K IS FOR KOMÁRNO, SLOVAKIA AND KOMÁROM, HUNGARY

K

K IS FOR A KLUTZ IN KOMÁRNO, SLOVAKIA AND KOMÁROM, HUNGARY

Miro had arranged to meet her on the Elisabeth Bridge at midday. Before leaving the house he double-checked he had the ring in his jacket. The box caught in his pocket as he pulled it out, he fumbled it, dropping it to the floor and hearing the metal tinkle as the ring rolled across the floor. Five minutes of desperate searching on his knees located the ring, he stuffed it back in the box and left the house behind schedule. At the best of times he was forgetful, clumsy and awkward. The nerves were only serving to exaggerate his inelegant coordination.

Kata checked her outfit in the mirror. Spring had finally arrived, the sun was shining in a clear blue sky, and she had chosen a floral dress to reflect the new season. She tied her dark hair up in a stylish bun and applied a final dab of lip gloss. She kissed her mother on the way out the door, with ‘Boldog Születésnapot,’ ringing in her ears – today she turned eighteen.

Miro made his way through the streets of Komárno towards the river. The Elisabeth Bridge crossed the Danube and joined the border city of Komárno in Slovakia with Komárom in Hungary on the opposite side. Until Czechoslovakia claimed the northern half in 1918, Komárno had been one city. Hungary briefly gained full control in 1938, but since the end of the 2nd World War the Danube had been the division between the two countries and the two halves of the city. In 2007 the border controls on the Elisabeth Bridge were lifted thanks to both countries joining the European Union Schengen Area of free travel. Since then Hungarians and Slovakians have daily crossed between the two sides of the city. It was thanks to this that Miro had been able to meet Kata.

Kata wasn’t sure what her parents would make of her relationship with a Slovakian. They were a conservative, traditional couple, but in Komárom Slovaks and Hungarians had co-existed for centuries. It was more likely that they would object to his being five years her senior and a distraction from her University studies. That was why she had concealed the relationship from them. They had met a year previously. Kata was out with her girlfriends, celebrating the end of term in their usual club. She had been drawn to the shy, gauche senior who was the older brother of one of the girls. She had persisted with the hesitant conversation and eventually unearthed the sweet, sensitive soul hidden underneath the clumsy exterior.

Miro arrived at the bridge on time after hurrying through the streets. It was not a romantic setting. The Danube here was not the idyllic river that passed through Vienna or Budapest, but it was still the Danube. The bridge was part of a highway, with traffic constantly passing in either direction and was functional in appearance, made of iron and painted a muted, dirty green. But it was symbolic of their relationship, a physical bridge between two countries and two halves of one city. Kata was running late as she always was. She worked to Hungarian time they always joked. He reached the centre of the bridge, where the pedestrian path had a small bench, and looked towards the Hungarian side of the river, waiting to see her.

Kata saw Miro standing next to the bench as she neared the bridge. Her spirits rose as they always did when she saw him. She ran the last hundred metres or so, unable to contain the huge smile that spread across her face. They kissed on the border where Hungary and Slovakia met.

Miro pulled away from the embrace. He had to do this just as he had pictured it in his mind or he would falter. ‘Boldog Születésnapot,’ he said, in his halting Hungarian. He had never been able to master the language fluently. They usually conversed in Slovkian or English. He bent down on one knee. Kata realised what her birthday present was to be. She squealed with delight, prepared to let Miro go through his prepared speech. Miro pulled the ring box from his jacket, as he did so it caught in the pocket zip. He pulled hard. The box freed itself, but flipped open. Miro and Kata watched as the ring flew from the box and over the railing. By the time they looked down the ring had disappeared into the Danube below.

Kata saw the look of devastation on Miro’s face. ’The answer is still ’yes,’’ she smiled, ’with or without the ring.’

A passing truck driver beeped his horn at the young couple kissing beside the motorway on the bridge over the Danube, as he left Slovakia behind and entered Hungary.


Written as part of The A to Z Challenge 2018. Click HERE for more details of the challenge.

Each day in April we will visit a different town or city in the European Union, whose name will begin with the letter of the day – today it’s two countries for one with the border city of Komárno/Komárom in Slovakia and Hungary – for a story based on a theme also corresponding to the same letter.

Over the course of the month and 26 stories, we will visit all 28 member countries to complete a farewell tour before Britain leaves the political union next year, touching on the history, politics, culture and people at the heart of Europe.

For a full list of stories and places visited, visit here: THE A TO Z CHALLENGE 2018.

