As expected, the government here in Hungary have introduced swingeing new measures to halt the spread of coronavirus, the biggest ones being a ban on entering the country from Italy, Iran, China and South Korea, and restrictions at the Austrian and Slovenian borders. Universities will hold remote classes, whilst making false statements about viral infection could result in prosecution. Employees have been asked to work from home where possible.
For life within Budapest though, it’s the ban on public events of 100 people (indoor) and 500 people (outdoor) that will have the biggest day-to-day effect for us sociable go-getter types, especially those without family here.
While I aspire to be cultured gent, give me a beer festival and football and I’m happy as the proverbial swine in its own feculence. So this weekend we headed over to deepest darkest Kőbánya (that’s Budapest’s notorious District X) to visit the Mad Scientist Brewery Party.
With no league win in six and a managerial firing, I have to say I wasn’t expecting much from the home team in this one. Ceglédi lay just a place and a few points below Vasas and had won two of their last three. They also have a kit that demostrates what an Ikea international team would wear. Surely they saw a chance to take a big scalp against a side lacking confidence and in freefall down the league table.
One of the unfair things about dipping into a team’s story is that you don’t get the whole sense of things. Take Tamás Vaskó for example. I’d never really given him a second thought before this season. I now know he was a Vasas youth product and played for Bristol City for a bit. I know also that he’s the definition of a journeyman (12 clubs in his career, barely time to paint the bathroom). I know that he has one of those slicked-back mohican hairdos that immediately unravel into a wet duck’s arse on the football pitch. I know that he’s a committed tackler and seems to be one of the few players who’s consistently given his all this season for the team…
The stop-start nature of Vasas’ season continues since my last blog entry. A couple of wins, a couple of draws and a continuing tendency to throw games away means Vasas remain stuck in sixth place in the NBii. They’re also more than a clear win behind Zalaegerszeg and Gyor in the two promotion places.
It’s been a month since I’ve been to a Vasas game due to a combination of holidays and away games (I love you Nyíregyháza Spartacus, but I’m not travelling 142 miles to see you play), and things have been slowly grinding to a halt on the Vasas promotion train. A run of 4 straight draws has somehow not precipitated a massive slide down the table due to the unpredictable nature of NBII results, but the 8 goals shipped in those games is a worry.
Due to a visit to Slovakia I’m going to absent myself from not one but TWO Vasas home games this week (the only midweek of the season – bah!). Thankfully they should be the only two I miss.
To fill in some more backstory about the club I’m following, I’d like to post this article by Alfie Potts Harmer of the ace In Bed With Maradona blog. You see Vasas were not always a struggling Second Division side, at one point they were all-conquering, winning the Hungarian League six times in the ’60s and – amazingly – going undefeated in TWENTY-FIVE YEARS of pre-season European tours.
Although I was only planning to go to Vasas’ home games this year, there are a few local away games coming up and I couldn’t resist the chance to jump on the tram – metro – bus combo that leads to Budafok in the south-west of Budapest.