How I met myself
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John Taylor: an English computer programmer working for a multinational company in Budapest, Hungary. Andrea Taylor: John's wife, and a teacher of Hungarian.
Kati Taylor: John and Andrea's baby daughter.
Zsolt: a man who has a bar in Budapest's Thirteenth District.
Janos Szabo: John Taylor's doppelganger, a Hungarian man who died in the 1956 revolution.
Mrs Fischer: an old lady who knew Janos Szabo.
Paul Harris: an old friend of John Taylor's.
A strange meeting
I was walking home from my office one January evening. It was a …ver más…
The old part of the Thirteenth District where we live is an area of narrow streets full of small shops, bars and restaurants. It still feels like an old city. And it was in one of these streets that I met myself.
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I lay there in the snow for a few moments, trying to understand what had just happened. My first thought was, 'Where has the man gone?' I looked along the street, and was just in time to see him turning right at the next corner.
I got up immediately, brushed the snow off my clothes and ran after him. He crossed the road and went into another street. When I got to the corner I saw him going into a doorway. I walked quickly along the empty street, and found it was the entrance to a wine cellar. It was under a block of flats, and you had to go down some steps to get in. It was one of those Budapest places where working men meet to drink, talk and smoke. I looked down the steps. There was the low noise of conversation and a smell of wine and cigarettes coming up to meet me.
I stood in the snow for a moment, deciding what to do and looking around me. I had a strange feeling about going down into the wine cellar. I wasn't sure who I'd find there. I looked at my footprints - the dark marks my feet had made in the new snow. My footprints. . . But only my footprints! Where were his? I looked back along the street. There were only my footprints. My mind was running round and round in