Tag Archives: tax

A letter to any listener

A letter to any listener

Hi there

How are you? How’s tricks? How’s the family, or not? How now brown cow! Any news? Well, apart from the usual nonsense…

[Blah blah blah]

Anyway, as for the teaching regulations I seem to have avoided their web for another while and am still in the white as far as invoicing goes but it’s becoming more and more difficult. If the companies are spooked then rather than jump through the legal hoops they’ll just jump ship. As far back as 2011 there was a change in the law which meant that companies to whom I issued invoices had to cover my health insurance payments. A funny thing about it was that in some cases this seemed not to be true, while others, believing the initial rumours, wanted instead to pay me in black. Two years on the companies that stayed with me have had no trouble so whatever shadow had passed over in those dark ’11s had dissipated…only to loom much larger as of Sept 1st this year…when, indeed, the law stated much more specifically that people of my disposition, the idiots-for-honesty, were most definitely dis-entitled to issue invoices with the trademark “nyelvoktatás” code. Instead in a frantic scramble for legitimacy another existing code was sought out and came in the guise of “egyéb oktatás”. That there is a clear distinction between the two is obvious in the way of spelling, and may even be supported semantically, but to say that what I actually do has gone from being “language” teaching to “other” rings of something sinister. I see myself in a coutroom some time down the line pleading innocence in the light of allegations of some newly contrived perversion as distinguished by an ever-enlightening-ruling-elite (the word government ringing too much of communist ideologies by that time). That my case will hinge on the ominous term “other education” will certainly be my downfall and as I am dragged away by my oppressors I will rage loudly and invoke the honest Hungarians now resident in Slovakia (and other Trianon treated regions) who at once in a darker past woke one morning to find themselves strangers in a strange land, and note that in my own demise I may take heart that I am not alone. A man made criminal, a man made foreigner, in my case to the profession that I once purported to be be qualified to do.

For now I do bid you adieu.

Martin of the Magyars


Swimming against the flow

APEH office again
Soul donations


There is a house in New Orleans, there may even be a hotel in California, but if there is any sense to be made of any of this try NAV, post-APEH, Budapest.

When I first tempted the threshold I turned and fled and if only I had listened to these base first instincts, and stayed the hell away, but as the man said, there are only two certainties in life, Death and Taxes, and here I am fighting the mortal battle while playing to my idiocies as a semi-honest man. On one of the hottest days on offer, topping 40c, I find myself in the foyer (!) of the Kertesz utca NAV office, the shade is welcome even if the air-conditioning comes in the way of the coolness exuding from the security man’s tub of ice-cream.

Ticket to hand and my number called I go delving into the mystery finding within a beast of a machine set in the middle of the room freshening up the interior. If this is hell, well, apart from the seeming shabbiness, it isn’t at all bad but I’m aware of the old adage – don’t judge a book by its cover – but as with previous experiences my temptation to explode into a rage is mostly down to my lack of understanding ( so that’s why there are so many conflicts in the world!). Again the lady borders on the edge of Job, patience tested by my continual expressions of “Nem ertem”. Now where people criticise the office staff at any tax branch anywhere in the world I have to come to their defence and say – listen it’s a bullshit job working for bullshit consecutively corrupt governments, and having to deal with people’s discontent day to day. Noone wants to pay taxes, not even administrators I imagine, but it is not their fault that the system has the average Joe running ragged. They are not the financial consultants, policy drafters, the experts credited with calamity. They have been duly employed to offer the buffer between the people and the shit (as are politicians but more on that later) and if shit floats then we, the hapless taxpayers, are face down in the deep-end with the same civil servants stepping on our backs to climb up. The problem is, they, too, are caught in the chaos and are being swept away on the whim of the bastards floating on top, who seer in the light while their putrid stink rises. In the sewers the rats don’t bother to dress smartly. On the oceans of power the stink of corruption is a badge of honour and up there nobody needs to hide who they really are. It’s just us, the drowners, who feel compelled to play with masks while casting accusations. “Oh they’re corrupt!” we scream but on the filter of leagues this merely bubbles to the top as another unanswered request. To them who reside there this is redundantly pretty. They are not fishermen, not interested in the depths and so we may pilfer our happiness for the remnants of hope, ordering this energy into another ream of hot-air-rising.

Redundantly pretty. That’s all. And just in case you thought it could change – remember we all stink up there so take heed and grow gills. Stop trying to support them with the banality of our existence.

