A recent visitor we had for a Fungarian tour was appalled by the junk hills in some parts of the city which reminded him of a Third World country (sorry, Third World countries, it was a quote). Whenever you see thrown out rubbish, unused furniture piled up along the pavement it means that in the framework of the big spring clean-up LOMTALANÍTÁS is taking place.
LOM is the root of this long word meaning something like detritus, then we have TALAN (without= -less) – ÍT (making it a verb) and – ÁS (making the whole a noun again = -ness/ing), so the whole term is ”getting rid of the unnecessary pieces” in one word. I am aware it sounds awkward but any better explanation is welcome. My favourite about LOM is the playful LIM-LOM, e.g. MI EZ A SOK LIM-LOM? (What’s all this garbage?) – all the things men tend to heap up in a garage or attic.
LOMTALANÍTÁS is organised by an agency of the Metropolitan Council called FKF (short for Fővárosi Közterület-fenntartó Zártkörűen Működő Nonprofit Részvénytársaság and meaning Metropolitan Public Area Maintenance Corporation) established in 1895. This very efficient company is in charge of keeping Budapest clean and they are doing a great job. They even established a museum called Köztisztasági Múzeum (Public Sanitary Museum) where all sorts of vintage vehicles are on display. Actually, the first city law about waste management dates back to the 1830s.
The Fungarian Crew have had hundreds of visitors from various countries for the past six years who never miss mentioning how clean, and alternatively, how dirty is the city. I assume, personal judgement depends on where you come from. I am vacillating whether it’s clean or dirty. What do you think?