Posts tagged ‘Hungarian’

March 19, 2016

conversations with random people about being Hungarian

by ada

Part 1.

my family doctor: – Where are you from?

me: – Hungary.

mfd: – But you don’t look Hungarian at all!

(There is no such thing as “Hungarian looks”. We don’t have a national stereotype.)

(Okay, so maybe we do.)

Part 2.

my boss: – Do you know X.Y.?

me: – No.

my boss:  – That’s not possible! He is also from Budapest!

(Budapest’s population is over two million. Shame on me for not being acquainted with every single member of it.)

Part 3. 

my coworker: – Do all Hungarians have blue eyes?

me: – ???

coworker: – The Hungarian doctor has blue eyes.

me: – Oh yeah?

coworker: – You also have blue eyes. So all the Hungarians I know have blue eyes.

(Well, that’s exactly two Hungarians out of the ten million. And my eyes are green but whatever.)

Part 4. 

the same coworker: – You shouldn’t be in contact with other Hungarians.

me: – ???

coworker: – You should use your time while living in other countries to embrace other cultures.

(I’m living in other cultures since thirteen years. I have already embraced everything that is to embrace. At one point of my life I even owned a dirndl.)

Part 5.

Austrian doctor: – Where did you go to nursing school?

me: – I went to some school in Hungary.

Austrian doctor: – I thought you were from Austria!

patient 1: – I thought you were from Switzerland!

patient 2: – I thought you were Czech!

May 14, 2015

home-thoughts, from abroad

by ada


Toy horse

Tündi 1

Túró Rudi


Tura 2

November 10, 2014

Budapest – craft fair at Deák tér

by ada

Hungarian handmade jewellery, drawings and textile work made by various artists and sold by my sister at the craft fair at Deák tér, Budapest. It is open till January 2015.

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May 25, 2014

Budapest – Terror Háza (House of Terror)

by ada

Terror Háza is a museum dedicated to the memory of the victims of the Arrow Cross Party (the Hungarian Nazi party before and during WWII) and of the Communist/Socialist regime. It’s situated in the building that was functioning as the headquarters of the secret police, where the interrogations and murders took place.

Terror Háza 28

Terror Háza 22

Terror Háza 38

Terror Háza 43

Terror Háza 45

Terror Háza 39

Terror Háza 47

Terror Háza 13

Terror Háza 6

Terror Háza 12

Terror Háza 7

May 9, 2014

Budapest – Nemzeti Sírkert (National Graveyard), part 2

by ada

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May 7, 2014

for you don’t count the dead when God’s on your side

by ada

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May 6, 2014

Hall of Fame (Hungarian edition)

by ada



Balassa 1


Deák 1

Ady 2






Rottenbiller 1




May 5, 2014

Tata – inside Esterházy palace

by ada

Tata Esterházy 2

Tata 3

Tata flowers

Tata palace

Tata Esterházy palace

Esterházy flowers

Tata bathroom

Tata stairs

Tata Esterházy dach

Tata Esterházy fireplace

bathroom 1

Esterházy bathroom

bathroom curtains

Esterházy table



Tata Esterházy 4

Esterházy lamp

Esterházy chairs

May 2, 2014

Tata – Esterházy Palace

by ada

Tata Esterházy 9

Tata szobor

Tata Esterházy 14

Tata Esterházy 11

Tata lemon tree

Tata Esterházy 8

Tata Esterházy 7

Tata Esterházy 13

Tata view

May 1, 2014

Tata – Angolkert (English Garden)

by ada

The English garden in Tata was constructed in 1783 and was intended to be a palace park for the Esterházy family. Unfortunately, their residence itself lies two lakes further on the other side of the town, so this garden was somewhat out of reach. This fact caused some discomfort which was solved in the typical Hungarian way of generous extravagance: instead of setting up a park near the palace, they had a new summer residence built in the far away park. English gardens were considered to be modern and fashionable right back then, and since we had the deep desire to keep up with European standards (which desire we’ve already given up since then), it was clear it must be an English garden with all its accessories. So what do you need for a well-equipped English garden?

