The Turning World

Adam Bager

There’s a story that goes around Central Europe about a man called Pavel, or Pal, or Paul, who was born in Austro-Hungary, grew up in Romania, lived briefly in Ruthenia, and Hungary, worked in the Soviet Union and died in Ukraine. All without ever leaving his tiny village in Sub-Carpathian Ruthenia. Given the monstrous behaviour of those who trample across remote corners of the world, he must have been a master of tact to have survived at all. He probably spoke a dozen languages fluently.

It’s an unfamiliar concept for a British Citizen, though we may soon, if Scotland achieves independence, have to accept a change of citizenship (United Kingdom of England, Wales and Northern Ireland).

I thought of Pavel, Pal or Paul yesterday whilst in the Serbian city of Subotica, just across the border from Szeged. It’s a town that’s been stamped a dozen or more times into my passport, since it lies…

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