“My Preciousss!” Remember Gollum, that creepy, desperate little junkie thing from Lord of the Rings? Remember how into that little golden ring he was? And remember what he turned into when it got taken away from him?
Well that’s kind of how I was looking a few weeks ago, as I stood at the security checkpoint of American departure gates in Munich and watched, speechless and dumbfounded, as the TSA pulled my own golden treasure out of my sealed (!) Hungarian Duty Free bag and threw it in a box full of shampoo, Listerine and lube bottles. I’m referring, of course, to the 6 puttonyos Royal Tokaji Szt. Tamás that I convinced myself to splurge on in Budapest’s Airport on my way back to the States, as a gift for work-mates back in Buenos Aires. I had told myself that getting such a perfect Hungarian souvenir, labeled “bottled and sealed in Hungary” is much cooler than buying some bottle at the Russian store on 84th and 2nd in New York, not to mention the fact that 6 puttonyos is pretty darn difficult to find across the pond anyway.