I wonder if 25 years after the last Roman legionary left Aquincum (Budapest), some crazy old Pannonian woman wept over the ruins of empire and didn't want the buildings to be pilfered for new homes? I'm having a sort of existentialist crisis this week anyway and the days have thrown some odd events at me. This morning was the last straw. It's five years since I've been to Budapest and today on the Metro I asked which line went to Moskva tér … and was told it was now Szél Kálmán tér. wtf? Who ordered my past to be taken away? For the longest moment on the metro train I had the sensation of having fallen out of my own life; I felt I was on another planet. Then I began to cry; I tried really hard not to have a public meltdown but it did get noticed and people were kind. Idiot tourist weeping. Shocked at a change of name. Undoubtedly it's high time that the last remnants of Soviet overlordship are finally removed. But that was the paradox of Moskva tér: always a pretty hideous bit of Soviet architecture asserting the colonial presence and then the unwelcome memory of what that had implied, but with the years it acquired an ugly charm. I wonder if one should sweep away the names of the conquerors? I cried this morning because in some way entirely personal to myself I needed that memento to stay in order to substantiate the sixty years my father spent in exile after WWII and the reason I never met my grandparents and didn't meet my father's family till 1990. Moskva tér as an entity was a paradox, and was recognised as such, being the site of many art “actions”, but I would argue that is the nature of history.
what have they done with my past?
by Anna-Marya Tompa August. 05, 2015 1910 views