Biking to Abony


I first biked to Abony in June, to attend Class 12D’s bankett (a special end-of-year feast to which teachers are invited). It was not the best bike ride, as I got a flat tire and was caught in a long and heavy downpour. But I made it, and the bankett was fantastic. I rode back to Szolnok with a colleague late in the evening, and the next day the hosts kindly brought me my bike.

Yesterday evening, a little after 6 p.m., I decided to take the ride again. It’s about 18 kilometers each way (because I first go southwest on 402, then northwest on Abony út). This time, there was no rain, and my tires held up fine. Abony út is not in the best condition, but otherwise, it’s a glorious ride.


Along the way there, I saw a horse cart riding ahead of me. I took out my camera and started shooting a video while biking along. To the left, you can see someone pitching hay onto a cart and two people riding their bikes. At the end, I overtook the horse cart. I love the sounds in the video too: the dog barking and the clatter of the hooves.

I made it to Abony and then turned around, since it was going to be dark by the time I got back. Another time, I’ll explore the beautiful center of town, which I saw on the rainstorm day.


Then I saw a magnificent old building with pillars (still within Abony). I thought it might be an old synagogue. Sure enough, it is. Built in 1825. I wonder whether anything is being planned for its 200th anniversary in five years.


A little further, I stopped to see some horses feasting on hay.


On the way home, the moon appeared huge over the fields and river. My camera doesn’t do it any sort of justice, but these pictures give a hint.

The airplane museum marked my return home. A glowing end to the day.


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  • “To know that you can do better next time, unrecognizably better, and that there is no next time, and that it is a blessing there is not, there is a thought to be going on with.”

    —Samuel Beckett, Malone Dies

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    Diana Senechal is the author of Republic of Noise: The Loss of Solitude in Schools and Culture and the 2011 winner of the Hiett Prize in the Humanities, awarded by the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture. Her second book, Mind over Memes: Passive Listening, Toxic Talk, and Other Modern Language Follies, was published by Rowman & Littlefield in October 2018. In February 2022, Deep Vellum will publish her translation of Gyula Jenei's 2018 poetry collection Mindig Más.

    Since November 2017, she has been teaching English, American civilization, and British civilization at the Varga Katalin Gimnázium in Szolnok, Hungary. From 2011 to 2016, she helped shape and teach the philosophy program at Columbia Secondary School for Math, Science & Engineering in New York City. In 2014, she and her students founded the philosophy journal CONTRARIWISE, which now has international participation and readership. In 2020, at the Varga Katalin Gimnázium, she and her students released the first issue of the online literary journal Folyosó.


    On April 26, 2016, Diana Senechal delivered her talk "Take Away the Takeaway (Including This One)" at TEDx Upper West Side.

    Here is a video from the Dallas Institute's 2015 Education Forum.  Also see the video "Hiett Prize Winners Discuss the Future of the Humanities." 

    On April 19–21, 2014, Diana Senechal took part in a discussion of solitude on BBC World Service's programme The Forum.  

    On February 22, 2013, Diana Senechal was interviewed by Leah Wescott, editor-in-chief of The Cronk of Higher Education. Here is the podcast.


    All blog contents are copyright © Diana Senechal. Anything on this blog may be quoted with proper attribution. Comments are welcome.

    On this blog, Take Away the Takeaway, I discuss literature, music, education, and other things. Some of the pieces are satirical and assigned (for clarity) to the satire category.

    When I revise a piece substantially after posting it, I note this at the end. Minor corrections (e.g., of punctuation and spelling) may go unannounced.

    Speaking of imperfection, my other blog, Megfogalmazások, abounds with imperfect Hungarian.

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