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Agence Future Logo 4.2: Setting out via Budapest


bye bye everyone! Seen of by Moeke.

We set out from our front door on 20 October 2001. The first week we wanted to get accustomed again to our heavily loaded bikes. We rode along the Albert Canal. After we crossed the Dutch border to ride through the hills of 'the Dutch Ardennes' of South Limburg, Maya started to suffer a bad knee ache. After a days rest we tried to ride till Aachen in Germany, but only Bram could make it. Consequently we decided not to ride till Frankfurt as planned, but to catch a train. We spent almost a week with our friends of HPVelotechnik in Kriftel where we updated our web site and made the last adjustments to our bikes and packs.

After an 18-hour train ride, changing in Vienna, we got to Budapest. Budapest is an ideal place to contemplate the effects of the passage of time. In the midst of the historical architecture of the town, the future is widely studied topic. The planned economy of the old communism necessitated mid-range as well as longer term forecasting. So there is a significant tradition of future studies and foresight in Hungary and these subjects are taught at university level.

At the University for Economics we talked with Michael Simai. The scholar has been involved in future studies in his country since the seventies and has established an international reputation with his work for OESO. At the ethnographic museum of the Hungarian capital we visited an exhibition entitled 'Images of Time'. The exhibition was organised on the occasion of the start of the third millennium, mathematically timed correctly for 2001 rather than 2000. It also celebrated the 1000-year presence of Hungarians on the current territory of the nation. The organisers of 'Images of Time' stated that the 1000-year period is tremendously important symbolically. Actual human memory does not surpass three generations, so that a thousand years becomes an unimaginably long period of time. The exhibition then presented a collection of historical conceptualisations of time: father time, Indian calendars, clocks and almanacs. For the contemplation of the future a large room was reserved. In its wide-open space a few television screens sparingly depicted human bodies in motion. That set-up was open to interpretation, to say the least.

houses of Parliament at Donau river

Read more on Agence Future's adventures in the middle east:

<< 4.1: Overview | Index | 4.3: Istanbul >>

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Last changed: May 20, 2012