101 responses to “K IS FOR KOMÁRNO, SLOVAKIA AND KOMÁROM, HUNGARY”

  1. Bridges, in European countries, or else where as well, sound so very romantic. Even though you have said its a thoroughfare, by the end of the story it feels very special.

    https://lonelycanopyblog.wordpress.com/2018/04/11/ki-mansion-in-kochi/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, glad you got that feeling of romance 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! Iain nothing could have been more romantic. We often here of moon dreaming men kneeling down in front of beautiful damsels and proposing in the most romantic ways possible. But this was refreshingly different. Good for you. The flowing Danube added to the romantic tale. Here is my K post

    K is for Father Kirsten Who Knew Quiet A Bit – #A2Z2018

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, nice to do something a little lighter today 🙂

      Like

  3. I am enjoying your short stories for this challenge. They have very interesting settings and unique characters.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Kim, need to pop over to your blog and catch up on your latest posts too.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh no! The ring!!!!🙂Beautiful romantic comedy, Iain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Moon, nice to do something a bit lighter for a change 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I knew he would drop the ring into the river! But a sweet story nevertheless.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was inevitable, but that was part of his charm 🙂

      Like

  6. Well, I’m glad she still said yes. 🙂 This was very sweet.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Of course, how could she not 🙂

      Like

  7. Nice romantic story, and a lovely underlying message of lifted borders with communities coming together again via the bridge.

    A-Zing this year at:
    FictionCanBeFun
    Normally found at:
    DebsDespatches

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Debs, that was the idea, and another one to link back to the impending Brexit and what the creation of a border means.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh such a warm, sweet romance. Great job!! A wonderful example of true love. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You are very welcome.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Awwe, such a cute love story of cross-border love, which could have been possible only in a borderless Europe. Wish the Brexiters had read this before voting. Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep, my feelings exactly. Glad you liked the story.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. This is such a beauty Ian – and the history of the bridge blended in well. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This was a very atmospheric piece. The way the bridge is described forms a great location for the story. Good one, Iain

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Varad – the bridge was the main character in this story 🙂

      Like

  12. Too bad about the ring. Bet it set him back quite a bit. Glad she still said yes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What’s money or a ring when he has found his true love 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Once they’re married, I promise you she’s going to worry about their budget.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. So cold-hearted James, where’s your romantic side gone? 🙂

          Like

  13. Good to see the Mills and Boon in you make an appearance Iain! A delightful tale sir.

    I’m not sure he was, but hey-ho! I’ve got a horrid feeling you are going to hear about a lunch party I held that didn’t go quite as planned!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Iain, I’m not sure how that footnote appeared there, Sorry. It was obviously something to with Rosey hijacking my computer this morning!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. She is a meddler 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Thanks Keith (and Rosey?)

      Liked by 1 person

  14. True love transcends the boundaries! With or without ring was best indicative of whole hearted acceptance.
    Loved this mushy romantic tale.
    Ian, after reading 12 posts so far, I must say, you have been a great history and geography teacher to me! Hahaha!!! Will never forget all these places and tales around them !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Anagha, that is so kind. I hope you will enjoy the 2nd half of our journey as much! 🙂

      Like

  15. Very nice. Young love is so charming! And this gives new meaning to the term ring toss. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, it certainly does. Thanks Deborah 🙂

      Like

  16. Beautiful scene setting, Iain. Sad about the ring that cannot be replaced with pocket change. They have a proposal story now to share for the rest of their lives. Happy for their future together.

    I have gotten behind in reading. I need to go back and catch up on your posts that I have missed. Love your writing and your theme.

    Emily In Ecuador

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Emily, it is difficult to keep up, but my posts aren’t going anywhere so plenty of time to catch up 🙂

      Like

  17. Great story to tell the grandkids. Thanks Iain for a nice start to my day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome Janet.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. I was holding my breath, waiting for disaster. I’m so glad it was merely the loss of the ring 🙂
    http://findingeliza.com/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No disaster in today’s story, tomorrow however…!

      Like

  19. Such a beautiful tale! Dreamy bridges! Of course she says yes!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Your sweet story has warmed the cockles of this hopeless romantic’s heart Iain. So thank you.
    From the time you mention Kata pinning up her hair in a bun, I felt I was in the land of O’Henry’s ‘Gift of the Magi’ and I kept hoping for a happy ending for the two lovers, couldn’t wait to read to the end fast enough. Phew!
    Really like this phrase: inelegant coordination
    And
    the way you’ve woven the history and the geography of this fascinating part of Europe into the fabric of a tender love story.
    K is for Katara

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Arti, so kind of you. Glad I could give you a bit of romance! 🙂

      Like

  21. How delightful. I remember…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s always time for more romance 😉

      Like

  22. Sweet love story. Glad his being a klutz didn’t mar the sentiment for her.

    Stu
    Tale Spinning
    https://stuartnager.wordpress.com/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s part of his charm 🙂 Thanks Stu

      Like

  23. He is a true klutz! It is a sweet and romantic story but you know they will have hurdles to cross since her family may frown on this union. Very nicely written story

