Thursday, November 24, 2011

Human Relations

I admit I am not very good at recognizing people. I don't recognize the people I do know, and recognize people who aren't who I think they are. So when the man who looks like George Soros asks if he can take the chair at my table in the atrium of the Central European University I don't think it is him. But he is obviously enjoying himself, and that makes me wonder. People don't do that here. Soros founded this University, and he is in town. How do I know if there are many 80 year old Hungarians with that hair cut, that style of clothes, that kind of aged face of the man I seen the night before? He asks me if I am a lecturer. No, just come here to read and write. He has a thick sheaf of papers he is going through. I ask him what it is. Papers for the Board meeting they want him to correct, he says. He smiles, looks at the girls who pass by, goes back to his papers.

The night before, downstairs in the auditorium, I'd asked George Soros a question. I wanted him to support the Occupy Movement. I go back to writing up my question and his answer, which was, in effect, maybe, if they don't cause any trouble. I look up, offer to make my table companion a coffee with my bottle of instant and water from the library's dispenser. He thanks me, smiling, and declines. He has to get back to the Board meeting, and says good-by.