Do you ever have those moments when you’re in the thick of your life – jostling in a packed metro, waiting in line at a grocery store counter, or plodding home at the end of a tiring work day- and suddenly, in the blink of an eye, you’re transported back in time? In a flash, you suddenly smell your grandmother’s skin, freshly slathered with Mysore sandal, as she puts her hand on your shoulder and asks you to come eat the lemon rice she’s made. Or, you find yourself frozen still in the playground, limbs contorted to the point of agony, playing ‘Go Statue’ with friends you haven’t thought about in 15 years?
Everyone has their own moments, their own flashes. They come and go as we navigate this flaming dumpster fire called life.
One of the moments I find myself frequently reliving is a particularly sweltering afternoon in Budapest. I’m hunched over my chopping board, furiously slicing onions as tears roll down my cheeks. I’m concentrating really hard when suddenly, my attention breaks with the sound from a radio playing nearby. It’s playing what I’m assuming is a Hungarian song. I stop chopping and I listen for a few seconds. The song ends, the radio jockey says something, and then they cut to a commercial break. I go back to weeping over the purple demons.
It’s been almost two years since I left Budapest. I’ve never come across Hungarian radio anywhere else (how would I?). There would be no possibility of me ever tuning into a local Budapest radio station ever again. Except that there is, on this fascinating website called Radio Garden. Radio Garden lets you fly across the globe with your cursor, zoom in, and tune into radio stations from all over the world. One moment, you could be listening to regional news from Georgia, and in the next nodding along to the latest chart buster in Nairobi. It’s easy to use, and it offers windows into worlds you wouldn’t ordinarily think of peeking into.
So stop scrolling, and start strolling – around Radio Garden (sorry, not sorry for this terrible wordplay).
If you have a friend who likes to potter about their garden, forward this email to them? Lancelot Brown will bless.