mad max for a day

It was the annual municipal clean-up day in my Budapest neighborhood (a.k.a the Jewish quarter) last Friday. Each district has a different date for the clean-up, when residents may throw out--non-hazardous, non-organic--waste (especially large household items) and simply pile the unwanted stuff in front of their building in the street. It is an old "tradition" … Continue reading mad max for a day

black cat, white cat

As I mentioned in my previous post, we live in a gentrifying neighborhood of Vienna--an old working class district with a significant immigrant population. A third of the inhabitants of today's Ottakring were born outside of Austria: about eleven percent speak Serbian, eight percent Turkish and more than four percent are native speakers of Croatian. … Continue reading black cat, white cat

cselédszoba mizéria

Aki vett már Pesten régi építésű 70-80 négyzetméteres lakást, az ismeri a problémát: hogyan lehet polgári hangulatú, nagy belmagasságú lakásom és három használható, különbejáratú szobám. A harmadik szoba sokszor cselédszoba (ami ráadásul nemritkán a konyhából nyílik). Átteheti az ember a konyhát az előszobába, hallba, illetve nappaliba, hogy az eredeti konyha és cselédszoba egybenyitásával varázsoljon egy … Continue reading cselédszoba mizéria

thatcher in budapest

The late Margaret Thatcher visited the Great Market Hall in Budapest in February 1984. I remember what a huge deal the British prime minister's official visit to Hungary was, the state media making the most of it. Interestingly, the first thing my eighty-six-year-old neighbor--who until recently took the tram to the market hall every week--recalled … Continue reading thatcher in budapest