My first ramen

The original ramen is a noodle soup that comes from Japan. The noodles are specially made from white flour and the broth is usually made from chicken or pork. When the basics are ready, other ingredients are added such as meat (mostly pork), mushrooms, onions, eggs, bamboo and nori (which is dried sea algae). The combination possibilities are endless that resulted in all different regions having their own ramen in Japan. The idea of this dish spread through Asia, so it easy to find it in China, Taiwan or Korea, but it has also been introduced to the other parts of the world.

I myself always wanted to try ramen. I am a huge fan of all kinds of soups and Asian food of course. Unfortunately I couldn’t try it in my hometown, although it has many great Asian restaurants. On my last trip to the Hungarian capital, I decided to fulfill my dream. I attended a restaurant and only asked for a bowl of ramen. I chose the vegetarian version first to feel completely safe. A couple of minutes later my long waiting has ended. I recieved a huge (I mean like half a liter), colourful, messy but still beautiful bowl of food. And then I fell in love with a soup. I’m not ashamed to admit it. Shitake mushroom, zucchini, carrots and different types of onions gave a tasteful and not to mention healthy lunch for me.

And this is how my story with ramen ends. I hope only for now, because I’m ready to try all the other types!

Frida Kahlo exhibition in Budapest

Hungarian National Gallery
2 Szent György tér, 1014 Budapest
Opening hours: Closed on Mondays! Tuesday-Sunday 10.00-18.00
Tickets: 900-1800 HUF
Click here for more information!

It has long been my dream to see one of my most beloved painter’sí Frida Kahlo’s painting with my own eyes so I were over the moon to learn that her pieces of artwork came to Hungary. Mexico is not in the neighborhood you know…
The exhibition starts with a timeline where people can find out the main events of the artist’s life with pictures side by side Mexico’s history. On the next wall there is the iconic Vogue cover shot of Frida that featured an interview in 1937. The photo was taken by Nickolas Muray, an American photographer with Hungarian origins. The two of them were lovers from 1931 to 1941 and remained in good terms even after they ended the relationship. In one of the last rooms there is a copy of the handwritten and very emotional love letter Frida wrote to Nickolas in Hungarian.
When you go further to the exhibition and enter the colourful rooms you will get a feeling of being in Mexico yourself. Some of the paintings you can find are: The Broken Column (1944), My Nurse and I (1937), Portrait of Dona Rosita Morillo (1944), Portrait of Alejandro Gómez Arias, Frida’s first love (1928) and Self Portrait with Small Monkey (1945), the picture that became the symbol of this current exposure. Besides the paintings some of the artist’s personal things are displayed. Such as a handmade painting of Frida and Diego and some Mexican statues as well.
The last room contains a montage called Frida mania where you will face the effect of this iconic woman on the world. She inspired so many people and will keep doing so until the world is still moving.

Take a look at the exhibition! 🙂

Favourites of April 2018

Book experience of the month:
I was very curious about Margaret Atwood’s The handmaid’s tale, so I started the month by reading that. It turned out to be less disturbing than the series, but I’ll get to that later. Even though the book sets place in the dystopian America, it poses painfully real questions the current situation of women.
When I was in Budapest, I bought a Poket book called Dairy of a madwoman by Géza Csáth. Although I like the novel, I think it can be very hard to read and understand for people who has never learned psychiatry before.

Audiobook experience of the month:
I got to the 6th Harry Potter book, the Half blood prince, and I know it means that this series will soon end… So I try to enjoy the story as much as I can. I still can’t forgive Ron for fooling around with Lavender Brown. Seriously, what was he thinking?!

Movie experience of the month:
I want to catch up with the Oscar movies, so I watched Three billboards outside Ebbing. Previously I thought this will be a very sad movie, but I was positively disappointed. The movie focuses on the characters, they have enough time to develop until the end and all together gives a great opportunity for the actors in it. I really liked the performance of Woody Harrelson.
Then I moved on to The shape of water and I liked that movie even better. This one became the best movie of 2017 and it won three more Academy awards: for directing, best music and best production design. Very impressive, isn’t it? The story takes place in the 1960’s and is about two extraordinary lovers. Extraordinary, because Sally Hawkins plays a deaf cleaning lady who falls in love with a creature from the sea.
Last but not least I finally got to see last year’s fashion movie, Phantom thread. It is a very interesting story about a dressmaker (Daniel Day-Lewis) who meets a woman, Alma, who becomes his muse. But is it enough for Alma as well? Can she become a real partner to the artist?

Series experience of the month:
After reading the book, I started watching The handmaid’s tale by Hulu as well. I have to tell you, it’s more shocking than the book and it has many changes as well. For example, Luke doesn’t survive in the book and Ofglen kills herself. I’m very excited to see Alexis Bledel in such a role, amazed by Elisabeth Moss and I can’t wait for the second season!

Travelling experience of the month:
I went to Budapest this month to see the Daalarna Fashion Show and it was the best fashion experience ever! Find out more about it here.

Book vending machines opened in Budapest

I would have never guessed, but the world’s first book vending machine was made already in 1822 in England. Currently they can be found in several places around the world such as Spain, Germany and Sweden.

