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Tag: Budapest

Hungarian grill

Sunday, 25 November, 2018

Seen in Budapest, where cosmetic dentistry, especially the porcelain veneer business, is a nice little earner. According to the manufacturers: “NORITAKE SUPER PORCELAIN EX-3 is superior to other dental porcelains because its coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) remains stable during repeated bakings… Its fluorescence is ideal and it is highly resistant to silver-induced greening.”

Budapest dentistry


Heading for the freedom train in Keleti

Wednesday, 2 September, 2015 0 Comments

“Hungarian police cleared hundreds of migrants desperate to get to Germany from Budapest’s main railway stations on Tuesday, prompting protests and confusion at a site that has become the latest focus of Europe’s refugee crisis.” So reports the Wall Street Journal in an article titled “Chaos Erupts in Budapest as Hungary Clears Migrants From Train Station“.

The focus of the drama is Keleti, which was constructed in eclectic style between 1881 and 1884 and was considered one of the most modern railway stations in Europe at the time. In May, your blogger passed through Keleti and it was obvious then that it was a magnet for Middle East migrants making their way to northern Europe. Kelati will remain in the news until Europe agrees on anti-trafficking and nation-building policies for Africa, the Middle East and the Balkans. In the meantime, terror, repression and dire economic circumstances will continue to convince young people that the only way to a better life is to emigrate and board those trains in Budapest.

Kelati faces

This just in: “Hungary will register all migrants that come to the country and send economic migrants back to the state from which they first entered its borders.”


Agatha Christie wrote lots of könyvek

Wednesday, 3 June, 2015 0 Comments

This year marks what would have been the 125th birthday of Agatha Christie, who was born on 15 September 1890 and died on 12 January 1976. She wrote six romances under the name Mary Westmacott, but she’s best known for the 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections she wrote under her own name, most of which involve the investigations of Hercule Poirot, Jane Marple, Parker Pyne and Tommy and Tuppence Beresford. She also wrote the world’s longest-running play, The Mousetrap.

Note: The plural of the Hungarian könyv (book) is könyvek.

Budapest train station


Vienna, World

Saturday, 9 May, 2015 0 Comments

A recent stop in Vienna during a train journey to Budapest led to time spent looking at local newspapers, which in turn led to the news that Austrian guitarist and singer Wolfgang Muthspiel has released an album titled Vienna, World. It was written and recorded with the help of a global group of musicians in locations as diverse as Buenos Aires, New York City, Tibro in Sweden and, naturally, Vienna.

Vienna


The high towers of Buda and Pest

Friday, 8 May, 2015 0 Comments

“When I was at High School my favourite pastime was walking. Or rather, loitering. If we are talking about my adolescence, it’s the more accurate word. Systematically, one by one, I explored all the districts of Pest. I relished the special atmosphere of every quarter and every street. Even now I can still find the same delight in houses that I did then. In this respect I’ve never grown up. Houses have so much to say to me. For me, they are what Nature used to be to the poets — or rather, what the poets thought of as Nature.

Keleti

But best of all I loved the Castle Hill District of Buda. I never tired of its ancient streets. Even in those days old things attracted me more than new ones. For me the deepest truth was found only in things suffused with the lives of many generations, which hold the past as permanently as mason Kelemen’s wife buried in the high tower of Deva.” — Antal Szerb

Buda and Pest


Innovation in Budapest

Thursday, 7 May, 2015 0 Comments

“Innovation is the specific instrument of entrepreneurship,” said Peter Drucker. “It’s the act that endows resources with a new capacity to create wealth.” When Drucker was born in 1909 in Vienna, it was one half of the twin-city capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire; Budapest was the other half. Today, Vienna and Budapest are united in a global competition that will decide which cities are capitals of the empire of the innovative.

Photo: Viktória Katona of Connected Healthcare Solutions presenting at the EIT Innovation Forum in Budapest.

Viktória Katona


George Ezra: more charming than Jake Bugg

Saturday, 1 November, 2014 0 Comments

Sony Music is placing a big bet on George Ezra, the 21-year old singing-songwriting University of Bristol dropout. But it could be a winning wager. Ezra made news recently when it was announced that he’d sold out his February 2015 UK tour in just 10 minutes. There’s a number one album, too, and this catchy top 10 single, as well. It’s all fuelling the buzz. No doubt, he is very marketable: the looks, the swagger, the wryness, the honeyed voice. What’s missing, though, is the compositional talent of Jake Bugg. There’s more to the music game than charm. That said, charm is not such a bad attribute.


An American Spy

Tuesday, 18 June, 2013 0 Comments

With all this talk of the NSA and its activities, espionage has stormed back onto the front pages. Perfect time to publish a spy novel set in China, the USA and Germany, one should think, and cometh the hour, cometh the man in the form of Olen Steinhauer. That surname suggests another Nordic star but Steinhauer was born in Baltimore and attended the University of Texas, Austin. He now lives in Budapest and he’s bidding to be the new John le Carré. Given the quality of An American Spy, he’s got a great hand of cards.

An American Spy And better again, Steinhauer has got a great sense of the Zeitgeist because he’s peopled An American Spy with characters such as Comrade Colonel Xin Zhu, the corpulent head of the Expedition Agency within Beijing’s Sixth Bureau of the Ministry of State Security. He’s had 33 CIA agents killed across the world in a breathtaking act of liquidation, but he’s got to watch his back because Wu Liang and his associate, Yang Qing-Nian, of the Supervision and Liaison Committee, a branch of the Central Committee’s Political and Legislative Affairs Committee, are not fans. Xin Zhu speaks:

“It wasn’t just revenge, you know. Everyone thinks that’s what it was — the committee, you, probably even the Americans. Revenge factored into it, but it was also a practical decision. That’s something I’ll have to explain on Monday morning. By eradicating one of their secret departments, we have sent a serious message to the Americans, the same message we want to send with the Olympic Games. That we are the primary force in the world. We are a nation that has suffered long enough — that’s the past. The present is this: We are a superpower of unfathomable riches, and we will not stand for interference, particularly from a country on the other side of the planet that still refers to itself as the world’s only superpower.”

Yes, it’s only fiction but le Carré’s fiction was infused with fact and there’s a lot in An American Spy to suggest that Steinhauer intimately understands the nexus of global strategy and dirty deeds, too. His portrayal of Zhu is measured and menacing and the useful idiots who marched in Hong Kong at the weekend in solidarity with Edward Snowden would do will to read An American Spy. There are no paradises upon this earth.