"My experience from the inside of the Hungarian health system was not a bad one. The kindness and encouragement of some of the underpaid, over-worked staff were sometimes offset by the disinterest and coldness of others. The cost of three days ambulance and hospital care came to £400. As a British citizen, with a European health insurance card, that was paid for by the National Health Service in Britain. (...)
Insurance is compulsory in Hungary, but drivers who can afford it take out extra cover, as in most countries, for harm to their own property and themselves. I have received £3,000 in damages so far, less 18% to the lawyer. He hopes that was only an advance. The other day I girded my loins, summoned my courage and cycled again, in heavy traffic. The drivers have not improved. he reckless bravery of the other cyclists astounds me. Like spiders, dancing through moving machinery.
The numbers of those cycling is still increasing spectacularly. On the Danube bikeway, and in Deak Square in the heart of the city, 15 to 20,000 bikes pass each day. A Critical Mass rally in 2008 drew 80,000 people. The autumn ride, on Car-Free day, 22nd September, has been cancelled this year, but the cyclists promise another rally next April. My back still hurts sometimes. I cannot run any more, but I can cycle. Charlie still rings. And the Danube beckons me back."