Krisztina Janosi

Then this offer came. One of my former private students asked whether I could issue some invoices to him, without the actual teaching. He’d pay me ten percent of the value. I didn’t hesitate much. It was free money after all. I needed to grab every opportunity that made life even a little bit easier. At first it was only one or two invoices a year, and I didn’t think much of it. By the fourth or fifth year, however, he got the hang of it. And all of a sudden I found myself overbilling about a million. At this point I got goosebumps. It was too much. I told him I couldn’t do it any longer. Anyway, I wanted to switch tax schemes. I had found a better one, but registering for that one meant I had to quit fake bills, as the taxes were progressive. From then on, I preferred skipping invoices to issuing fake ones. Either way, I was somehow cheating on taxes. Really, no big deal, everybody does that to some extent. Where there is poverty, people will do anything to escape the burden, and not because they want to cheat so much, but because they just want to provide for their families. I don’t remember when it became a social culture, but by now it had certainly become a dominant part of it. All my life, I had struggled with finances. I just couldn’t make enough to have a decent house, a decent car, travel and so on. And, as I was convinced that this was due to the government’s cruel policies, I had never felt any remorse for this little wrongdoing. I never thought I would be caught anyway, I was too small of a fish for that, but still, every now and then, the thought crossed my mind: What would prison be like?

So, here I am in my dad’s apartment. I have taken my shower, fixed some dinner and just slumped into an old armchair, holding a book. Normally I would go for a relaxing jog to Margaret Island. Running helps me tune out for a little while. I can finally forget about my miserable life. When I am out there, in nature, I feel like I am a human, like I belong here. Before nature, everybody is equal. No matter if you are missing an arm or a leg, are blind, deaf, poor or just have suicidal thoughts in your head, nature is there for you. The skies are the same blue for everybody, the trees give just as much shade for the rich and the poor, and when you just want to sit on a rock out there on a hill, the rock welcomes you, no matter who you are. I never get tired of being out there, summer or winter, always beautiful. When I step out of the apartment building, I am full of expectations already, I don’t even care that running is tiring. I jog alongside the smoggy Margaret Boulevard, then run up the yellow-railed bridge, which, in crossing the Danube, branches off right in the middle to Margaret Island. That part is liberating, and I love the way it gives me the momentum for the rest of my run. I’d pass the bicycle rentals and the huge, music-playing fountain, the green meadows, the mini-zoo with the sad-looking deer, huge storks and wild ducks. Soon I would approach the once fancy, but nowadays rather pathetic yet still expensive hotel on one side, turn around at the foot of Árpád Bridge on the northern edge of the island, and continue along the other side behind the always crowded Palatinus spa stretching along almost half of the area, and the swimming pool and athletic center rather close by the Margaret Bridge. I’d run up on the sloping branch again, then down the main bridge to the Buda side, and soon I’d be home.

But not today. Today I’m not going anywhere, because I found this letter in my mailbox. It must be a fine, a subpoena, or, worst-case scenario, just a notification of prison time. I should open it, but I can’t find the courage. I slowly reach for the knife. With trembling hands, I cut the envelope open. I’m pulling the letter out. My heart skips a beat as I unfold the white A4.

(…to be continued…)

Transadaptation Volume 4 – Material Dissent

January: A Blinding Light and Then, All Darkness – Jonay Quintero Hernández (Spain)

February: The Opportunist – Lauren Voaden (United Kingdom)

March: A Stranger in my City – Alejandra Baccino (Uruguay)

April: A South African Soundtrack – Sarah-Leah Pimentel (South Africa)

May: Full Circle – Ina Maria Vogel (Germany)

June: La Lluvia en Bogotá – Adriana Uribe (Columbia)

July: Freedom – Krisztina Janosi (Hungary)

August: A Bus Ride – Svetlana Molchanova (Russia)

September: Transcendence – Armine Asryan (Nane Sevunts) (Armenia)

October: Motherhood – Marilin Guerrero Casas (Cuba)

November: Nine Days – Gennady Bondarenko (Ukraine)

December: Open – Seyit Ali Dastan (Turkey)

Background – Context

Transadaptation Volume 3: Evanescent – Young Adulthood Transadapted, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2022)

Transadaptation Volume 2: Conceived – Childhood Transadapted, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2021)

Transadaptation Volume 1: In the Middle – Prelude to a Contemporary Transadaptation, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2020)

Peripatetic Alterity: A Philosophical Treatise on the Spectrum of Being – Romantics and Pragmatists by Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)

La Syncrétion of Polarization and Extremes Transposée, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)

The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2018)

L’anthologie of Global Instability Transpuesta, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2017)

From Wahnsinnig to the Loony Bin: German and Russian Stories Transposed to Modern-day America, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2013)

Emblems and stories on the international community

Perception by country – Transposing emblems, articles, short stories and reports from around the world

Credits (left side, middle – top to bottom, right side)

1. Budapest, Hungary – The doorway – Durjay Sarkar (Unsplash), 2. Szenna, Hungary – Free – Gelefin (Shutterstock), 3. Budapest, Hungary – Széll Kálmán square 2 – hbpro (Shutterstock), 4. Budapest, Hungary – Kids in primary school – A great shot of (Shutterstock), 5. Budapest, Hungary – Underground – Nelson Wong (Unsplash)

Source: The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed

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