Game boy

The family was living in Hungary in the countryside. Hungary doesn’t have a sea but has a lake. The lake. The Balaton. The family - mother, father and two boys - had a big weekend house at the lake. During summers, they travelled each weekend to the lake. But they did not just have the house for themselves. They also rented the house for Germans to get money. In Hungary, we call this “Zimmer frei”. And the family had a lot of guests and, thanks to that, lots of money also. They could afford to buy expensive Game Boys for the boys. And the boys loved it. Especially Super Mario. By the way, it was the best way of “travelling” for the boys. To play on the Game Boy and forget everything else. The whole surrounding. Just be in the game. Just be with Mario. But back to the house. It was big and white with dark green windows and dark green shutters which were usually totally closed during daytime. That’s why it was always cold and wet, even during the hottest summer days. It had a huge terrace, which was used by the German guests. The whole house was also used by the German guests. The family had only one room out of the six rooms in the house. It was on the ground floor and it was the smallest. They called it the small room. All of them were sleeping there when they were at the lake. Once they had a family with kids as guests. And with Game Boys. One day after lunch the German family went to the lake and closed the door which they used. The house was empty and quiet. The weather was very hot but it was good to be inside. The older boy had the idea to go upstairs to the rooms of the guest family. It was not unusual. But this afternoon was special because the German kids had hundreds of Game Boy games and the older son wanted to try out all of them. During that time, mid 1990s, it was very hard to find and buy different Game Boy games in Hungary. It was something from the West. So this was a great and special opportunity to try the games and have them for a little while. The son discussed it with his mother and they had an idea. The mother would look at the street from the window and she would shout if the Germans were coming back. It was not a big deal. The mother was happy to help her son, to make him happy. It was also hard to remember who had the idea first. The mother or the son. They both knew it was a special moment and they had to take the risk and do it very quickly. Anyway, the son climbed the big green wooden stairs and went up to the second floor. It was very dark in the whole house because of the closed shutters. The boy had to be careful. He paid attention to the smallest details. He couldn’t touch anything except the games but he also had to remember the way they were placed on the bedside table, as his mother told him. He had to remember if the doors were open or closed because first he had to find the room of the German kids. And they had four bedrooms. From this point the memory gets a little bit foggy but we know that the boy was playing for hours and hours and the mother was watching the street from the window of their one and only room on the ground floor. The boy was happy and excited to do something forbidden. And it was special to do it with the help of his own mother. But the mother shouted his name finally and the boy had to run down. Before that, he had to put everything back in the original position. The German family opened the door and the Hungarian boy, who should have been nine or eight at that moment, was with his mother. Everything was ok.