On that note let’s remove ourselves to election time, and those moments when the bigger fishes* drop low to ‘dirty’ their filthy hands with the propostioning of the electorate. I say fishes here because they are not the boatsmen, merely the bait, ironically. They have only the capacity to aspire. Up where they are it’s brighter and closer to the stink…

What says you? Cast in the darkness with justice abounding or on a cruise conscious of the depths of depravity beneath? Trick question! If you’re up there you’re not thinking down here. But let me realign…

Come election time, come the chance not to change and revolt; toppling, sinking and rising on the crest of a new wave – this at best is just the inversion of power. The only true revolution allows for the acceleration of decadence and the collapse into the depths of everything. Only from the ground can we build a foundation and this is the flaw of everything. If you truly despise the system destroy everything it ever represented, represents, and will have the potential to represent. To allow tit-bits to favour you is to allow the germination once again of the festering seed, or rather to kill the daffodil but leave the bulb. And please, I don’t want to hear the “but that’s such a pretty flower”. If you’ve missed the analogy drink cyanide – one less dope when all comes to pass. In the real revolution the pretty, the ugly, the insane, the destitute, the intelligent, criminals, addicts, fools, the best, the worst, shall all be considered first as this – equal! And from that premise we must then move forward rationally towards a better society. Nothing is for the betterment of humanity if it doesn’t include all humanity**.

Ah, but I may have strayed. So apart from the bad news conveyed by her, the lady in APEH, now NAV, that I dealt with was a sweetheart, a darling. She even had the gall to compliment my Hungarian. Now that took courage. In truth I understand more than I once used to*** but please, no more compliments, no, oh you shouldn’t have…OH, you didn’t!

Leaving Kertesz utca and strolling into Pertu Cafe on Dob utca, I have indeed found a rhythm, a rhythm increasingly indicative of the understanding of my position. Unless I want to be drawn into immorality I must strengthen myself against the temptation, and even when those around me may fall victim to the aesthetic, I must be strong enough to enjoy life on my terms. As we in the drowning department are under the illusion that our voice matters, them in their boats in that stinking hell hole up yonder are also deluded into thinking we really care.

Choose not to care about them and one day they’ll have to submerge themselves deep enough that they shall really be in our domain. Until then, civil servants beware. You are test subjects till the cowards come along.

Viva la revolucion…whichever one you may choose.

*  Fishes as a plural can exist and whereas it may usually be defined as the different species rather than the number of individuals it has its biblical usage in the Miracle of the Loaves and the Fishes, so there!

** Your Honor, years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind then that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it; and while there is a criminal element, I am of it; and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.

My Site

*** “Alas, how terrible is wisdom
when it brings no profit to the man that’s wise!
This I knew well, but had forgotten it,
else I would not have come here.” Sophocles

My Site



Saint Jude’s

Utterly hopeless


The tram that runs through the heart of Pest is the Combino, a worm like creature that betrays it owners by such description, and I’m under no illusions about people power; this is the government’s toy on loan to us and at any time available to be removed. When first purchased it couldn’t be held on the tracks so these had to firstly be reinforced. Now I’m loath to suggest that this was a lack of foresight on local government’s part. Call me cynical, but for me the idea of sensible thought at all was absolutely secondary to profit. There is little urban planning that is purely altruistic. Sometimes there is on offer more than lip-service but this is partially due to a significant lobby. Here in Budapest the Critical Mass gang may have had some hand in coercing the coffers of the local politicians (taxpayers money actually) but in Ireland, at least Cork, even that was presented almost as a pie in the face. The half arsed attempt to create bicycle lanes there was insulting.

Now a few pretty laneways in Budapest for our two-wheeled compatriots doesn’t amount to a victory if looked at from the greater perspective – the Combino again. After ‘readjusting’ the tracks it was soon realised that, well, in the summer these metal corridors of transportation stink of body odour (b.o./ be oh!) and coupled with the intense heat generated they were a punishment. My times in the confessional were a Funfair in comparison but, of course, on the latter issue I was one of the lucky ones!

“Bless me Father (!) for I have sinned…”

“Haven’t we all, my boy, haven’t we all!”

“Really Father now what have you…”

Not to have taken the initial plunge into the funds and bought the air-conditioned versions WAS money-saving but in the long term money-wasting. Installing air-conditioning into these models later would prove much more expensive than the first outing, and maybe even less efficient functionally speaking.

