• Break Away

Due to the letter of the professor, I didn’t need to emigrate. As a self-preserving student, I could leave  the country legally. That meant the benefit, I could get back everytime to visit, I wasn’t on the black list. I closed my photo studio forever, left my hopelessly lonely parents and my grandmother in their house. I took the express train called „Wiener Walzer“ (Viennese waltz) and I took only one suitcase and a portfolio of my drawings to the West. I arrived in Vienna in the middle of the night in drenching rain and didn’t know where to go. Nobody with open arms was waiting for me. I didn’t have any friends or relatives there, I was completely on my own. I only knew a little hotel for hungarian people, where I already had stayed once before, but it was booked out. Nevertheless I took a cab and went there. The owner, Hungarian himself, had some mercy with me. I could stay that night, sleeping on wing chairs pushed together. To end up - I stayed in that hotel for the next month. I payed all inclusive up front and got a room without a window, a dark hole next to the common bathroom. There was no furniture either, only a bed to sleep. Sitting on that I wrote every day long letters to my parents and to my grandmother. Suddenly I got bitterly homesick, the temptation of giving up the fight was very big, already now, before it really had started. I hardly had money but I bought a cheap walkman with only one audio cassette, it was one from Garfunkel. I was listening to that for six months and one day, before the walkman broke. The guarantee for it was half a year /of course/. When I saw Garfunkel twentysome years later live in Vienna, he was singing that song as well, and I needed to think why actually I had not bought a new walkman?

ART GARFUNKEL • BREAK AWAY


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