  1. Plants. And high trees. Plenty of them. Check.
  2. Some water, preferably a lake and/or fountains. Check. Both. Unfortunately, the fountains do not work anymore, but honestly, what is still working in Hungary? You see.
  3. Cute bridges over said water. Check.
  4. Ducks. Check.
  5. A greenhouse with exotic plants. Check.
  6. Some ruins. If you do not have any ruins, don’t give up. You can build your own. From parts of original ruins situated somewhere else. The result will be somewhat eclectic in style but very romantic. So, ruins, check.
  7. The same with caves. If you don’t have them, build them. Check.
  8. Religious place where you can worship God(s)/Mother Nature/Goddess Diana. Or in this case, Allah. Hungary was part of the Ottoman Empire for more than 150 years and those years didn’t pass without a trace. We got used to the Turks and their exotic ways (and their coffee. Definitely their coffee). We got mixed with them. They took our women for their harems and our children for their army. They grew to love us and, according to my Turkish friends, they still do love us. It’s an unrequited love though, because we Hungarians never ever value anybody else but ourselves. That’s what makes us the sympathetic and friendly people we are. Haha. But we still want to show that we are a hospitable nation and that Turks are always welcomed at their former residence country. That’s why we built a mosque. But it’s also important to show that they are supposed to stay only for short periods. Definitely not for another 150 years. And only in manageable amounts. That’s why we built said mosque so small that only five people fit in it if their rugs are spread on the floor. And that’s also why we keep this mosque closed all the time so that even those five people can’t have access to it. I’ve told you that we are a nice, hospitable nation.

Anyway, the English garden is beautiful even without an insight into Hungarian history.

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Angol 1

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Angol 20

Angol 21

March 15, 2014

on an occasion of national mourning

by ada

Today we celebrate the most important national holiday in Hungary, the outbreak of the 1848 revolution against the Habsburg Empire. There are festivities held everywhere right now, but I am so annoyed by the way things go here* that I refuse to participate in anything Hungarian. If you are interested in the history of this day, you can read my post on it from two years ago. 

I took these photos yesterday, after getting pissed off both by my previous workplace, the Medical University of Budapest and by the Chamber of Hungarian Health Care Professionals. My problem is that I lived in Western Europe for the last 10 years. And I expect logic in official administration. I tend to forget that this is Hungary, where logic has simply no tradition.

* well, actually by how they don’t go**

** I had some major frustrations caused by Hungarian bureaucracy lately***

*** what lately! Every f*cking day there is a new, totally pointless frustration just to make life a little less bearable than it already is; and by every day I mean every. single. day. I’m about to lose my sanity, because life here is really that ridiculous.

P.S.: I did not intend to leave my flat today, because the weather is terrible and I’m in no patriotic mood, but I had to pick up my mother at the bus station. So I kept myself entertained on the underground by guessing my fellow passengers’ political sentiments and calculating the results of the April elections, using this scheme I just invented (I was born to be an independent political analyst):

  • Elderly female, wears tricolour cockade –  Deeply religious (Catholic). Loves “our Viktor”; if she gets the opportunity, she even tries to kiss his hand. Votes for Fidesz.
  • Young male, wears tricolour cockade – Has superiority complex. Visits archery clubs and manages his private correspondence using ancient Hungarian runes. Thinks that it’s his responsibility to clear the country of Roma and Jewish people. Votes for Jobbik, obviously.
  • Young female, wears tricolour cockade – Deeply religious (Catholic). Believes that the women’s main (only) mission in life is childbearing. Marries Archery Boy right after college. By the age of thirty has already six children. Never goes to work again. Votes for Jobbik.
  • Elderly male, doesn’t wear tricolour cockade – a relict of the former Socialist regime. Had the time of his life during the Kádár era as a socialist youth leader. Still believes in social equality and the equal distribution of wealth. Votes for MSZP.
  • Young male, doesn’t wear tricolour cockade – liberal atheist/gay/socially conscious, practising Jew. Is disgusted by the present state of Hungarian politics. Worries about Jobbik and is naïve enough to believe that he still has a chance. Votes for LMP.

