I did not mean to take you to task in any way whatsoever. You did absolutely
nothing wrong. Who would have guessed that your post would come in
immediately after mine? Nor do I think that many people will actually
connect the two, especially with all the good will now pouring in on
I have extensive communications with Hungarians, both through emails and
regular mail, and I have learned how differently they regard many social
conventions. Since the Hungarian and Slovak cultures, if not the languages,
are so very similar, I believe the same sorts of rules apply. My good friend
Lajos Reich has advised me how to write to important officials, and some of
the polite conventions seem almost absurd by our standards. One example is
that in the body of a letter I needed to address "Respected Mr. Minister!"
before asking him for his help. This sounds to us very stiff and even funny,
but without it the minister would likely dismiss my letter as boorish.
It is good that Vladimir appears not to be taking offense and is also
explaining his position. I hope Carl in particular learns something from
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]