Sopron through Fanni’s eyes – ELTE BEAC Kosárlabda

Sopron through Fanni’s eyes

Until last summer, Sopron was the center of the universe for Fanni Kocsis and the scene of her everyday life.  To us, the Firetower comes to mind first, but to Fanni, completely different places signify Sopron.  We paid her a visit and we asked her to show us Sopron so we can see it through her eyes.

A solid and neat family house stands in one of Sopron’s side streets.  There is a stairways inside that leads to two apartments – Fanni’s maternal grandparents live below while Fanni and her family of five, above.  Mainly the parents live here nowadays as all the kids are beginning to leave the family nest.  Not only Fanni and her siblings but Fanni’s mother was born to this house as well.  Her grandfather built this house and as the family grew so did the house.  The garden has three types of swings which is mainly used today by Fanni’s young cousins under the watchful eye of the grandparents.

Downtown is only a few steps away and the streets of the recently remodeled Castle District line up restaurants and sweet-shops.  A small gate hides Fanni’s favorite place, Café Zwinger.  She was a serious inspiration in the birth of this place as the idea was born based on Fanni’s favorite place in Budapest, Jono Yogo.  At that time, Sopron did not have a place where customers could pick and choose their own yogurt-based ice-cream.  It is with the cousins’ cooperation, that Café Zwinger was born.  It needs to be added though that everyone in the family is in the confectionary business: Fanni’s cousin manages Zwinger and her father manages the best known family owned and operated sweet shop in Sopron called Dömötöri so Fanni has many childhood memories rooted in the world of sweets.

Her father delivered goods from the bakery from Dömötöri in the mornings and on the way to school, the children also received something fresh and sweet.  Her mother managed a smaller coffee shop.  Fanni often visited her with her brother after school and once they were there, they often had to clean an ice-cream bin or two with a spoon.  No surprise then that Fanni still loves ice-cream (surprisingly, Fanni’s mother who co-founded Zwinger, does not like ice-cream).  According to her, there are no limits to ice-cream eating.  Only the bowl needs to be big enough…

Based on the above, there is no surprise that Zwinger is a favorite of Fanni’s in Sopron.  As she says: the world of Zwinger means Sopron to her now.  If she longs for a little piece and quiet, she will go to Erzsébet garden.  Meeting at the old tree, the garden is the scene for many conversations and of course, teenager dates.  The garden houses two well liked places; one university club just closed recently but this was the scene of Fanni’s first parties.  She had a curfew until midnight then took a taxi home.  In the side of the garden, stands the place for high school balls although the music and party was mostly forgettable but the preparations, new dress, hair and makeup was the highlight of every winter.  Fanni bid farewell to her high school years the same way and the fact that she does not have to go to Erzsébet square for English lessons every week definitely marks the beginning of adulthood for her.

Lastly, we go to Deák square which is a small green island few steps from the middle of the city center.  Some ice-cream from Dömötöri and within a few minutes of walking, one can sit underneath the shady trees.  Big sporting events like the Olympics, World Championships fill up the square and people can follow the events on the big screens and cheer and root together.

On the side of the square, we can find Deák Restaurant which is ideal for celebratory gatherings.  Only few minutes from here, and we can find ourselves in Berzsenyi Dániel Evangélikus Gimnázium és Líceum which is the most determining place in Fanni’s life.  She went there for eight years while her bother went to the ‘big rival’ Széchenyi Gimnázium causing some friendly friction at home like who has to study more or who gets betters grades because of lenient teachers.  High schools years have since passed and these days friction is experienced along the Corvinus – BME lines over family lunches.  Fanni recently visited her old school and she even sat at her old desk.  She admits that she sometimes misses the safety of high school but she would not exchange her college years for something that has passed.  She lives in Budapest now instead of Sopron, at least for the school year, because family and ice-cream, always calls her back home.

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