And life everafter

July 7, 2016 § Leave a comment

Pendant with a monk and deathI’ve now been subscribing to The Economist for the last six months and each week I find myself looking forward to the new issue. But of the all columns and articles they print there’s one in particular that I await eagerly: the obituary. Written incisively and with wit it’s a joy to read about the lives lived. But my interest and fascination extends beyond good writing; to reasons that many of you may understand. « Read the rest of this entry »

A few of my favourite things

April 3, 2016 § Leave a comment

I’m quite proud of the fact that I can harness the two conflicting sides to my nature, the idealist and the cynic, rather well. But there is another side to me: that which revels in the sensual pleasures this world has to offer. It is this trait that allows me to cherish the small, day-to-day occurrences, without which life would be reduced to one dreary blur. And as of late I’ve had plenty of opportunities to indulge this part of me. « Read the rest of this entry »

The Beautiful and the Damned

March 5, 2016 § Leave a comment

A not uncommon occurrence on the streets of Budapest: a well-dressed local heading off somewhere, swiping across the screen of his latest smartphone whilst a less fortunate citizen fishes through a garbage can for any scraps of food. This contrasting, and frankly despairing, image mirrors and serves as an indicator for the state of the nation as a whole. « Read the rest of this entry »

Hemingway and the fair sex

March 3, 2016 § Leave a comment

Ah, good ol’ Ernest! What’s not to like about him? The novels with their themes of masculinity, perseverance, commitment, and war. But there are some who take issue with him. See, to them Hemingway with his philandering, his boozing, and his writing represents an outlook and a time period that they despise; that they associate with male chauvinism, oppression of, and condescension towards women. And in Hemingway they’ve found an easy target. To many his female characters are but pretty dolls waiting with their legs wide open. I have always been critical of such accusations: Hemingway’s reputation as a misogynist is undeserved. « Read the rest of this entry »

The Sweet Science

February 21, 2016 § Leave a comment

Dempsey&Firpo

Boxing. The word conjures up an image of two Goliath-like figures lunging at each other, their bodies glistening with sweat under the spotlights, of blood trickling down the face, of chiseled, muscular arms dealing savage blows until one man is victorious. Boxing is all these things, but to fighters and admirers alike it is so much more. The ‘sweet science’ as it’s affectionately named is far more nuanced than the casual observer thinks. It is as much a battle of wits as it is of brawn; of will and determination as it is of brute strength. There is no other sport that epitomizes life the way boxing does. There is no other sport that means as much to me as boxing does, and no other sport that I have loved as much. « Read the rest of this entry »

A Coloured Man in Budapest

February 7, 2016 § 1 Comment

As a brown expatriate living in Hungary’s capital my experiences in this city are markedly different from those of my white brethren. I dislike bringing up the race card but you and I both know that racial sentiments continue to simmer beneath the surface, and have done so over the last 12 to 15 months in Europe. In my case I tend to be met with a mixture of awe, amazement, suspicion, and on very few occasions with contempt. « Read the rest of this entry »

Cologne & the Cultural Divide

January 21, 2016 § 1 Comment

With the assaults on German women on New Year’s Eve many find themselves questioning the policy of accepting refugees and migrants. Others are patting themselves on the back for having predicted such occurrences. And what was once lurking beneath the surface has finally broken through: the cultural divide between Europe and the Middle East. « Read the rest of this entry »

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