In my independent opinion, Fidesz will win the April elections and will form a coalition with Jobbik. Hungary will declare itself as a politically independent kingdom, that will still accept (demand) financial help from the EU, but is superior to other countries of the world. Women will lose their right to vote and have to pay “childless tax” if they are still single (and childless) at the age of thirty. Gay people will be publicly prosecuted. Children have to practise archery at school. Books will only be printed using runes and Hungarians have to learn to read from the right to the left. Falcons and mangalica pigs will be the only pets allowed. All men will be obliged to wear moustaches and/or beards (this will make us a land full of outdated hipsters).

Don’t say I haven’t warned you.

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February 25, 2014

Martonvásár – Brunszvik castle

by ada

Martonvásár church

Martonvásár sculpture

Martonvásár castle 1

Martonvásár castle 2

Martonvásár castle window

Martonvásár Beethoven museum

Martonvásár lion

Martonvásár castle

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Martonvásár castle 8

Martonvásár 1

Martonvásár castle 9

February 9, 2014

Budapest – Mangalica Fesztivál

by ada

bacon 2


mangalica pigs 2

mangalica fesztivál

violin player

mangalica fesztivál 1







mangalica fesztivál 6

mangalica fesztivál 8

January 13, 2014

Formerly Communist Love Sonnet

by ada


játszani is engedd

Olympic Bear Moscow 1

Soviet star


Soviet flag




Memento Park

January 13, 2014

Budapest – Memento Park

by ada

Memento Soviet Hungarian friendship 2

Memento Park 50

Memento Park 48

Memento Park 59

Memento Park 41

Memento 56


Memento Soviet soldier

Memento Park 30

Stalin's boots

Memento Park Lenin 1

Memento Park 44

Memento Park 39

Memento Park 10

December 31, 2013

I’m as dark as December

by ada

Two books for December – because everybody has their own coping mechanisms for times when life goes crazy or starts to get unenjoyable, and mine is reading Agatha Christie; and because nothing did I miss more in my life right now than a giant, dead squid of a god, that is in charge of all different kinds of apocalypses.

And for the year 2013 – I read 34+ books (I didn’t document January and honestly, I don’t remember anything about January anymore, let alone what I read, haha) and some of the adventures of Nancy Drew in digital form. And of course, I also acquired tons of information from heavy books written mostly in the sophisticated style of medical Latin, information like what to do if your patient’s artificial respirator starts giving out loud, high-pitched beeps or if his ECG suddenly start to look like a long, straight line. These, in their own genre, are definitely fascinating subjects, but they still can’t make the truth, that I became one of those people who don’t read, nicer. Let’s face it and hope for the best (or at least, for the better) in 2014.

Also, I really don’t understand what had happened to the Hungarian language lately and who are those terribly incapable people who are doing all the translation jobs but this situation became unbearable to me. I just can’t anymore. So I refuse to read anything that was translated to Hungarian in the last 30 years. 2014 will be the year of original literature and vintage translations.

December readings

November 30, 2013

yea, I have looked, and seen November there

by ada

My November list: cat comics, again, this time completely without words; a classic detective story; a disturbing book, with strange, overly philosophical discussions between a donkey and a monkey, related to the Holocaust; some Mozart fiction that pissed me off*; and a children’s book with cute drawings that made me lol in the bookstore while looking for a Santa present** for Móricka.

*  Why on Earth does a person, who is deeply convinced that Mozart! needs!! somebody else!!! to tune a piano, write a book about Mozart? Couldn’t she find a theme she is at least minimally acquainted with? I mean, people, can tune a piano and I’m definitely not Mozart. And what do you think, should I write a fiction book based on some quantum physics theory? I sure have as much knowledge of the behaviour of elementary particles as this woman has of Mozart and his era.

** Fyi, in Hungary Santa has nothing to do with Christmas. They both are totally different businesses, with Santa coming three weeks before Christmas. The Christmas presents are brought by Baby Jesus or, as in my non-Christian family that still celebrates Christmas, by the Baby Angel (because a celestial genderless infant is clearly a much better choice than a divine neonate, yes).

