Autumn Lament for a Lost Budapest

One of the reasons why I love going to the baths at ungodly hours of the morning is that it’s the time of The Locals. The Locals are generally late middle aged to ancient, mostly men (a typical group would be four male friends or a group of three men and one woman), with a…

The Roofs Have Eyes-Daytrip to Sibiu

To stop Romanians from ruling the world, God gave us a geographically perfect country. With no highways. And the chronic inability to build them. Yet when we set off on our short but sweet daytrip to Sibiu, we decided to ignore this dark curse and pretend that the 50 kilometres still lacking from the by now…

Me on My High Horse- A Visit to Troy

I would love to say that, as a half decent humanities major, I spent some of my profligate youth reading the Iliad and the Odyssey, but the farthest I got was borrowing one (can’t remember which) from the library, then procrastinate reading it, then forget to take it back on time, then pay a modest…

Why Go To The End Of The World, When You Can Go To Kőbánya

Kőbánya has always been mysterious to me, exotic and perhaps also slightly scary, exiled at the fringes of my Budapest existence, a land of imaginary brigands and flesh and bone people frozen into exasperated waiting on the platforms of minor stations my train hurtles through on its way home. Kőbánya-Alsó, Kőbánya-Felső, Kőbánya-Kispest. I know this…

The Nicest Apocalypse Ever- A Visit to Șirince

In case, like most of humanity these days, you live with a constant fear of impending doom anyway, you might have already forgotten about that time the apocalypse was certain as predicted by the ancient Mayans. Opposed to now, when it’s predicted by climate scientists, but that’s a topic for another article altogether. So back…

Rocks, Saints, Rivers- A Visit to Ephesus

Present day Ephesus lies stranded inland, about 5 kilometres away from the coast. As with many ancient sites, one could hardly notice its presence if it wasn’t for the road signs. The closest settlement is Selçuk, a sleepy provincial town on the road from Izmir to the seaside resort of Kușadası. Most visitors also come…

Procrastinator’s Log, Stardate 0819

I left for my unusually long (end of) summer holiday adamant that this would be, finally, ‘offline’ time. No more checking the latest insta snaps of friends with evidently better lives than mine, no more refreshing emails just in case, no more ending up on Bored Panda browsing cats with their heads stuck in tubes,…

Procrastinator’s Log Stardate 0719

In case July was supposed to be the football free month (though frankly, why would there be a football free month at all?!), then July failed grandly at it. And how could it not fail, when it contained the closing stages of both the Women’s World Cup and the AFCON. Confession time: it took me…

Black Eagle, Blue Palace: A Day in Oradea

Growing up, one of the main tenets of our gang, often translated into footballing passions, was that out of the triad of neighbouring western Romanian cities ours (Arad) was the best. This was frankly contradicted by everything: Arad was the smallest, the economically least efficient and the one with the least spectacular architecture. Arguably, ours…

High Life over Vienna: The Donauturm (and other Observations)

Having found ourselves in Vienna on a particularly lovely summer’s day, we decided to do some things we’ve done before: briefly visit the Hundertwasserhaus (glad to report people are still posing with empty looks on their faces in front of the fountain), have cakes in Demel (glad to report the waitresses are still the same…