The capital with the eye of an expat

Mastering my AÁBCs

For the seventh time in twice as many years, I have once again boarded the Hungarian language train after nearly a 12-month stopover in the land of anything-but.

The capital with the eye of an expat

Daring to be different

When the sun comes out for the summer and the temperatures start their inevitable climb towards the unbearable 40s, Hungarians living in urban areas gravitate towards the water. Whether it’s the Balaton or Velence, the Danube or the Tisza, or any of the waterparks ...

The capital with the eye of an expat

BBQ at the Kis-Balaton

With the advent of the summer sun, the annual exodus from Budapest is in the offing. Visitors to the city during July and August are often surprised at how empty it is of Hungarians. While Parisians head to the coast and Milanese head for ...

The capital with the eye of an expat

The light of himself

On the front of a house in the village of Kemence in the Börzsöny hills in northern Hungary hangs a sign that says “Legyetek önmagatok fénye” (be the light of yourself). In that house lives Mihalis Patsoras, a man in his seventies who has ...

The capital with the eye of an expat

A virtual St Patrick’s Day

For the first time in more years than I can remember, I’ll be in Ireland for St Patrick’s Day. This year though, like last year, it’ll be a somewhat tepid affair. Pubs are shut. Music venues have become a vague memory of the recent ...

The capital with the eye of an expat

An unbridled enthusiasm for life

Sometimes, when I see a baby or a toddler and they give me a certain look, I know that they’ve been here before. They’re old souls. This isn’t their first go around. They may have been on Earth for only a few weeks, but ...

The capital with the eye of an expat

The aftermath of Christmas

The dratted 2020 is behind us and with its departure we see the end of the UK’s membership of the EU, the end of the Trump presidency and the beginning of the end of the pandemic. With the advent of 2021 we see the ...

The capital with the eye of an expat

What to give this Christmas?

2020 is a year that many of us can’t wait to see the back of. It’s a year in which we’ve had front-row seats to a series of travesties as our elected representatives have done one silly thing after another. It doesn’t much matter ...

The capital with the eye of an expat

Ireland in Hungary

The internet has probably been the biggest game-changer for diplomacy since Lord Palmerston heralded the first telegram as the death of diplomacy back in the 1850s.

The capital with the eye of an expat

A fantasy realised

I made myself laugh out loud the other day. There was no one around to hear me as COVID life is pretty solitary. It's a given that social distancing is playing silly buggers with our mental health. It's also a given that life as ...