September 24th, 2008

Mid-Week Briefing: Hungarian Lamborghini Drivers Unconcerned by Global Financial Crisis


The big news since last Wednesday has obviously been the savage, no-lube fisting of “ongoing turbulence” in international financial markets. But what’s interesting is that, as of yet, the crisis doesn’t seem to have anyone in Hungary particularly freaked. In perhaps the most succinct expression of official non-panic over the situation, last week the vice president of the National Bank of Hungary said that neither Hungarian consumers nor the market needed to worry about events abroad. Which is no doubt true, assuming you’re the person who owns the €180,000 Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder (above) we saw burrowed into a choice VIP spot in front of the National Bank the other day. []

  • Police apprehended a 53-year-old man who vandalized an ATM in Oroszlány. The man claimed the machine didn’t respond when he pushed a button, so he removed the plastic cover and broke the glass screen, causing Ft 400,000 in damages. Unfortunately for him, he didn’t break the camera, which allowed the police to identify and capture him the same day. []
  • An 89-year-old pensioner defied all stereotypes about our city’s retirees being money-grubbing grumpy old goats by donating his life’s savings of Ft 30 million (€125,000) to a children’s hospital in Budapest. On the other hand, the story also defies all stereotypes about our local pensioners being hard up for cash. []
  • A garbage truck ran over and killed a 16-year-old boy while it was backing up on Páskomliget utca in Budapest’s District XV at around 7:30 on September 24. Police are investigating the circumstances of the accident. []
  • Two human skulls were found in a dumpster in Salgótarján on September 23, the Nógrád County Police reported. A medical expert said the skulls belonged to people who had died decades earlier, and there was no sign of violence on them. Okay. []
  • One fuck-lucky gambler took home €12.3 million, thanks to state lottery company Szerencsejatek “pick-six jackpot.” []
  • A passenger on Budapest’s Tram 6 fell ill and died near Blaha tér on September 24 before an ambulance could arrived to see what was bugging them. Trams on the line were replaced by buses between 7:20 and 7:41, suggesting that if you croak on the No. 6 you can probably expect to be on your way within 20 minutes, which seems pretty good given the traffic these days. []
  • The Hungarian government will move its ambassador to Kenya to Georgia, and to move its ambassador to Georgia to Kenya. []
  • A 21-year-old man died when he drove his car into a ditch on Route 85 late on the night of September 22. The driver was speeding and not wearing a seat belt, and the force of the impact catapulted him through the back windshield. []
  • A 57-year-old man drowned in a drainage channel in Darnózseli after the local búcsú (“farewell”) festivities on September 14. Relatives reported his disappearance to police, but it was his family who eventually found his body. []
  • A 60-year-old man punched a female ticket inspector in the face on a train heading from Nagykanizsa to Budapest on September 18. When the woman had asked for his ticket, he refused to hand it over, probably because he didn’t have one. She told him he had to get off at the next station and then he hit her. []
  • A young man vandalized a train out of revenge after he was asked to de-train for riding without a ticket. The 18-year-old passenger was sitting on a train at the Debrecen station when an inspector asked for his ticket. He didn’t have one, so he was asked to leave. He did, but before he ran away, he threw a rock at the train, breaking a window. []
  • A stork nest built on top of an electric pole caught fire in Felsőrajk, Zala County, on September 18, probably because of a short-circuit. The “residents” had left for Africa for the winter, so no smoked stork sticks for the kiddies. []
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