased even cheaper, she sourced it and made the 2 hour journey to the airport to save my Dad the time and bother.  And if that wasn’t enough, she came armed with Hungarian wine and chocolates for me and my Mum!  What an amazing gesture for someone she had never met!

So, if anyone is harbouring any delusions that we are a hard hearted species, let me put you straight!  In my experience, kindness and compassion are the norm, not the exception.  It just needs a little permission sometimes.

p.s. just got this comment in from my brother, David which is too good not to share!

I remember another story to do with Dad, a suitcase of perishable goods, and travelling:

A family holiday to Israel in it’s early days meant bringing your own food. So, just incase we got stuck somewhere in the Golan Heights without a Harvester in sight, Dad decided it’d be good to take our own food.. Something portable that was easy to prepare.

Cue family sitting round table sampling a range of early Pot Noodle on a rainy day in Bucks.

It’s difficult to say whether they tasted good or bad. In those days things like stuffed marrow were popular, and with dishes like that anything with any taste whatsoever was welcome.

Anyway, Dad packed a full suitcase dedicated to Pot Noodle. Rachels and my clothes were the space sacrifice.

I can’t remember where exactly we had our first Pot Noodle in Israel… but if you think Pot Noodle taste salty in wet Bucks, you have no idea just how salty they taste in the burning heat of Israel.

Salt content of the Dead sea compared to salt content of a Pot Noodle. Pretty similar.

It says a lot that dad, (who early in his accountancy days calculated that the core of an apple is still ‘apple’ and to not eat it would be like throwing away 28% of its overall worth, leaving you with no option but to either barter down wholesale apple costs to 72% of market value, or if that wasn’t possible, to eat the core.. Which he did for every apple he ever met.) couldn’t bring himself to eat them… but also couldn’t bring himself to waste them… so for that family hol in Israel we were accompanied everywhere we went with a case of Pot Noodle.

Dad even brought the entire uneaten suitcase home… and that’s where my memory fades… I have no idea where they went after that. Whether dad ate them secretly instead of wasting them, whether they’re still in the attic… or whether they’re now in Budapest I have no idea.

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12 thoughts on “From Hungary with Love!

  1. This is such a wonderful series of events, would love to know who else your dad has in his little black book that might be useful!

  2. I remember another story to do with Dad, a suitcase of perishable goods, and travelling:

    A family holiday to Israel in it’s early days meant bringing your own food. So, just incase we got stuck somewhere in the Golan Heights without a Harvester in sight, Dad decided it’d be good to take our own food.. Something portable that was easy to prepare.

    Que family sitting round table sampling a range of early Pot Noodle on a rainy day in Bucks.

    It’s difficult to say whether they tasted good or bad. In those days things like stuffed marrow were popular, and with dishes like that anything with any taste whatsoever was welcome.

    Anyway, Dad packed a full suitcase dedicated to Pot Noodle. Rachels and my clothes were the space sacrifice.

    I can’t remember where exactly we had our first Pot Noodle in Israel… but if you think Pot Noodle taste salty in wet Bucks, you have no idea just how salty they taste in the burning heat of Israel.

    Salt content of the Dead sea compared to salt content of a Pot Noodle. Pretty similar.

    It says a lot that dad, (who early in his accountancy days calculated that the core of an apple is still ‘apple’ and to not eat it would be like throwing away 28% of its overall worth, leaving you with no option but to either barter down wholesale apple costs to 72% of market value, or if that wasn’t possible, to eat the core.. Which he did for every apple he ever met.) couldn’t bring himself to eat them… but also couldn’t bring himself to waste them… so for that family hol in Israel we were accompanied everywhere we went with a case of Pot Noodle.

    Dad even brought the entire uneaten suitcase home… and that’s where my memory fades… I have no idea where they went after that. Whether dad ate them secretly instead of wasting them, whether they’re still in the attic… or whether they’re now in Budapest I have no idea.

    • That’s a brilliant memory, I can still taste them too! I think we were saved by nanas quick thinking, bringing a suitcase to the buffet breakfast and subtly making a stack of stale rolls to be presented for lunch later! Happy days xx

      • Yep – think Nana invented ‘Full selfcatering board’, or ‘bed & breakfast & the shampoo & hairnets & salt&pepper sachets & the marmalade &… & anything else she could use to make into handkerchiefs at a later date… like maybe that old pac-a-mac????

  3. hahahaha I can see him eating the apples now hahahaha!
    And as for stuffed marrow – Silla and I were made to sit in the lay-by outside our house selling them as we’d had a glut of them in the veg patch! I still can’t eat them – yeuk!

    ” We had it tough…….”
    “And you try and tell the young people of today that ….. they won’t believe you.”

  4. To add to these family reminscences we took their advice and also took a few Pot Noodles and the Israeli security guards at check-in looked down their noses and said, “We do have food in Israel you know”. Embarrassing! We even blew the hotel’s electrics by heating up the Pot with a hand-held electric element and then hid the offending article on the balcony in case they had to come into the room for repairs. For those who have never been to Israel their food IS brilliant. Still never seen breakfasts like they have. Hopefully we are all more enlightened tourists now.

    PS I don’t remember forcing our girls to sell the marrows – they were only too pleased to earn some money. THEY had it tough? WE were born in the war…………………………………….

  5. What a great story and I always wondered where Dave’s love of Pot Noodle came from and now I know. When we went to Mumbai on my stag in 2001 (cleverly just after Sept 11) he insisted alla his dad that each us, himself, Mark Buhler, my brother and I all bring along several Pot Noodles each. That would stop us getting sick, he warned, forgetting to mention that barecue beef flavour is so disgusting just one mouthful of mine did actually make me sick. I also remember Dave laminated a special card for the direst of emergencies in Mumbai on which he had written, “I am ill. Fly him home to UK. You will be rewarded.” Not sure where that one came from. I suspect from his own nutty head. Anyway, thought I’d share that one….

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