A few years ago we visited Amsterdam and slept in a small hostel, where boys and girls had to sleep in different rooms, but its garden and the dining room opening on it were so wonderful we sometimes got stuck there for half the day.
Entering a gateway on Nagy Diófa utca, it is this hostel that came to my mind: the inner courtyard was covered so thickly with plantain-like plants that the usual ruinpub-furnishings (old and tattered garden chairs and tables with a new coat of paint) placed amongst them are separated into small, intimate spaces. At first glance I was not able to decide whether the people upstairs were retiring into coeducated or segregated rooms, but the upstairs gangways were certainly just as lively as the bushy downstairs yard. The table-tennis room on the ground floor was also full of customers.
This lavish vegetation also has an effect on the decoration: the entrance reminds one of Henri Customs Officer Rousseau, in the yard, there is a huge statue of a carrot (mildly resembling a large hand-drill); next to it, there is a great big shovel painted on the wall, and gigantic cherries on the facade. Contemporary graphic artists also left their mark here: friezes of winged lions stare straight ahead with determination, in the corners, masks and portraits can be seen. Painted canvases float in the air, hung from upstairs, plush animals are seen in questionable poses. As the evening approaches, the roles change: the people who stay in the hostel go out to the Budapest night, and the people of the Budapest night come in to sit down amongst the plantain leaves and leanders.