Big prize

This is one of his first memories ever, travelling with his father and aunt as a 4-year old during their first crossing of borders from Slovakia (Bratislava) to Austria (Vienna). He returned with a big prize - a lego set. The lego catalogues were already available in Czechoslovakia but the lego sets themselves were not. It was probably one of the smallest lego sets ever produced, but still outside his father's budget, so it remained a highly valuable possession. It was also his first encounter with the narrative of "catching up" with the West that framed some of his research since. The photo is from a recent student field trip where students, born almost a decade after this trip, visited the border between Slovakia and Austria just a few hundred meters from the place where he remembers savouring the lego toy.