Anxiety for finding the right place – illustration

If you are Hungarian, it is almost inevitable to be concerned about “having a good place” for yourself. This atavistic, unique Hungarian dread is so natural that it is rarely even realised because of being part of people’s soul.

According to, everyone pretends that they do not care about the situation, and they stand with a condescending smile – in the meantime, they carefully observe everything around them. Cunning – or rather pathetic. 

To get a deeper understanding of this feature, take a look at some examples of the thinking mechanism of Hungarian people: 

  • At the local doctor’s office, you should always stand right at the door not to let the other guy enter the room before you.
  • We should hurry up because we will have full lanes at the swimming pool.
  • We must hurry because we will not be able to sit next to each other on the bus/train/plane (even if there are reserved seats).
  • Go ahead and reserve a seat for me at the concert.
  • They are paying at that table. Let’s go there quickly before anyone else gets to it.
  • Do not forget to leave in time for Sziget Festival, son, otherwise, you will stand in line till the end.
  • We should arrive at the beach early to have a good place.
  • Hey mate! Reserve a parking place for me till I arrive. Okay, if there is no other, just take it…
  • I want a good place at the concert to see the singer. 
  • Don’t push me, bastard! I’m queuing for banana as well. 

When did this distress (about “it won’t be good for me”) form in Hungarian people’s soul? Around the time of the Conquest of the Carpathian Basin?

Yes! I managed to get ahead just by an ant’s size. I am so slick! Success! The key is not to make eye contact with anyone nearby while we are pressing our way towards the door inconspicuously. This is the most important thing in Hungary.

You can read about the mainstream Hungarian fictional characters in cinemas here and here


1 comment
  1. I’m pretty sure this is a universal human trait. Have you ever taken a flight and as soon as the plane lands the aisle fills with people who have to stand there and wait for several minutes so they can rush off the plane before the others still in the seats? Surely they are not all rushing to catch other flights. But if one person does it, the others think he knows something I don’t know and they all rush out to fill the aisle. I sit in my seat until the aisle clears. It is rationality over the herd mentality.

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