He never had a regular schedule, but he very often came around 1:30 – 2:00 p.m. On some weeks he came almost every day, other times we would not see him for weeks.

It was easy to spot him. He was a well-fed old man with white hair, always wearing a white lab coat. The coat gave him a very professional look, like a scientist Santa who just popped out of his lab to offer his candy for the neighborhood kids. 

He had an old bicycle with a fairly big box in the front in which he kept his candy on stick nicely wrapped in cellophane. He had a bell that he always rang when he approached the neighborhood.

„The candy maaaan!!!“ – the first kid who spotted him shouted. And so each kid began shouting „The candy man! Mom, the candy man is here! Quick!“

And so the race began: each kid wanted to be the first, as the choice of candy was slightly bigger at the beginning. Not that it would have been such a great pallet of candy, but the first kids would always choose and get the intact pieces. It was always disappointing to get a hen without a tail or God forbid with a whole missing head. 

The candy man had four forms of candy one could choose from. There were red roosters, red hens and red geese. In rare cases they would be orange. And the last category (the most boring of them all) were the Kojak candies. These were white and round (therefore the reference to the bald detective from the 70s) and had with red stripes circling around. 

Suddenly it began raining coins from every window of the neighborhood apartments and all the kids were searching for them in the grass. Sometimes they got away and we were forced to hectically run around, desperately searching for them and following the instructions of our parents. 

When I think back at those times of my childhood, I realize that a lot of stuff was constantly flying around from the windows those days: money, toys, sometimes food or even kids, mostly from the ground floor of Mari néni´s* apartment. But that is another story.

* hungarian for Miss Mari.