November readings

October 25, 2013


by ada

Ózd 7

Ózd 9

Ózd 8

Ózd 6

Ózd 25

Ózd 16

Ózd 11

Ózd 14

Ózd 24

Ózd 13

Ózd 1

Ózd 2

Ózd 5

Ózd 21

Ózd 22

October 24, 2013

Hungarian style dinner

by ada

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szalonnasütés 1

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szalonnasütés 7

September 22, 2013

Budapest – Nemzeti Vágta

by ada

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September 7, 2013

Budapest – ARC 2013

by ada

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ARC 14


ARC 18

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ARC 25

ARC 13


ARC 23

July 11, 2013

Mini Salzburg 2013

by ada

Mini Salzburg is an educational summer day camp, held every two years, where children have their own “state”, they chose their government democratically and learn, how society works. It looks pretty fun and the kids definitely seem to enjoy it.

You might not know about it (which is fine; who knows anything about Hungary anyway, haha), but this kind of children’s republic actually existed in reality, in Hungary, after WW2. It was called Gaudiopolis (Joy City) and gave home for almost 800 orphans between the years 1945 and 1950. It was founded by a Lutheran pastor, Sztehlo Gábor, maintained autonomy and was financially, politically and culturally completely independent from the Hungarian government. The children received education by Sztehlo and his volunteers, and also worked to support themselves. Gaudiopolis had  its own constitution and laws, a prime minister chosen democratically by the children themselves, a democratic parliament and an own monetary system with own currency (Gapo-Dollar). They also practised complete freedom of religion. Except for some occasionally donations from the International Red Cross, they received help neither from the Hungarian government, nor private persons. In 1950, the Hungarian Communist Party took the buildings away and the children were transported into state orphanages. Democracy (both for children and adults) was over for the next forty years.

The 1947 movie Valahol Európában (Somewhere in Europe), is loosely based on the real story of Gaudiopolis and is considered to be one of the best Hungarian movies ever. You can read its (very short) English summary here or watch the whole movie here (in Hungarian, though). Some information on Sztehlo Gábor is here. I couldn’t find anything about Gaudiopolis in English, which really is a shame, because it was quite a unique phenomenon in the European (and, I guess, also in the international) politics.

And some photos of Mini Salzburg.

Mini Salzburg 1

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Mini Salzburg 23

Mini Salzburg 15

Mini Salzburg 22

Mini Salzburg 11

Mini Salzburg 8

Mini Salzburg 2

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Mini Salzburg 14

Mini Salzburg 21

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Mini Salzburg 13

June 22, 2013

we shall not cease from exploration

by ada


March 25, 2013

Liebster Blog Award

by ada

I was nominated for some awesome blog awards by some awesome bloggers lately and since I have four free days in a row to spend in pyjamas and writing blog posts (yes, more photos of Venice are to come!) (besides the daily Holy Week Music History Series, of course, which nobody ever reads) (yes, that’s exactly what it sounds, an accusation), I decided to slowly start answering all those complicated questions that seem to come with blog awards.

The Liebster Blog (an award clearly of German descent) comes from lovely Federica, a fellow sufferer from the famous Dutch weather.  She honoured me with it some, well, nine months ago. Ehem. That tells everything that needs to be told about my social abilities.

The rules are:

  • post 11 facts about yourself
  • answer the 11 questions the blogger who nominated you has given you
  • nominate 5 bloggers with less than 200 followers and tell them about it
  • make 11 questions for the people you are nominating

My facts:

1. I kept a strictly vegetarian diet for four years. It wasn’t a decision – I just stopped eating meat after my dog died of spinal cord cancer. During those four years I never missed meat. And then, on a random day I felt like okay, let’s try it, and since then, I’m back on the carnivore trail.

2. I sleep on my stomach. Always. It’s the only position I ever fall asleep.

3. I’m one of those terrible fresh air fanatics that get nervous if they have all windows closed around them. I sleep with open windows through almost the whole year.

4. I sleep in socks. Well, with the windows open it’s usually rather necessary.

5. At the age of three I was bitten by a pine marten at the zoo of Veszprém. It could have been a tiger!

6. I was born to be a natural shaman – I have more bones than the most of you. I’m still figuring out what to make out of it. The possibilities for modern shamans are endless.

