What We Do in the Lockdown

It’s been a year now of this liminal state, when walking in the bright sunshine of the deserted city feels like the odyssey of a vampire sneaking in the dark, alone with ghosts and shadows. The dark itself doesn’t even seem to exist anymore; we’re locked out of it by the night curfew. We’re locked…

Procrastinator’s Log 0221

It’ll soon be one year since the lockdown, in some form or another, started and every now and then I suddenly miss something from our life ‘before’. Say, going to museums, just getting lost for hours, until my back and feet hurt and I felt overwhelmed by everything I’d seen. These days, there is the…

Procrastinator’s Log 0121

The log is BACK. It dawned me that I procrastinated the log for the past months for the very reason I procrastinate everything else- I have the attention span of a Labrador puppy, and writing the damn thing just lasted way too much. So from now on I will stick to this fancy thing people…

Ode to a Muddy Stream- A Year of Walking by the Rákos-patak

It came in waves, like the sea, but the unpleasant sort, a cold sea with mud and plankton. Wave one, the paranoid days. Cases in Hungary were still low in spring, but as lockdown loomed, we stayed inside and, quite unnecessarily as per the latest studies, disinfected doorknobs and beer cans. Wave two, the second…

A Good List Goes a Long Way- 2020 Edition

This year I skipped the ‘traditional’ best of posts, as they simply did not feel right. There have been good moments, but most of it was about lying low and waiting for the light at the end of the tunnel, hoping it’s not a train. I do not want to overdramatize either. I suffered no…

Home for the Holidays-Pandemic Edition

Everything is the same. Nothing is the same. I run the last pre-Christmas errands in Budapest, buy the same candy as in all other years, but the store has almost run out of them. Panic buying, the shop assistant whispers somewhat incredulously from under her mask, we’ve run out of almost everything, what if they…

Greek Cats and Pandemic Travel Musings

There’s no running from the truth. This post, as most of the Internet, was born from cat pictures. I nevertheless felt that the Zakynthian bestiary could not be topped. Perhaps I could go for a more serious topic. Like that moment when you extricate yourself from a ’50 pictures that prove cats are liquid’ collection…

All Them Lovely Beaches- Where to Swim and be Reborn on Hydra

At seven in the morning in early September, the light over Hydra is more of an impression than reality, a fluid veil of burnt orange sneaking over the hills. The port is hidden from the rising sun, like a pearl inside its shell, by the barren, burnished cliffs that run across the island, like the…

Looking for Leonard-A Pilgrimage to Hydra

Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah is one of the most misunderstood and misused songs ever written. Just recently, it was played during a rally by Donald Trump’s campaign team. It has a special charm with purportedly religious people, because they misinterpret the hallelujah. Understandably, Cohen’s estate put out a few words making it clear that they had…

Slow Train to Mosquito Kingdom: Daytrip to Rácalmás

Coronavirus times notwithstanding, Déli station was aflutter with activity on the morning of a bank holiday Friday which promised undisturbed summer sun. Many in the crowd were setting off on university freshmen camps, broken down into the mandated, colour coded, smaller groups, yet still converging into a rather sizeable gathering that clogged access to the…