Message to the PM of Hungary, Viktor ORBÁN


Dear Viktor ORBÁN, please pass a law to put an end to the billboards that tastelessly obstruct the views of our beautiful city of Budapest.

Today I showed my French students around the capital of Hungary, Budapest.

Buda hill views
Gellert Hill views Budapest

I was so proud of the city.

  • The blue Danube curves and cuts our city in two; stunningly beautiful.
  • Budapest is riddled with patriotic monuments that show Hungary’s history, strength and the resilience of the Hungarian people.
  • The clean and shiny streets, perfect cobblestones to walk along.
  • Protection as police stand at every corner in the downtown core ready to help.
  • The Buda mountain with our regal castle perched high above Pest stands on guard.
  • Our Parliament building stands relentless against time a witness to our stronger days.
  • The modern Budapest Eye circles in the square, giving a new energy to the old city.
  • Churches stand as an eyewitness to time, too many to count.
  • The Basilica is so clean inside you wonder if God himself had a hand in cleaning it.
city park fountains Budapest
fountains of Margaret Island

There are blooming flower pots on the side of the roads, manicured old trees providing shade in the summer heat, meticulous gardens on Margaret Island as cyclists and joggers hit the path. You can hear the laughter of children in the City Park as they splash in the water of the fountains. Look around at the rolling hills where the fields are full of sunflowers, corn, wheat… honestly such a beautiful country full of culture and traditions.

And then there is this…

billboards are offensive in hungary
commercials are infecting our beautiful landscape

But! Yup there is a big but, or a big butt depending on how you look at it.

I stopped counted at 200 billboards between Solymár our village on the outskirts of the capital to Budapest’s downtown core! Some on the side of the road, others on the tops of old communist community apartment blocks, some in people’s gardens, and more on the tops of houses.

They display a wide variety of advertisements. 

It makes Hungarians look cheap!

Honestly Mr. ORBAN, isn’t it time to ban these billboards?

I know you like using them to get your political messages across, and then your opponents use them to attack back but there are other, much less offensive options.

To me these are as pervasive as pop up porn ads on my MAC!

Not acceptable and truly in the democratic society you say I live in, I want to make up my own mind as to how I think and not to have left-wing propaganda tactics used on my unwashed mind.

They are a plague to the scenery that tourists come from all over the world to see and it must leave a bad taste in the mouths of thousands that come here. They are directly the opposite to what we preach in all the tourist handbooks.

Once you start driving in any direction from the immaculate and perfect inner city, from the walking streets, or hotel centre in any direction; your eyes start to bleed from these vulgar and often outdated ads peeling off and fading on the billboards. Some tell us to shop at Spar, or Auchan, or that salmon is on special for 3000 HUF except the sale was on in June 2016 and they haven’t taken down the sign yet. Or to buy ski clothes in the middle of summer as they are on sale, or messages from our PM telling us what to think about politics and who to vote for, stupid messages from our cable provider, or hot ladies scantily dressed telling us to shop at West End Mall.

I AM SICK OF STARING AT THEM! I feel my mind space is being invaded.

Not to mention that when we are driving shouldn’t we be paying attention to the roads instead of being advertised to, preached at, or taught a lesson by our government?

They make me feel that the government really looks down on us as meager followers and tax providers and not people with basic rights who should be taken care of by our government.

Why is Orban not taking care of us?

Certainly I can go to the shops I know what to buy my family without being told. I understand that Mr. Zoltan Average might need these ads to make money off his dumpy property pinned next to the side of the highway, a property he can’t sell because they built the highway through Nagymama’s vegetable garden, but how about let us decide what to think instead of trying to brainwash us as we drive home from our meager pay and long hours.

The worst part is when any road slows, then a large amount of billboards appear; sometimes 20 in a row. So I am stuck in traffic, and then all of sudden on the side of the road I find myself reading all these stupid messages, staring at an ad that makes me so angry that it is even there.

I find myself remembering how beautiful (if ever damp) the highways in Canada are without these monstrous and offensive ads at every turn. I remember how much the Canadian government loves her people and how much she protects us from commercialism and keeps us safe from exactly this kind of direct uncouth and intense advertisements.

40 minutes of commercial billboard hell
I passed over 200 billboards from Solymár to Budapest on the 40 minute drive to our apartment in Elizabethtown

ORBAN please take down the billboards! You have a huge responsibility to take care of us, your people. Billboards do not take care of us. They only take care of big business.

The more appealing our country is, the more people will visit and it makes our little world go round. I am sure Budapest will survive without them!


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