7. At the age of 18 I seriously wanted to be a Franciscan nun. Maybe I did become one in a parallel universe.

8. I have butterfly stickers on my walls.

9. I don’t shampoo my hair since two years. What I use are baking soda and apple cider vinegar. Recently I was trying out some Rhassoul powder, and it’s amazing, but, well, baking soda is cheaper. There were also times when I didn’t wash my hair at all (the same times when I visited McDonald’s wearing my pyjamas) (oh, those precious depression months, they made me learn to appreciate small successes. I managed to go out, even if I didn’t manage to get properly dressed).

10. I also don’t use soap (or any artificial cleanser) on my face. I’m doing the oil cleansing method since almost two years. Best decision ever.

11. I’m gluten-free, dairy-free and sugar-free. Well, on most days. Just don’t take notice of my ice-cream photos.

Now you all have a pretty clear picture about my digestion, sleeping habits and beauty routine. And my depression, of course. Don’t forget my depression.

Federica’s questions were:

1. Do you believe in Destiny? – Actually, no. Some things in life just doesn’t make sense and we should accept that.

2. Would you ever like to get married? – It depends. At this moment, no. But, well, I’m not in love right now.

3. Cats or dogs? – Cats and dogs.

4. If you had to bring back a famous person from the past, who would you choose? – I feel that I should mention Bach or Mozart here but whom I really would like to meet once more is my grandmother who died when I was thirteen.

5. What do you think will happen December 21st, 2012? – Well, what did actually happen on December 21st, 2012? I was shopping for Christmas and wrote blog posts about the shadowy side of being Hungarian.

6. Do you drink coffee? – Yes. I definitely do.

7. What’s your favorite cake? – I have no favorite cake. Unbelievable but true.

8. Why did you start blogging? – I started writing my Hungarian blog in my first year in The Hague because I felt lonely. This blog I started to host my project 365.

9. What was/is your favorite high-school subject? – I was in a class specialised in biology and mathematics and I hated high-school with my very heart. Most of the time I didn’t even visit school, so let us just forget this question very quickly, please.

10. What’s the last country you visited?  – Italy.

11. How often do you check out my blog? – I follow your blog on WordPress so I get every new post per mail.

My 5 nominees: 

For this award I’ve chosen bloggers whose theme is (mostly) Hungary. I don’t bother myself with finding out the amount of followers they have – mostly it’s not public anyway. I nominate bloggers whose work I like for one reason or another. My nomination is not obligatory, so if one of you doesn’t like to participate, answer my questions or share things about himself/herself, please feel free to ignore me. Of course I’m happier if you don’t ignore me, haha.

1. Andrei Stavilă’s photoblog.

2. Linnea from A year in Budapest.

3. Leopold and his friends from hold the camera.

4. István from Konceptofon.

5. William Lower from Three Years on Mars.

My questions: 

1. How (or why) did you end up living in Budapest?

2. Do you have a pet?

3. How often did you move during your life?

4. In how many countries have you lived yet? I mean lived, not travelled.

5. In which ones?

6. What was your first word as a baby?

7. Your favourite Hungarian food?

8. What’s the colour of the socks you’re wearing right now? (Sorry, I’m running out of questions that make sense.)

9. How many siblings do you have?

10. Where do you plan to travel next?

11. Why exactly there?

As we say it here in Salzburg, viel Spaß!

March 16, 2013

music of the week – Republic: 67-es út

by ada

This post is dedicated to Bódi László, also known as Cipő, the leader of the Hungarian band Republic, who recently passed away. And while I’m definitely no fan of any popular Hungarian band, his music represents that chaotic, emotionally troubled era after the revolution I was growing up in. It was his music we sung in summer camps, sitting by the campfire and feeling sad and free and heroical at the same time, as teenagers usually do.

(And here is another song of his I posted a while ago.)

January 24, 2013

how to make traditional duck gribenes

by ada

Don’t worry, there’s no danger of me becoming a food blogger. Actually, I’m painfully low-maintenance when it comes to food. Before going paleo you could find me eating pasta and tomato sauce on six days a week without getting bored with it. It’s not that I don’t like a good meal, because I rather do, but I just don’t have that big interest in food, neither in eating nor in producing. Let’s put it this way: if somebody else cooks delicious things for me, I happily eat them. If nobody cooks for me, I don’t miss it.

