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  • Writer's picture Kester Eddy

KesterTester 20 - Woman at Window, Budapest, 1993

Updated: Dec 29, 2020

This can't be any old housing block facade, and it isn't. That would be unfair. - UPDATED

So where is it?

As a clue, I'll tell you that I'd bet 75% of tourists to Budapest have seen this facade, though perhaps more from below. And it's been renovated meanwhile, of course, so looks much better than in this photo. As for the lady: I expect her descendents rent out the flat, at least in pre-Covid days, and for a fair old penny.

I'd say this is a tough one, meant for the very observant - the hard core Budapest specialist. There again, I've been wrong before. Last week's telephone pic has proved remarkbly difficult, much to my surprise. I'll post the answers to that here tomorrow. Apologies for that, and for not yet updating the Romanian Revolution story - these things take time, and I've been for a much needed walk with a friend in the City Park. (I'm getting out of condition.)

So get thinking on this one: at least that will use up a few of those Christmas lunch calories you've ingested.

UPDATE: I think this KT20 is going to be difficult, so, soft-heart that I am, I'll give yet another clue: The woman, assuming she's lived in the flat for some years, would have probably seen films being shot when looking out of her window on more than one occasion - though I don't think they could do that today, as it would cost the film maker too much.

UPDATE2: Since this one has foxed even the best so far, I shall have to get even softer and offer another clue. This facade is one of a series, perhaps five or six (I'm not sure) all of the same dimensions, at least externally (not sure about the internal layouts, never been inside one).

Now - the Results of KesterTester 19 - What Colour was the Phone Box, and What did that Signify?

I must say, setting these Testers reveals an amazing variety in what people remember and what not. I thought the memory of this kind of phone would be seared into the brain (as it is mine) by those that experienced the time of these phones, but in most cases, seemingly not.

Let's start with the ancilliary questions: two people identified the man in the booth - Tom Chilton and Des McGrath - who spotted for one-time journalist Steven Carlson, co-founder of Budapest Week in 1991, and later IT entrepreneur.

I don't know how this happened, I think I must have met Steve on the street by chance and asked him to use the phone for the pic, because I knew they were on the way out. Des McGrath even guessed the street correctly - this was taken at Astoria, across the road from the East-West Centre on Rákóczi út - you can just make out the image of that office block in the pic. I shall have to buy Des a beer for that one!

As for the colour of the phone box encasing the electical gubbins, this proved tough.

Back then, there were two colours used - yellow, which was the more common, and red. Perhaps five people said the box was red, but all had forgotten what this meant, except this week's unique winner. Take a bow and prepare for stardom ...... Shajjad Rizvi!

Shajjad wrote: "Ha - red ones for international calls - use to feed them 20 Ft coins in the early 90s to call Blighty. I lived in Szentandre in 1990 and they had about 5 red boxes around the town (also the best ice cream place in Hungary)."

Indeed, I think the yellow boxes only took (old) Ft 2 and I think Ft5 coins - Ft 20 was 'real money' still at the time.

Steve Soley (who answered Red! but then said it meant "emergency" obviously studied the photo and asked: What did ÁFOR stand for? I don't know, Steve - possily Állami (State) something? Perhaps an older reader may know that one.

OK, good luck with KT20 - I might have to add another clue if the extra tid-bit doesn't help.

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