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Birgit, hopefully love will win through 🙂

      Like

  24. I love light-hearted romantic stories. I enjoyed it thoroughly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, I don’t write much romance, but it is nice to have a lighter change 🙂

      Like

  25. That’s an awesome story to tell the grandkids 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Young love “bridging” differences. What a sweet story. Weekends In Maine

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, glad you liked it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Very sweet! I’ve seen a romantic proposal right here in Melbourne. A few people were standing by the tram stop late one night when one of those tourist-type horse drawn open carriages drove past, with a young man on one knee holding an open engagement ring box. I couldn’t resist – I called out, “Congratulations!” and the others at the stop cheered. I bet they remember that proposal all right! 😉

    Hungarian time, eh? Well, I do Jewish time, myself, and I was chatting once with a Sudanese colleague who told me about Sudanese time, which drove him crazy whenever he was trying to organise a community meeting. Must be a thing for everyone! I told my friend he should handle it the way we do, by giving people a time an hour earlier than we expect them to turn up.

    K Is For Robin Klein
    https://suebursztynski.blogspot.com.au/2018/04/a-to-z-blogging-challenge-2018-k-is-for.html

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sue. How very romantic 🙂 Time is all relative anyway, everyone should just be allowed to go at their own pace!

      Like

  28. What a beautiful story brilliantly told. When Miro fumbled with it at the start I thought, oh man, be careful with that. But I am so glad Kata said yes the way she did!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Annie, you think he would have learned! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  29. Lovely story. I like them meeting in the middle of the bridge. But he sure is clumsy with that ring! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Part of his charm, I wonder if she’ll grow tired of it in the years to come! Thanks Sascha.

      Like

      1. Probably if he does that with the baby 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  30. I have been there many times! (Our university excavation is just outside Komárom). Nice story! 🙂

    The Multicolored Diary: Weird Things in Hungarian Folktales

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope I did it justice. The trouble with writing about places I haven’t been is that people who read the stories have been there! 🙂

      Like

  31. Awwww! No love for the bling! lol

    What a sweet story, they seem like such a cute couple. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Love will overcome, and he can buy her another ring! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  32. Thank you, Google! Boldog Születésnapot, is Happy Birthday 🙂

    Too bad about the ring, but frankly, it was bound to happen!
    Great story chosing two cities with almost identical names just across the bridge from each other.

    I was in Budapest once and Vienna many times, and thanks to Mr Strauss, the Danube has in fact some romantic touch to me.

    Happy Weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, Vienna may crop up later in the alphabet! I had 28 countries to fit into 26 stories so a couple of them had to cover 2 countries, border cities and towns always make for good stories, glad you liked it.

      Liked by 1 person

  33. Awwww. Sweet! Miro found the right girl!
    ———-
    Gail Park
    Making Life an Art

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They were made for each other 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  34. Wow! This is so very romantic! I love how this shaped up! Great writing Iain!

    Liked by 1 person

  35. 💟Touching story! Beautiful setting.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. A great story set up in a heavenly place 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Poor Miro! I couldn’t help but laugh at his clumsiness. However Bridges, no matter where is one of my favorites settings for romance!
    Love that she said YES!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Johanna, glad that you liked it 🙂

      Like

  38. I absolutely loved this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Frances, a little bit of romance 🙂

      Like

  39. That ending was so totally in character. Really sweet story.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Hehehehe, poor Miro. Clumsiness got the better of him. But the story was so sweet and romantic. Cute little romance. And thank you for that information on Komarom!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re very welcome, thank you for the kind comment 🙂

      Like

  41. The names of the places are similar, so I guessed they shared a past. Sad that the ring had to fall into the Danube, but love is better without materialistic possessions, so glad that Mira and Kato are going through with their love for each other. Breathtaking picture!

    Liked by 1 person

  42. Great story as always, glad it had a happy ending! As a Hungarian I selfishly hoped for a separate story but you chose a great setting to show a part of our common history. Great job!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, yes, to fit in all 28 countries in 26 stories a couple of countries had to share a post, I hope you’re not too upset! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  43. The course of love rarely runs true, and a bobbled ring is realistic. I really enjoy how you bring the reality of your settings into the stories. The Danube is definitely a character in this vignette.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Elizabeth, it is certainly a river that is involved in a lot of history.

      Like

  44. Gorgeous. You left us guessing all the way as to whether they would meet and whether she would say yes, so the sweet end is all the more rewarding.
    I hope that ring didn’t cost poor Miro a fortune.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sure he will think it worth it even though it is lost. Thanks Sarah Ann, glad you liked it.

      Like

  45. Very sweet. I always love to hear about nice people finding each other!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s nice to have a simple happy story sometimes 🙂

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: