April 14, 2016 § Leave a comment

IMG_0555Exiting the railway station you feel like you’ve stepped back into communist Hungary: uniform, concrete apartments and dreary, grey streets meet the eye. « 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 »


March 21, 2016 § Leave a comment


It is little surprise that Sopron fills the average Magyar heart with a sense of pride; the city opted to remain in Hungary during a referendum in 1921, and is a stunning beauty: cobbled streets, quaint courtyards, Roman ruins, Baroque architecture, and single storey houses. « 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


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 »

Budapest Chronicles

February 13, 2016 § Leave a comment

It would be a shame if I didn’t chronicle my observances of this beautiful city that sits on the Danube. I’ve been living here for several years now, and this city has grown on me. It has also taken on a personal significance: these five years are the longest I’ve ever spent in one place. With the passage of time I’ve become sensitive to the nuances of the city and its inhabitants; what were once peculiarities of a foreign people I am now able to place within context.

With this series I hope to be able to to convey the charm, magnificence, history, faults, nature, and essence of Budapest, and that of the country at large, to my readers. But perhaps more selfishly it’s an attempt to cement memories and recollections for reminiscing in old age.

Note: This post should have proceeded The Mexican Suitcase and A Coloured Man in Budapest, but it slipped my mind!

Image: “Hungarian Parliament Building, Budapest, Hungary, 2015” by Andrew Shiva is licensed under CC-BY-SA-4.0