The capital with the eye of an expat

Who’s Margaret?

‘We’ve never been to Margaret Island.’ It was a simple statement of fact, not a complaint. My many-time visitors had never, ever, been down to Margitsziget. I’ll admit to being a little taken aback. How can you come to Budapest and NOT visit the ...

The capital with the eye of an expat

Kids and what they can teach you

I have issues. My issues have issues. But I have no issue. Don’t you just love the English language?

The capital with the eye of an expat

Tut-tuts no more at The English Garden

Sam Cartwright arrived in Budapest in 2002 with two small kids and a husband. Fed up with life on the hamster wheel in Liverpool, she didn’t think twice about moving to Hungary when her husband, Andy, got a job at the Central European University ...

The capital with the eye of an expat

Isten hozott

Many lifetimes ago in Edinburgh one Sunday, I made for the nearest cathedral to get Mass. I thought all cathedrals were Roman Catholic. I knew no different until the giveaway – the tell – that part of the service where I realised that the ...

The capital with the eye of an expat

How about them apples?

Way before I learned to appreciate a glass of wine, cider was my drink of choice. I’d get particularly excited when friends came back from Normandy with 750ml bottles of the local cider bearing the label methode traditionallee. Clear. Crisp. Delicious.

The capital with the eye of an expat

Buildings tell tales

I fell in love with Budapest the first time I visited. I was gobsmacked by its wrecked beauty, the vestige of former glory that still clung to the cracked facades and dilapidated courtyards.

The capital with the eye of an expat

A way out, one gherkin at a time

As we launch into 2022, I’ve shelved New Year’s resolutions in favour of what I’m calling life resolutions. Time has been Covidised. It’s taken on a whole new meaning. 2021 alternated between feeling like a month or a decade depending on my mood. One ...

The capital with the eye of an expat

Giving without a thought of getting

This time last year the world (me included) was going mad shopping online. People seemed to be making a concerted, albeit subconscious, effort to make up for not being able to travel home. To reach out and be closer to friends and family who ...

The capital with the eye of an expat

The fifth province

I’ve often heard of Ireland being described as the 51st state, given her close connections with the USA. Back in 2019, in a survey conducted by the US Census Bureau, nearly 10%, some 30 million Americans, identified as having Irish ancestry. Given that Ireland’s ...

The capital with the eye of an expat

Guising, mumming and souling

Hallowe’en is just around the corner. In Ireland recently, I commented on the huge uptake of this once pagan holiday. I can’t remember a time when I saw so many houses decorated. The place is awash with white cotton cobwebs, lifesize figures of witches ...