thatcher in budapest

Photo: MTI/Attila Manek
Photo: MTI/Attila Manek

The late Margaret Thatcher visited the Great Market Hall in Budapest in February 1984. I remember what a huge deal the British prime minister’s official visit to Hungary was, the state media making the most of it. Interestingly, the first thing my eighty-six-year-old neighbor–who until recently took the tram to the market hall every week–recalled hearing about Thatcher’s death was that the famous politician once went shopping and bought Hungarian paprika at the Great Market Hall. The image of the Iron Lady observing strings of red peppers is, in fact, one of the iconic images of late state-socialist Hungary.

(Note the circle of overzealous men, the feminizing food shopping and bouquet of flowers and the absence of any other woman in the picture.)

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