Dumb? Yes, if you thought they’d been thinking but let’s be honest, they hadn’t, they aren’t, and they never will, at least not when it comes to us. To accuse them of erroneous judgement is to attribute to them a humanity that is laughable. And all this without one mention of the Metro 4. Good God! Good luck!!!

Mistaken again

Bloody travel agent! Overbooked us again it seemed. It wasn’t the first time I assure you. I’d once spent 6 months in a hotel in Guantanamo, Cuba. I’d only booked myself in for a fortnight but as luck, or misfortune, would have it, I’d gotten the extra 6 months cost free. Admittedly being as it was still a communist country, being exploited from bottom to top by a cruel, tyrannical government, I took my chances, didn’t put a hand up, for fear of attracting too much negative attention.

This time,however, I was quite surprised. I was in Central, what used to be Eastern, Europe, and as far as I knew the Red Dusk had gone. The sun had risen again on a fledgling democracy, and with it the promise of change. Well I’ll tell you this, and I’ll be quite frank; what a farce! The service was non-existent, the faces all too non-expressive. Szomorú vasarnap? Szomorú every other day!

All my queries met with blank faces; all my worries, not allayed, were bolstered. I was in the proverbial dog’s dirt. I mean…well, let me tell you what I mean.

I’ve been here…where’s here? Well, it’s my room, at least that’s what it says on my ticket that I received at reception; why no key? You can go figure. There was a number! What you may be inclined to ask, was the number. I’ll tell you. I’m not one to shy away from such questions. Room 404. Room 4 oh ’expletive removed’ 4. I mean, I’m not a numerologist but where in any books does it suggest that the  configurement of a 4 followed by a 0 followed by a 4 implies chaos. I mean, I’ve known disorder, but Jesus this is chaos. I feel like I’ve been led into the inner mechanics of a dictionary defintion and that this is in itself, unashamedly…TURMOIL.

God, I don’t like to complain, usually, but this is beyond border-line ridiculous. What I mean to say is that on opening the door to what I considered to be my dwellings, if I take a literary, academic phrasing, I found all sorts of mayhem ensuing. I mean, and God knows I’m being repetitive, I found unholy hell, a mess that could only be defined as ’mess’s much more topsy turvy-cally inclined, wiser, eccentric uncle. I’d discovered pandemonium, a word I’ve only now so confidently pronounced.

Christ if only it were a coffee stain on a rug, if only it were the crumpled sheets on the bed where a hasty post-cleaning coitous took place, preferably between two of the prettiest females of the staff. Whatever a deluded mind may search for in terms of solace, it does not here reside.

What I’ve found instead is worse than hotel room depravity, it’s utterly contemptable. I’m even nauseous in elucidating upon this matter. How horribly naive I was to assume change. There is nothing here but the ’Pig to man, man to pig’ analogy. Nothing, I swear nothing, has changed!

Privacy: non-existent. I’d heard about the KGB agents in Russia but this borders on the surreal post surreal. I’d heard about land sharing but I didn’t think that it extended quite so far as this. I’d heard about adjustment, and that I was, according to my guide-book, supposed to roll with the punches, but come on! One cannot reasonably be expected to suddenly change without some repercussions. I, myself, was unwilling to admit that any of this was true. How could it be, I mean, how could I, having sincerely asked at reception for a room, accepting the base confusion, tolerating the utter misinterpretation, still be expected to arrive at my room, a room with a door by the way with two glass panels, not very private, and on entering, only to find a troupé, and I choose my words succintly, cos these must have been in an actor’s guild, a travelling circus, or another…well, how could I have been expected to keep my cool. I tried, I really did, but finally I moved towards what could only be described as a hatch, like in a public building, a place to throw questions and build frustrations, and with a fury of such an occasion I braced myself.

„Excuse me,” I said to a lady conveniently on the other side of this partition,

„Excuse me!”

She looked up, said something, then continued to write.

„Excuse me…” I implored and this time she set her pen down.

„Yes…” she invited, even this being heavily accented.

„Is this Room 404?”

„Yes” she replied, „Do you have a ticket?”

I did and I gave it to her.

„Take a seat”

I did but didn’t know why I should. I’d paid for this room…except I couldn’t remember having done so.

A number came up on the board: „206”. I looked up, in a daze. I let my eyes fall on my ticket-„207”. Well at least I’m next, I proffered, to nobody in particular. I fidgeted, let my legs bounce…


„Hello, I’ve booked a room.”

„Name and tax number, please?”


„Name and tax…”

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