a matter of shoes

Her screams tore through the night pulling us from the peace of our dreams and like dominoes down a corridor, blurry eyes peered around doors to encounter a woman deposited in the middle of the hotel’s corridor, like someone’s bag of trash.  She glared back at us from a defiantly misplaced heap.   “What is [...]

no tourists please

Paradox: I am a tourist in a city where I live. Today with camera attached to my arm, I have chosen to drink coffee on Vaci Utca with other tourists. Snapping photos, gazing at the 18th century architectural wonders, dodging baby carriages, and sniffing forbidden Hungarian spiced wine, I am blending. The city with its [...]

turkish toilets

I have heard it recently related that the wife of an important person was hesitant to visit our part of Europe where the toilets may be Turkishly challenging and life is a little raw. She preferred the westernly ordered, pristine shopping boulevards of our European neighborhood. I have to smile at her loss as I [...]

live the story

On the eve of commemorating the Hungarian Felkelés (Revolution), it may be a surprise to find this post is birthed out of a different cultural perspective. It has nothing and everything to do with Hungary and the reminder of an anti-Soviet uprising in the streets of Budapest in 1956. The story of the revolution begins [...]

борщ, budapest, and the berlin wall

  Tonight's menu is борщ (borsch) made like the Russian babas taught me at the dacha so many years ago. Almost every good memory of Moscow that I have, and there are a plethora, involve this Russian staple. Tonight, I am serving it to my family in Bulgarian pottery in our Hungarian home. Over the past [...]

beyond the seminar

I slipped into the air-conditioned comfort of a packed seminar as it was beginning and settled in to hear statistics that I already knew. They were still appalling. Nearly three weeks ago, a plethora of Nazarenes filled a small conference room to hear a good-hearted, Christian man fill our notebooks with statistical information about his [...]