And finally the magic happened on 11th April, the day of Hungarian poetry, when 7 vending machines became open to business in Budapest. The current places where you can find the machines are:
– Madách Square
– Széll Kálmán Square
– Móricz Zsigmond Circus
– Southern Railway Station
– Eastern Railway Station
– Vígszínház
– Stadiums

Each book costs 990 HUF. The idea came from young actors, Miklós Vecsei and Attila Vidnyánszky who call themselves ‘theatremakers’. The first series of these books consists of 5 Hungarian literary masterpieces:
– The Paul Street Boys from Ferenc Molnár
– Journey by Moonlight by Antal Szerb
– Diary of a Madwoman by Géza Csáth
– Endre Ady’s Night by Gyula Krúdy
– Then I started to yarn by Péter Esterházy

Some internet sources say more machines will be installed in the capital, but they will appear later in other university cities.

I visited 3 of the vending machines on 12th April (so only the day after the opening!), and most of them were almost hollow, which means people like the idea of having their own ‘Poket’ books. I bought the Csáth book at the end and I’m very excited to be able to tell all my followers about this fantastic initiation.

Don’t forget that #readingiscool!

Find out more about the Poket books on:
Facebook
Instagram

Budapest sights III.

I’ve been to Budapest again… 3 times in 3 months is more than I visit this city in a year!
This time I visited the Buda Castle region. It is located on Castle Hill and served as the residence of Hungarian kings from the 13th century. It is part of World Heritage Site.
In Castle District you can also find Matthias Church and Fisherman’s Bastion, they are next to each other.

Matthias Church
2. Szentháromság Square
Opening hours: Monday-Friday 9:00-17:00, Saturday 9:00-12:00, Sunday 13:00-17:00
Tickets: 1000-1500 HUF
Click here for more information!
Matthias Church (also called as Church of Our Lady of Buda) was built in the 11th century. It had to survive a lot off attacks (for example the Mongols destroyed it completely) and it had to be rebuilt many times until it became its final, Gothic styled form. It was named after King Matthias, the Just.

Fisherman’s Bastion
Szentháromság Square
Opening hours: Open every day! Monday-Sunday 9:00-23:00
Tickets: 500-1000 HUF
Click here for more information!
In front of Matthias Church, you can find Fisherman’s Bastion, which is basically a terrace that was built in neo-Gothic style in the 19th century. It gives a wonderful view to River Danube and the Hungarian Parliament. It atracts tourists even in the coldest weather. There is also the statue of St. Stephen, the first Hungarian king and you can take pictures with a falcon if you are brave enough.

Buda Castle
2. Szent György Square
Opening hours: Closed on Mondays! From the beginning of November to the end of February Tuesday-Friday  10:00-16:00, Saturday-Sunday 10:00-18:00, From the beginning of March to the end of October Tuesday-Sunday 10:00-18:00
Tickets: 1000-2000 HUF
Click here for more information!
The construction of the Castle started already in the 13rd century. The building itself has gone through a lot, the attack of Turks and Tatars, World Was II, its final reconstruction started in 1946. The Castle’s current exhibitions include history of the Castle, ancient cultures and gothic statues.

 

Photography exhibitions in Budapest

Attila Hupján: World shift
12.02.2018-04.03.2018. 10-18 h
K11 – Király utca 11., Budapest 1075

Looking at the world through a pinhole while it’s moving… This is how the artist got the amazing results of his photographs. By looking closer, you may recognise some of Budapest’s popular sights like Nyugati Railway station.
A room full of artistic wonder… – I thought when I visited the exhibition last Friday.

Sandro Miller: Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich: Homage to photographic masters
28.02.2018-20.04.2018. 10-18 h
Műcsarnok – Dózsa György út 37., Budapest 1146

The main event of Budapest Photo Festival will be the American artist’s that commemorate famous paintings and photographs, only with a small twist, that is John Malkovich playing all the characters. Annie Leibovitz, Andy Warhol, André Kertész and Irving Penn are just few of the original people this exhibition pays a tribute to.
Can’t wait to see it in April!

Budapest sights II.

Last weekend I went to Budapest to visit a friend and I didn’t want to miss the chance of taking new pictures of the capital, so I went to River Danube between Margaret Bridge and Chain Bridge to photograph the Parliament with the statues around it.

Hungarian Parliament Building
1-3. Kossuth Lajos Square
Opening hours: Monday-Friday 8:00-18:00, Saturday-Sunday 8:00-18:00
Tickets: 1300-6000 HUF
Click here for more information!

Located on Kossuth Square the Parliament Building was built in neogothic style in 1904 by Imre Steindl. It is 268 meters long and 123 meters tall and was built only from Hungarian building material. Inside visitors can see the Holy Crown surrounded by the coronation jewelry, Settlement of the Magyars painted by Mihály Munkácsy and the changing of the guards. Fun fact is that Freddy Mercury liked the Parliament so much, he wanted to buy the building in 1986 when he came to Budapest for a concert with Queen. He was performing in front of 75 thousand people and he was so kind that he learned a Hungarian folk song, Tavaszi szél (=spring wind).
The statues I took photos of around the building are of the Count István Tisza Monument, Attila József’s statue, Lajos Kossuth’s statue and the Hungarian Museum of Ethnography.

Shoes on the Danube Bank
Id. Antall József Wharf

‘To the memory of the victims shot into the Danube by Arrow Cross militiamen in 1944-45’-says a memorial tablet next to the bronze statues. The horrible story behind it is that the victims had to stand alongside the river before being shot, but they had to take their shoes off, because those were of great value at that time. The statues were created by Gyula Pauer in 2005 and they attract a lot of people. There are always candles and flowers next to this heartbreaking memorial.