Notes from a Budapest Lockdown

I crack open my front door and inspect the immediate proximity. My possibly Ukrainian neighbours, often prone to unsettling fits of what I hope is merely smoking induced coughing, are not around. This releases my tension somewhat, I do a last careful inspection of my pockets: sanitizers, handkerchiefs, my ID, just in case the authorities…

Procrastinator’s Log Stardate 0320

Let’s call this the month when the proverbial shit hit the fan, and we’re still facing the weird realisations of what this ever changing new normal means. There is a flood of COVID-19 related information everywhere, and after a period of frenzied online activity, I have decided to restrict my doses of disbelief and terror…

Travels with Books- Part Two

Henning Mankell- An Event in Autumn, London, October 2014 It was, unsurprisingly, a rainy autumn day in London, we were tired and soaked, walking by the grey Thames melting into the grey sky, and looking for a pub. But first, another bookstore, my boyfriend a wet statue of resignation as I got lost among the shelves,…

Travels with Books- Part One

On the first of January, holed up at home with what, I now realize, was a moderate case of the ‘nice flu’, I wrote up a list of things I look forward to this year, including, naturally, travels. For more than a decade now years have been framed, punctuated, divided by travels. I have never…

Procrastinator’s Log Stardate 0220

My greatest achievement for the month of February (brace yourselves for a good one) was equaling my best score at Oscar predictions, primarily as I placed all my chips, like a risk loving poker player, on Parasite winning big- the best bits of the ceremony itself, which I perversely insist on watching live, were Bong Joon…

No Forest for Old Wolves- A Visit to Farkaserdő

Farkas-erdő (Wolf Forest) is not really a forest and obviously does not have wolves. Its most canine touch are the distant barks occasionally to be heard from the Rex Animal Shelter (actually called Rex Animal Island, though it’s not an island), situated at the Ócéanárok street end of Farkaserdő. Óceánárok means ocean ditch, but it’s…

Cellini’s Saliera and the Mo Salah of Beer- A Weekend in Vienna

On an unseasonably warm February morning we strolled through the Belvedere park, among joggers running out of steam on its gentle incline and Asian ladies snapping selfies with bare legs (it was not THAT warm, but the Asian resilience to cold in touristy situations never ceases to amaze me). A few hours later, we were…

Procrastinator’s Log Stardate 0120

So, after almost a year and a half of decent discipline, I did it- skipped one procrastinator’s log, that is, procrastinated it so long that I finally decided it would be irrelevant. Not that it’s generally all that relevant, plus I could always blame the sinus infection for it. Which is the nec plus ultra…

Refuge by the River- Visit(s) to Szentendre

It recently dawned on me that, shockingly, I haven’t written anything about Szentendre here, though I’ve probably been there more than to any other place in Hungary besides Budapest, which figures, since it’s a leisurely 40 minutes away by HÉV line number 5, which gently rocks upstream along the course of the Danube. (An extension…

A Good List Goes a Long Way: 2019 Edition

Sometime halfway into December I realized we are approaching the end of a decade (or not, depends on how you count it) and felt maybe I should do some sort of a roundup/celebration. Then immediately also realized that I have, in spite of what I consider a decent memory, no clear recollection of what I…