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
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
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
We live in a gentrifying neighborhood of Vienna and while we are not really part of the local art and food Szene, we do enjoy the weekly Saturday's farmers' market on our doorstep. I just could not resist the tulips (three bunches for four euros) after buying our usual bread, fish and vegetables. They perfectly … Continue reading tulips at home
The best thing about state socialist May Days were the balloons. As a kid, I usually got a balloon and cotton candy at the fair after the official parade. The fair--with cheap food, beer and entertainment--was a kind of reward to the people for marching under banners with slogans like "Forward on the road of … Continue reading may day balloons
Spring is finally here. It feels like we have been magically transported from winter to summer overnight. Someone aired their winter clothes before storing them away for the summer in the yard of our Budapest building and the square under our Vienna window was instantly filled with life at the first sign of spring last … Continue reading spring!
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