About the romanticisation of things

Thursday, 1 December 2011

... and of a time in the past, of a political ideology, of a condition. Some time ago I was a following a very heated debate (about an issue that is not exactly relevant now) when all of a sudden I felt a slap on the face: one of the speakers accused the other of romanticisation of poverty. That rocked me! It ringed a bell and it made me think over whether I could possibly be doing just that, not only towards poverty but also, for instance, towards communism. I must admit that I have never dedicated much of my time to better understand any of these, neither socialism nor communism and even less poverty. And this whole romanticisation thing definitely deserves some more reading, too. 

Last weekend I finally visited the Memento Park. I had been meaning to go there since I moved to Budapest - which now makes exact 5 months - but kept postponing it, so typical of me. So I did, and it was magic. Some could say that this fascination with this period of history would not persist have I lived in those times or under its late effects. Maybe, maybe not. For the time being I will keep flirting with these ideas.
One of the statues at Memento park
I took a few pictures there, surely fewer that I would have liked to. My poor fingers could not remain gloveless long enough! I will arrange them on a nice Flickr album all of their own, soon hopefully.

Has this story reminded someone of Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris? :)

post scriptum: an album for the beautiful statues of Memento park

We are now 7 billion!

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Among all these apocalyptic analyses and scary predictions and speculation whether we will have enough food to feed that many mouths, I found this very beautiful illustration by Patrícia Furtado.

About an erratic bird

Sunday, 31 July 2011

One month has passed since the bird flew away from those odd lands. It had been an interesting year over there; not an easy one, though. But the bird is never satisfied: if life runs too smoothly, the bird will either get bored or start thinking its time is not being used efficiently. Later, after filling its days with a wide range of different tasks and projects, the bird will enjoy the hectic days only for a short while: it will soon fall in exhaustion. While dreaming with the day it will build its own permanent nest in a very sound tree, the bird keeps finding reasons to constantly move here and there. It seems to be a vicious cycle.

I think the bird has the soul of an itinerant, a gypsy, while its brain hopes for a permanent settlement. If the bird only knew there is nothing wrong with that... I should tell it some day.

An excursion to Ecseri

Sunday, 24 July 2011

It was a friend's suggestion. Curious to understand more about the place she had so promptly elected for a visit during her short stay in Budapest among so many other pearls in the city, I ran to my books. One of them described Ecseri Piac as "one of the biggest flea markets in Central Europe, selling everything from antique jewellery and Soviet Army watches to Fred Astaire-style top hats". Despite not knowing what this hat was all about,  I could only conclude that this would be fun! 

And we had indeed a very good time walking among teddy bears and Nazi artefacts, memories of good and hard times, pieces of gypsy culture or art nouveau style. It is true that I am anyway very easily pleased with whatever that is old. By old I mean something that pre-exists me; in a more fashion, current language, vintage or antique. I find it quite peculiar this feeling of being in the presence of an object that was already around when I came into being. I like to imagine how many  secrets and what sort of  intimacies they have witnessed but would never tell. 

We ate lángos. You might be wondering what is that if you are not one of those familiar with the Hungarian cuisine. Due to its high concentration of grease and the lack of traditional cutlery, I could not register the moment for the posterity. I did not want to decorate my relatively new camera with shiny fingerprints. The fact is that the lángos degustation was a remarkable moment of the day. I was told that it is a summer thing this lángos, but was not explained why; some things one must just accept.

It is not hard to reach Ecseri using public transportation. I did not say it was central, though, so get ready for the trip! Actually, the journey itself can be an unconventional distraction, I enjoyed it very much! Outside the Kőbánya-Kispest metro station (the last stop in the blue line - or first, if you look at the matter from a different perspective!)  the landscape was not the most promising. But we took a tram and it was not long until I felt as if I had been transported to somewhere far from Budapest.

As part of a new policy developed since I left Finland, I did not acquire anything. Do not fool yourself, that was merely the result of pure discipline and auto-control. Instead, I photographed, and later I decided Ecseri deserved its own set on my Flickr.

Practical information: the address is Nagykőrös út 156 and (still according to my book) the market is open from 8-16.00 (Mon-Fri), 6-15.00 (Sat) and 8-13.00 (Sun). A bus stops right at the entrance; to figure out about routes and public transportation in Budapest, I recommend checking Google Maps.

A note from kuş to aslan

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

I like to put a saucer on my mug while the teabag rests inside. After several minutes (I have the - bad? - habit of letting the teabag resting a bit longer than what is recommended on the pack) I open it and the steam was turned into drops. And they promptly jump from the saucer; not always back in the mug, though. I slowly turn the saucer clockwise and the sight of that movement reminds me of you. I could nearly see your big, strong hands turning in such a delicate manner the white saucer that accompanies that lovely white heart-shaped cup you gave me years ago not to let the coffee grounds spill out of it. And then I felt an unbearable need of listening stories about birds and roads and stars and girls written not in good Latin, but in coffee grounds.

About the little prince and other favourites

Friday, 17 June 2011

The Little Prince is one of my favourite books of all times. You would probably think that this is just ok, there is nothing so amazing in such a statement, and that I could have been a bit more creative at least for the first post of this new blog. This is partly true, the prince is indeed so special that it seems natural that the book is many people's favourite, too.

I have also my favourite quote in the book, which I often think it was made just for me. This may be somewhat pretentious, but isn't it just how it is when we have a favourite song, a poem, a book, a painting? Some artists have this talent of translating into words, shapes, forms things that we feel and not always know how to externalise. My first contact with such pieces is always stupefying, either for giving names for unsaid feelings or thoughts or for, at times, for even shedding light on unnoticed emotions. In any case, relief (and a deep breath!) is what follows!

When talking to the prince, the fox says

If, for example, you come at four o'clock in the afternoon, then at three o'clock I shall begin to be happy. I shall feel happier and happier as the hour advances. At four o'clock, I shall already be worrying and jumping about. I shall show you how happy I am! But if you come at just any time, I shall never know at what hour my heart is to be ready to greet you... One must observe the proper rites. 

and that was one of those times of revelation: how singular to find my anxiety described in such a vivid manner!