Folyosó Winter 2020–2021 - Page 2

Is This the Future?

Sándor Tor

We’re writing 2050. Humanity is on the verge of extinction.

My name is Alex, I’m twenty-five years old, and I live in New York. But let’s start from the beginning.

When I was born, the Covid-epidemic had ended and the economy was beginning to recover. So I had a really good life when I was a child. My dad was a financial manager at a large company, and my mom was a nurse. When I was fourteen, I heard about Covid for the first time. First I asked my mom what it was and why everyone had bad feelings about it. She told me it was a pandemic and that a lot of people died in the world and the economy almost fell apart too. But in 2020 the scientists developed a vaccination, so now the virus is inactive. I just learned about this in eighth grade and high school, and when I graduated I started to work at my father’s company. However I was a rookie, so I had to learn a lot of things about finance. Luckily my father helped me a lot, and we got into a closer relationship than ever. Everything seemed to be good, but in 2049 he suddenly died of an unknown infection. The doctors didn’t know what it was or how my father got it. And I didn’t know how to lead the company, or take care of my mom either.

One day when I was checking my father’s old stuff I found some notes about a secret space project. The astronauts reached Mars and found some bacteria and viruses. When they came back to Earth, the scientists examined these things and wanted to start experiments, but they needed money. So they looked for my father and invited him to their laboratory. That was the moment I realized my father had been infected there. Therefore I and my employees could be infected too. But I didn’t have symptoms, and my emloyees weren’t sick. At least I thought not, until one morning I woke up to the ringing of my phone. They called me from the healthcare organization, and a man told me they had closed the office building where I worked. I knew we were in great danger.

So I had to stay home, and I decided to continue to research the virus. I checked my father’s private mails and found something interesting. There were other companies that had supported this project. I found out a few days later that these companies had also been closed down.

Then a few weeks later I noticed symptoms in myself, but thought I just had the cold. However, I heard about employees and managers who had died. I was scared, so I stayed at home, but a lot of people didn’t. The number of infected and dead people also increased. Then, a month later, the president announced that we were facing another virus, but it was too late. Because by that time it had appeared in Europe and Asia, and it seemed bigger than COVID.

The people panicked, and the economy was heading for bankruptcy. The number of deaths kept increasing, and the situation become more and more hopeless. The cities were almost extinct; nobody walked on the streets, and the shops were closed.

I also felt worse and worse. I guess I will die soon. I don’t know what will happen next, but I’m glad that I was able to live and that I could have such a life.

Michael the Caterpillar

Tamás Takács

Once upon a  time there lived a small caterpillar named Michael. Michael was a caterpillar like the rest; he wasn’t special, or so he thought. He spent all day eating leaves like any other caterpillar would. He was very social and liked to talk with other caterpillars a lot. They spent their days eating leaves and talking without a care in the world but knowing this would all come to an end one day. When that day came, they were a bit sad but excited at the same time. They promised each other they would meet up after the transformation ended. So they all went into their cocoons and went to sleep. When Michael woke up, he felt a bit strange. He thought it must be the transformation and he just needed to get used to the new body. What was weird was that the leaves looked much smaller, and when he took a step, the ground shook beneath him. He was confused and didn’t know what to do. All of a sudden he got the urge to throw up. But when he did, it wasn’t what he thought it would be. He started spitting fire. That moment he realised that he wasn’t a butterfly; he had somehow transformed into a dragon. He didn’t know how or why and was very confused for a while. He decided that he would find out why this had happened and try to turn it back. He also wanted to find his friends in the process. He is said to be still looking for the reason till this day, but no one knows for certain what happened to him.


Katalin Szabó

Once upon a time, a boy lived in the center of New York. His name was Ezra Davis. He lived with his elderly parents in a small crowded apartment. The parents worked in a hospital, and they always had a lot of work too. They had no time for their little boy. Ezra had been a weird kid since childhood; he had no friends, no one played with him. He had no siblings either; he was lonely, but he enjoyed it.

