I had a university project on urban legends once and I had to do man-on-the-street-interviews. Normally people avoid these situations but that time almost everybody was keen to tell something funny or stupid. These kind of stories cheer up cities and chronicle the atmosphere of the era they derive from. So does this urban legend of the waiter of Jenő Rejtő, painted on the firewall of the bar Mika Tivadar.
The Hungarian Jenő Rejtő was mainly known as a journalist and pulp fiction writer in the 20th century, and his entire life is one big legend. The waiter story is probably the best known. The rumour has it that there was a café called Japán where Rejtő always used to pay the waiters with his manuscripts. They used to sell the documents to a publisher that was standing in front of this favorite café of contemporary writers. According to Urban Legends.hu – one of the innovators of the painting – the whole story is probably not true though.
The waiter project is also linked to Colorful City, Hungary’s first association which colors public spaces legally since 2009. The undertaking reflects on the idea of the Hungarian op art master Victor Vasarely, who wanted art to move out of galleries to the streets. Colorful City movement is responsible for coloring 14.000 sqm of wall surface so far, mainly focusing on social issues.