This post box at the Budapest airport is out of place not once but thrice.
1. It’s in English at a Hungarian airport, in a country that’s not exactly anglophobe but keeps the language away from every-day life. Here, the movies get dubbed, the books get translated, the kids are not taught English enough.
2. It’s a remnant of an old time when it took effort to share one’s thoughts in writing – so one took care of them. We shaped them carefully, gave them weight and meaning, we caressed them before letting them go, dropping them into a box like this. Oh, that feeling of getting a letter prepared with such care, filled with such richness! The nervous excitement of watching the postman bringing us treasures, with parts of our loved ones’ souls. It’s far from today’s obsessions with speed and brevity, even if those have advantages, too.
3. Its vivid red is in contrast with the greyness of its surroundings. It’s not just the colour of the walls, it’s also their invisibility. We look through them – to our destination or starting point but the airport itself is not important. It’s just means to an end. Or to a new beginning.
It’s where we can (and do) numb ourselves with the worst of civilisation: shopping for unneccessary (and sometimes borderline useless) luxuries, it’s where we drink when we’re not thirsty, eat when we don’t need it, stand on a moving pavement when we’re not in a hurry. It’s where we queue even though we’ve got our seat numbers, where we get annoyed even though we’re part of a miracle – and not just because we’re about to fly through air at the height of thousands of meters in a metal box but also because we are actually able to go away for holiday or business leaving our home behind.
Ask your parents, grandparents: was it this natural for them? Ask the millions who barely survive right now, right under where you might fly: what trips are they planning? We, who can afford it, are all actually out of place at the airport – just like this red post box. Its obvious, striking colour is swallowed up by its bland environment, like our own wonder by the colourblind every-days. It’s how we end up being like shadows of each other despite of our vibrant soul-colour.
Hear the whisper of this post box: be loud red, be thoughtful, be different, no matter your surrondings. Be the wonder that can proudly leave its corner.