In the block where he lived, a baby was born; he was called Louis. Ezra took care of him many times, as a teenager. This little boy was his only friend.

He always observed people, the environment, and everything. He lived at home until he was seventeen years old. Suddenly, he made a well-thought-out decision…

Two years previously, one rainy afternoon, fifteen-year-old Ezra was sitting in his room and reading different historical magazines. He realised that he wanted to try himself outside, in the adults’ world. He decided to move. He thought about it for months.

There was a very small (uninhabited) island somewhere near Hawaii. When he turned seventeen, he moved out to this island alone. He lived here for sixty-five years, in unusual conditions. He spent most of his life there, with his thoughts. At last, he was happy alone. No one was there except him. He lived in a wooden hut, ate fruit, and had a good time.

After those years, Ezra was really old, and he wanted to see his home for the last time.

When he returned to the city, he was shocked. He was very young when he left; now he was completely surprised by the changes that had taken place in the city. Although he was old, his mental health was unbroken.

Ezra’s first trip was to their old house, which had been sold. A crowded café operated in the small ground-floor apartment. He felt lost.

On the one hand, because he no longer knew anyone in that area. His family, neighbours and friends had already died.

On the other hand, because the neighborhood has changed a lot, so he did not know the area…

The night before he had left long ago, he had had an argument with his parents, because they didn’t like this idea. They did not give him permission to leave, but he didn’t care. He regretted and thought about it for years afterward, but he didn’t want to come back. He hadn’t said goodbye to his only friend Louis. He was the little boy from the block…

Then he visited him.                                                                     

Louis was alive. He still lived in their old family house, with his wife. Ezra felt huge relief. He went to his old friend’s house. When Louis saw him, he couldn’t believe his eyes, and ended up in tears. They hugged each other happily.

Ezra had spent enough time alone; he moved to Louis’s for his last months or weeks (he had lost track of time). He was really old, but he started to learn new things, and he started to get to know his new life and area.

Eventually, his last years (or months or weeks) passed happily, in the new modern world.

The lesson is that, if you live alone and are lonely, even if you survive mentally and physically, you lose a lot.

The Problem with BLM Movements in Hungary

Szabina Tamara Da Cunha Carvalho

In 2020 a renewed wave of protests broke out in the United States with the aim of spreading awareness about social injustices against people of color in the country and bringing about major changes. The massive movements were first provoked by the murder of George Floyd, an African American man suffocated by a police officer’s knee. The case was not unprecedented; however, a video recording was made of the incident and uploaded to the internet. It is not surprising that the visual proof of such a brutal killing shocked and outraged many people, and not only in the States. Movements in support of Black Lives Matter have arisen around the world, including in Hungary. But are they productive?

Black people in America have a history that the country is not proud to look back at. The institution of slavery was only abolished in 1865, after a civil war that took hundreds of thousands of lives, only to be succeeded by a century of strict racial segregation. By 1965 (only 55 years ago) the country finally truly complied with its own constitution, and granted equal laws for all of its citizens, no matter their race. But as one would imagine, transition in practice is not smooth at all. Black people still face discrimination on a daily basis: no equal opportunities in terms of schooling and jobs, lower living standards — not to mention stereotypes and prejudice that are deeply rooted in societies and cannot be eliminated from one day to the next. Oftentimes such prejudice leads to unfair treatment from not only individuals, but also large institutions — like the police.

Now let us look at racism in a much smaller, European country: Hungary. According to a survey conducted in 2016*, about 53% of Hungarians are xenophobic, even though many Hungarians think of their people in general as “vendégszerető”, meaning “loving of guests” and, all in all, welcoming and eager to befriend newcomers. But what if the newcomer is not only a guest, but someone permanently residing in the country? What if this person is planning to steal our job? And most importantly, what if the person’s skin is darker than ours? Well, it is certain that this person is armed with bombs and could blow us up any second. At any rate, that’s what the right-wing government propagated for years during the European migrant crisis. In truth, most Hungarians (outside of Budapest) have not yet encountered people from the Middle East or Africa. So, if a black person were to walk through a village, all eyes would be upon them, but solely out of unveiled curiosity and shock. If a 75-year-old lady were to call them Satan himself, it would most likely be a result of folklore and being of an older generation who has only seen white people. Unless the lady were truly xenophobic, she would probably offer the black person some gulyás and be nice to them, after getting to know them. This is not to say that calling someone the devil and calling them out for their race is acceptable, but such incidents are not worth taking seriously. In contrast, the incoming wave of immigrants to Europe and the surrounding deterrent campaign has had a great impact on Hungarians, hence the drastic shift in the percentage of xenophobic people in the country (moreover, the propaganda was primarily aimed at people of Muslim faith, who are often associated with darker skin colors). Yet even this affects few individuals in Hungary itself.

If we talk exclusively about black people, very few of them choose to live in Hungary, and of those that do, the majority reside in Budapest (not a high number of them here either). Budapest, being the capital and by far the largest city with its two million inhabitants, is far ahead of the rest of the country: a diverse and much more accepting place in terms of ethnicities. Thus discrimination based on origin is uncommon there. The number of non-white, non-Hungarian people in other Hungarian settlements is so small, that institutional differentiation against them is unable to become large-scale or a significant problem, even if the inhabitants are far less tolerant than those in Budapest.

This, however, is absolutely not the case when it comes to the situation of the Roma people. They make up for the largest ethnic minority in Hungary, and everyone is familiar with them. If Hungarians are serious about addressing racism in the country, tackling Roma conditions and relations must be a priority for them.

The BLM movements of the USA have never been greater than this year, and so they had an impact on many other countries with or without black minorities. Protests broke out across Europe as well, and Hungarians soon joined in. In the summer of 2020, about a thousand people gathered for a peaceful demonstration in front of the US Embassy of Budapest. 

The primary aim of the movements is to bring fundamental changes to a faulty system. What was the aim of the Hungarian demonstration? To try to have an impact on the government of the country where it all started, to try to make a change in American politics and everyday life? Or to alter the Hungarian system’s way of treating black people? Naturally, both would be noble goals, though not very achievable, nor—arguably—too relevant to an average Hungarian. A third reason for these gatherings remains the likeliest and most logical possibility: people wanted to show solidarity for the protesters trying to bring actual changes. Thus the “Black Lives Matter” signs and the BLM-themed Artwork in the 9th District—a nice gesture of sympathy. 

So, which of these reasons predominates? The paramount goal of the movements’ participants must not have been the expression of solidarity (after all, many terrible, constant things are present in the world, even closer to us than America, that people do not go on the streets for). So trying to open people’s eyes and making a difference remains as the primary aim. If that is the case, why do these people not protest for the equality of Roma people? Why wouldn’t these people try to help them obtain equality in employment opportunities or, more importantly, help Roma children get proper education, if they are so keen on bringing social justice? Segregation of these kids is an everyday phenomenon in Hungarian education, beginning in first grade, even though it is looked upon by everyone as something normal. How does one acknowledge racism against black people in the United States but not realize how flawed the situation of Roma people in one’s own country is? Speaking in general, Hungarians oftentimes have a reason to be scared of gypsies, as the Roma people have a reputation, often justified, for being uneducated and aggressive. However, this is largely a result of a decades-long marginalization. They often face derogatory treatment from others and are deprived of proper quality education from an early age. A cycle like this is hard to break out of, and so is defying the expectations.

People go around assuming gypsies’ inferiority all day, just to go home and share a post about racial discrimination in the U.S. in their Instagram story and feel proud for “raising awareness”. Here’s the point: Black Lives Matter movements have become something trendy and ubiquitous, something to hop on, something to show how socially aware you are; perhaps most importantly, they are something American. It has become pretentious and attention-seeking to claim to be fighting for social justice, because being a social justice warrior nowadays is just like wearing the most recently stylish outfits: incredibly popular and just a trend. Following a trend with good intent behind it is not harmful — but ignoring actual problems in your own country is.


Ran out of Friends

Alexandra Klaudia Süveges

Max grew up as an only child. His family was average with loving parents; however, he didn’t have any friends, and got bullied all his life. It was the last year of primary school, and he was to choose a high school to continue studying. His only dream was to be an athlete. Sadly, he wasn’t in the best physical condition, but he never gave up. That’s why he applied to an elite sports school. He wasn’t the only one; the best athlete in the whole school had this in mind too.

After school, Max was approached by a tall, blond, spiky-haired guy, his classmate Cason.

“Listen, Max, I don’t get why you’re trying so hard to get in my way, but let me tell you. If you still try to apply to myschool, you will regret it so badly… A weakling like you never can make it.” Sadly, Max almost got his legs broken, but he still applied to that school.

Four years passed with sweat, hard training and bullying again, but their last race was about to begin. The atmosphere was intense between the two of them as they walked to the starting line.

“1…2…3… GO!” They sprinted nearly faster than the speed of sound. They both know this race’s results would define everything: who had grown to be better than the other one. Who was more worthy of being called the best. Suddenly Max got in front of Cason; his eyes sparkled, knowing he could maintain the tempo and that this could lead to a life-changing victory. He was so overwhelmed, this could have meant the most progress in his life, but something crossed his plans. So tiny, useless but deadlyA simple rock. He stumbled upon a rock. Lying on the ground, he saw Cason pass him easily, the last chance of victory gone. Max started hitting the ground as tears were forming on his face, facing the dirt on the ground. 

“Hey idiot, take this!” Cason said, holding out his hand. Was this a trap? What if he wanted to slap him in the face? Could he get help from him after all these years?

“I’m gonna drag you if ya won’t take my hand right now!” So this was not a trap? 

Max reached out and stood up, quickly snapping out of it.

“Why?! Why wouldn’t you leave me behind?!”  Max was shouting at him, it didn’t seem to bother Cason though.

“You thought I wouldn’t play fair? You being able to outrun me… but losing because of a rock… it wouldn’t have been fun to call myself a winner after all.

“I don’t think you can continue the race with this knee… I would feel like a monster if I left you here lying….” He backed down and put Max’s hand to his shoulder, helping him walk.

“You know, after all these years we’ve spent together, seeing you surpass me… it’s incredible. In these twelve years we have grown up together, but recently I saw something different about you.” He sighed as they walked towards the end line.

“What do you mean? I don’t even get why you are helping me now! Leave me behind!” Max freed himself from his helping hand, nearly falling.

“I am talking about how a pathetic loser like you grew up. You know I was trained to be the running champion, I was sent out from morning until dawn to run! I would’ve had to achieve my parents’ dream for them! And when you said you would apply to this school, with such a  weak body, goals, and strength… I got so angry… I was said to be a born talent, but you? You couldn’t even run two kilometers without shoving your back to the ground, but everybody was fine with it. The teachers loved your progress even though it was nonexistent! And on our first race…” Max looked up at Casin, failing to stop the tears in his eyes.


“I am sorry… for… your childhood…” He walked closer to Cason.

“Childhood? Do you know what will I get now, if I cross the line as the second?” Max stepped closer and grabbed him.

They passed the finish line together. Neither one could be a winner, or a loser either.

“You know, I am deeply sorry for how I’ve treated you throughout your entire life, Max.”

Wow, so people can change, huh?”

Challenging Times

Sándor Szakács

It’s a foggy and rainy day, basically a usual autumn day. I was in quite a good mood, as I knew I was going to meet my friends, who I hadn’t seen in a long time, as they had gone to other cities to continue their studies. We planned to sit in a café to have a chat, then roam around a little bit in the city. My day went just as usual. I got on the bus—which of course was crowded—then fortunately found a seat, so I sat down and plugged the earphones in my ears and played some music to which I could doze off until I arrived at the bus stop in front of the school. My day went great until I got a phone call. I looked at the screen and recognized my father’s number. I picked it up.

—Hey,why did you call me?—I asked.

—I have some bad news, as I can hear you haven’t heard it yet.

—What do you mean? What’s the matter?

—Your friend Barna had a car accident in the morning. He was badly wounded.—He stopped for a second, then continued.—He didn’t survive.

At first I couldn’t believe it was true; I thought it was some dark, naughty joke.

—What? If you’re joking,it’s not funny.—But somehow I knew he wasn’t joking; I heard it in his voice.

—I’m sorry.

For a minute neither of us talked; I just stood there in the hallway and tried to find an explanation for what I had heard. I couldn’t, I still can’t until this day. It’s impossible to describe what I felt. The feeling of helplessness and powerlessness.

—If you want to, you can come home and talk it over. Shall I call your class-master?

—Yes—I said slowly—that would be great. Thanks!

On the way home, on the bus, I was wondering whether Ákos and Ricsi—my other friends I would have met today with Barna—knew about the bad news. I hit them up on Messenger; they knew about it too. They were still in shock along with me. When I got home and talked it over with my parents, I felt a little bit better, but it didn’t really make a difference. I came to realize that we start to value our real friends after they are gone. Even after these years, it hurts to think about how many memories we could still have made. 

There’s a Book That Everyone Knows

Petra Varga

There’s a book that everyone knows… The Little Prince. Someone once said, “A characteristic of the classics is that you read them a thousand times and always find something new in them.”

I have been reading this book every year since I was six. I remember our first meeting. It was a total catharsis for me. It made me upset.  I didn’t get answers for my questions. It just ended, and I couldn’t understand that. And that’s the point where everything started. 

I just finished it for the tenth time, and I’m still thinking about it. Its meaning is constantly changing. Year by year…. The choice is in your hand to give your own answers. To think of something else behind it. To create more and more theories.  To change your worldview because of one sentence. Is’t it incredible? It transforms the way you interpret it for yourself, but it is still  a chef-d’oeuvre for anyone anytime.

It forces you to think about life more deeply.

Recently I realised that the book is still the same after this long time.  The thing that changes is not the book, but me….      

Transformation of a Girl

Lilla Kassai

When I was a toddler, I didn’t worry much about my appearance. I loved playing with mud and sand, climbing on trees, and even playing with dolls. I never thought that one day I would look similar to my mom. She looked so different from me.

When I turned eight, I started to hear about things that didn’t sound familiar, for example: menstruation and other stuff for pre-teen girls.

A few years passed, and I turned twelve. Believe it or not, I changed a lot during the past years. I became taller, and I started to lose interest in my dolls, because “they are for babies.” At that time, I couldn’t wait to grow up and be an adult whom their parents can’t tell what to do.

My appearance changed a lot over that time, as well as my attitude towards it. When I was around nine years old, my little tummy started to disappear. The baby fat started to sneak up towards my chest. My breasts started to grow! Most of the girls in my age would start to panic because of it and wear baggy clothes to hide their upcoming curves.  In contrast, I didn’t pretend to hide them; in fact, I was quite proud of the change in my appearance. I was so self-conscious about my tummy and baby fat that I was relieved when my curves started to develop. No more tummy and less baby fat! Finally, I’m going to be beautiful!

There are some disadvantageous changes as well in the life of a pre-teen girl: body hair. If we don’t shave it, we look like freaking werewolves; moreover, most of our parents consider us ”too young to shave our body hair.” Because of this, some pre-teen girls can hear whispers in the locker room before or after P.E. lesson:

“Have you seen Dora? Her armpits are getting hairy.”

The other disturbing factors are period and pimples. Our face can look like a redberry pudding, while our stomach hurts and we’re bleeding all week long. During this process, several hormones intensify and cause us emotional instability. We start to cry for no reason, like a five-year-old. Too bad, isn’t it? From a happy toddler, we turn into emotionally unstable, pimple-headed, sometimes self-hating fools.

After a couple of years, we go to high school. For me, it was like a nightmare at first, because it took me eight years to gain acceptance in my primary school class. Now, I had to do this again, but I had only four years left to make friends, get integrated, and not be hated. I feel my optimism spreading….

In some high schools, society has standards, especially for us girls.  If we dress too girly: we are sluts. If we have many guy friends: we are sluts. If we dress up in a slightly masculine way, because the clothes in the female section are for anorexic topmodels: we will labeled ugly, and have rumours spoken about us. If we lose our virginity: we are SLUTS. If we don’t: we are prudes. Double standards haunt us for eternity. And meanwhile our hormones are stronger then ever. Hello emotional instability and more self-hating, nice to meet you!

Luckily, we can get through this process over time, which means: growing up. I am sixteen years old, so two years from now, I will be considered an adult, and to be honest: I don’t want it. In my opinion, one of my biggest transformations  is that I used to want to grow up, but now I wish I could be a seven-year-old again, sometimes. No responsibility, just some homework from school, and playing. Or even changing a few things: taking karate more seriously, starting to play an instrument earlier and under different conditions, and a lot more. But how it actually went, I can’t regret. I did almost everything as I pleased. I wasn’t forced to take up a hobby, or continue doing one. I just had a happy childhood, and I wish I could live through it again.


Lídia Borbála Szabó

People have never been able to predict the future. They have always had wild guesses, but every expectation could be crushed by the next day. And it still feels different nowadays than it felt before.

About a year ago, Covid-19 started to form within our world. Before the virus, even if I wasn’t perfectly sure, I always had a clue of what my tomorrow would look like. I had an unbreakable timetable of my life. But after the pandemic, we weren’t sure about anything. We didn’t know when we were going to go back to school, when we would see our friends again, whether everything would be okay like they said it would be.

It still feels like everything is unknown. School could be opened up or closed down any day, quarantine could last a week or three months, people could get better or worse. We don’t know anything, just as we didn’t know anything before the pandemic, except that now this feeling has tightened in us.

I always hated change in my life. I love when things are the way I am used to, never changing. And personally, I feel even more uncomfortable than anyone else over not having stable facts that could lead us out of this mess.

Covid-19 brought a transformation into our lives that we didn’t expect; I don’t know if this uncertainty will ever go away and leave us for good. Maybe it will be gone in terms of the virus, but we will always find things questionable.

A Story in the Future

Viktória Kiss

My task is to write a story that takes place in the future. I think it’s the hardest mission I have ever had, because what can I write about that maybe doesn’t exist? Do we really have a future?–because if we continue what we’re doing, I assume there is no hope. Unfortunately people are addicted to a losing game and keep destroying our world. But what is the one thing that would  really make a difference? I don’t feel like there’s one single thing. After all, I still believe that future stories are important. There are two ways I could write an article: I could tell an instructive one or keep talking about what we should do. Maybe I’ll try the first option.

We are in 2222, humans still exist, but they are different from before. They  don’t fight, and they live peacefully. It’s hard to imagine, but it’s true (that’s what they have to do to live). However, people are suffering because of what we did over the centuries. The community doesn’t have much food, half of the animal species have gone extinct. People have to save a lot. That will be the year when we can finally see the clear blue sky. A weak girl is walking on the barren meadow and she sees… she is crying out of happiness. She is running to her great grandmother and hugging her. The girl doesn’t have a mother, because she died of undernourishment. Two days later she asks: Why did we have to wait such a long time? Why did they do this? Why? Please tell me! She cannot answer that.

Ten years later, nature is starting to get better; there are ”new” species. The girl is now a woman; she has children. They ask their mother: Has the world always been so beautiful? Then she says: Listen carefully! Because what i’m going to say right now is so important. Take care of the earth, because if you do not, it will be gone forever this time.

So there is no guarantee that this life is easy, but when the world is going to fall apart, then there is no light to break the dark. We should protect our planet for several reasons: It’s the only home we have, it grounds us (we all need a breath of fresh air every once in a while), it’s a living entity. If we lose or kill animals, humans, plants, they will be gone forever, and there is nothing, there is  nothing we can do that is gonna bring them back. If someone reads this in the future: Protect everything and everybody!