Since switching to the paleo diet I became a bit more interested in what I eat, or, well, at least in the health side of the story. I try to cook every day and eat a variety of foods I didn’t try before. That’s how I ended up with a whole duck (for half price) yesterday, and since our homemade goose gribenes is one of my favourite food since childhood, I decided to give a try to the duck version. And I did what every girl does when in trouble: called my mother for the recipe. They turned out really yummy, but really, I mean, really YUMMY. So I dedicate this post to document this very culinary success of mine (which are oh so very rare, haha.)

Since English is not my first language (not even the second, in fact), I wasn’t able to figure out what’s the proper English word for gribenes. “Cracklings”? “Greaves”? I really don’t feel the difference. One thing is sure: it’s not “pork rinds”, because, well , it’s not pork it’s made of.

Take a duck (goose, chicken are optional), pull its skin off and together with its fat, cut it into small pieces.

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Put it in a pot with one tablespoon water under it and cook it really slow for about three hours. Don’t cover the pot. If you live in an open space apartment where kitchen, living room and bedroom share the same twenty square metres (like I do), be anxious to close your wardrobe doors, put your coats outside and open the windows. Otherwise you will end up smelling like a giant piece of roasted duck (like I did), which may be appetising for your cat but rather embarrassing for the humans you meet later during the day.

duck fat

While it cooks, it looks like this:

duck gribenes

Later on:

duck gribenes

When the pieces are crispy enough not to make funny noises when pushing them to the side of the pot, you can pour the fat in glass containers and put it in the fridge to cool. So does it look when it’s still warm:

duck fat

And so it does when already solid:

duck fat

The gribenes look like this:

duck gribenes

I mean, like this!

duck gribenes

Eat them when they are still warm and crispy, with bread spread with the fresh duck fat, with fresh spring onions with salt. Or eat them as a snack.

duck gribenes

Well, after writing this post I feel like I’m one of those big paleo bloggers with ten thousands of subscribers who create amazing gluten-free recipes, make homemade coconut deodorants and share their experiences of going no ‘poo. Only that those big paleo bloggers would never eat that occasional slice of bread I still do sometimes, ehem.

duck gribenes

December 21, 2012


by ada

During the past three weeks I paused this project due to the sudden, very serious illness of my father. Neither did I have time for photography nor did I feel appropriate taking photos of my workday dinner plates while having so much other things to worry about. Now things seem to stabilize a bit and I’m sort of back in my regular life and to this project.

I planned to write about our infamous health care system and about how fragile and vulnerable you get at the moment you are put at the mercy of our health care professionals but really, it just has no sense at all. While it’s definitely not okay and makes me a very bad conscience, at this moment all I feel about Hungary is shame. I look at our politics, the way people interact each other, their mentality and its impact on everyday life and I feel shame for being Hungarian. And I look at the nurses in our hospitals, the lack of their professional knowledge, the way they communicate with patients and take care of them (or, actually the way they don’t take care of them), and I feel shame for being a nurse, I feel shame for ever having been part of this ridiculous game called Hungarian Health Care System.

I surely am pretty irritated right now and there surely are exceptions, of course. It’s just like I’d have lost the last of my illusions and the hope that things can ever get better in this country of corruption and desperation.


November 2, 2012


by ada

Today is All Souls’ Day or, the Day of the Dead in Hungary, when we remember our dead loved ones with lighting candles for them.

September 9, 2012


by ada

That’s how the anatomy of my lower back looks like. Ideas for diagnosis and therapy are welcome. And yes, I’m aware of the fact that I have one more lumbar vertebra than normal people are supposed to have. I also have a spare flying rib that you can’t see on the picture. I’m not the least bothered by this fact. I’m originated from a nation whose ancient religion is based on the belief that having extra bones means having bonus points by the Gods and Spirits. I was born to be a shaman and I’m proud of it.

July 23, 2012

music of the week – Budapescht

by ada

Since I’m a big fan of Karsten Troyke and I’m currently visiting my family in Budapest, let’s have some home tunes. Neither history nor theory are included, because I’m in no musicology mood today (I have some urgent Hungarian Food Eating to do, haha).

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