Sunday, July 27, 2008

a typical Saturday

What do these three pictures have in common?

1. A baked spaghetti dinner (baked fusilli, technically)

2. Four guys and I (he he he) wandering around a forest

3. a table full of grafitti. Most of it crap, some of it brilliant...

ps. unfortch I don't have a picture, but we ate French ash-cheese. Cheese, with ash in it. It was awesome. It came from France.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Another weekend, another festival

This weekend, rather spur-of-the-moment, we headed of to Dunaújváros* for the EFOTT festival. Similar to last weekend, the plan was to go for one day (Saturday), catch the show, and come back the next day. Here the similarities end.

company - this weekend, I was the sole female (although not from lack of trying on some people's parts...) It was the familial (or do I mean familiar?) foursome: me, Tomi, Atti, Gabi.

transport - did not involve any yachts, but was nevertheless more varied. Trains of various qualities, bus, metro, taxi, foot... it all fell in. Actually, although long, the trip was uneventful, typical: drinking and carousing on the way down, sleeping and moaning on the way back.

festival itself - smaller for starts. While Balatonsound was mainly techno, EFOTT was mostly rock, and all Hungarian acts, not a single foreign group. So, a different atmosphere completely.
Fewer people in bathing suits and many more in black t-shirts and boots. The crowd was older by a few years. There was no giant lake, of course, and it felt less like a beach party and more like a... I don't know. It wasn't as laid-back, and altogether I preferred Balatonsound's atmosphere (although the music is a different story... see below).

language - I think I wrote about last weekend being too Hungarian-intense for me. This was better, despite the festival being, as I said before, an all-Hungarian event. While I don't want to claim to have been the only foreigner there... the only English I heard was among us. Although strangely, as our neighbors were de-tenting (?) early this morning, amidst a storm of Hungarian complaining one said the other in mournful-sounding English, "Please help me."

music - the heart of the festival. The reason for going Saturday night was, on the main stage back-to-back-to-back, 30Y .... Bëlga .... Tankcsapda. Too great to be missed. Well, we did miss a chunk of 30Y because we went wandering off, but what we heard was okay; they're not my favorite anyway. Tankcsapda, my fave, my love.... was a huge disappointment. People told me that they suck live, but my memories of seeing them at Sziget were good (if a bit hazy, ahem). The difference must have been that at Sziget, we were in a huge crowd a good ways back from the stage. In EFOTT, I was pressed right up against the front row fence, and could see all the nasty seedy details. The singer is a complete parody of "Aging Rock Band," complete with long bleach-blond hair, oh-so-carelessly windblown by the strategically placed fan. We watched half the concert up front before escaping further back.
Bëlga, on the other hand, were incredible. They put on a hell of a show - sang, rapped, danced around like idiots, and generally looked like they were just up there enjoying themselves. Their enthusiasm was contagious, and their show was the best I've been to.... um, I'll say ever. Although for reasons of scientific comparision, I'm going to have to check out some more of their concerts... for science, damn you!

So that was that. By the way, one thing that didn't miraculously change between this weekend and last was my dislike of camping. I don't know what we're doing next weekend, but if I have any say it'll involve real beds, showers, and food that isn't ridiculously over-priced.

*Funny, last weekend when we were trying an autópálya-free route home, we almost went through Dunaújváros. Apparently the city has some pull on us...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


the time: last weekend
the place: Balaton
the players: self, Tomi, mutual friend Tamás, his ex-girlfriend and my ex-student Vivi, and her friend Ági
the plan: drive down to Zamárdi on Friday and catch one day of Balatonsound. Spend Saturday somewhere else on the lake. Come home Sunday. A simple plan, open.

the highlights:

* Balatonsound was, well, meh. I'm not that into techno/trance/electric what-the-hell-ever anyway, so the music wasn't that interesting for me. Although Massive Attack put on a good visual show. The festival was "nagyon feelingos," lots of beer and junk food and bathing-suit-wearing people lying on the grass. Best parts were running into (literally) old friends, plus swimming. Both of which I could have done without paying the 7000 forint ticket. Oh well.

* The Hungarian-English ratio left me longing for American friends. I suppose I should have predicted it: me, who won't speak Hungarian in front of strangers; one friend who speaks English with me but not in front of others; other friend who speaks both but chooses Hungarian as the easier; one stranger who speaks perfect English and occasionally did; other stranger whose English approximates my Hungarian. So I was quiet a lot the whole weekend, which was peaceful but a bit isolated.

* On Friday, as we were discussing options for the next days, Tamás suggested sailing. We nodded ambiguously, mulling over the cost. Well. In typical fashion, it turned out that he had already made sailing plans. Namely, that his parents have a boat in Füred. So we spend Saturday and Sunday sailing, sunning, swimming around the lake. It was amazing! I've never been on a sail boat before... although to call it a sail boat somehow minimizes it, it was BIG.

* Getting home was ridiculous. We left Füred around 5. In normal traffic the trip would take, absolute maximum, 3 hours. But, being Sunday evening, everyone and their mother and their kitchen sink was driving back on the same two roads. Even the autópálya was bumper-to-bumper. We got home at 11:30.

* Altogether it was a great mini-vacation. Now I have to start thinking about the next one, which will be Dublin in August. Anyone who knows any must-sees, must-dos, etc, for Dublin, let me know!

Balaton pictures to come... tomorrow. This week. Some day. Maybe.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

ATCs part II

And a pic - this is my favorite ATC that I've made recently:


Just for kicks, and lack of better material, and the fact that there is absolutely NOTHING available online about ATCs in Hungarian, the following is an essay I wrote for my Hungarian class. Of course, this isn't the original version I wrote, but rather the corrected version. I know that it still reads a bit strange - while going over it, my patient tanár often proclaimed "helyes, csak.... csak nem magyaros." Which, coupled with her puzzled expression, could be translated as "grammatically correct, but no Hungarian would ever write this, and it's so bizarrely formed I don't even know how to fix it." Anyway:


Az egyik hobbim ATC-ket csinálni. Az "ATC" az "Artist Trading Card" rövidítése, amit úgy szoktak fordítani, hogy "mûvészkártya" vagy "mûvésznévjegy." Az ATC egy kis darab mû, amit bármilyen mûvész csinál a sájat stilusában, abból a célból hogy elcserélje mással. Csak két szabály van: a méret (2.5 x 3.5 inches, 64 x 89 mm), ugyanaz mint egy baseball kártya vagy egy játék-kártya. A másik szabály az, hogy a kártyákat nem adhatod el, csak elcserélheted. Ezeket kivéve, mindent szabad: bármilyen anyagból és bármilyen technikával csinálhatod.

A mai ATC-k, ha jól tudom, kb. 20 éve kezdõdtek Svájcban, egy svájci festõvel. De igazán sokkal hosszabb a története, mert éppen a középkorban csináltak mûvészek olyan kis kártyákat, például miniatûr portrékat. Mostanában, a legtöbb ATC-készítõk nem profi mûvészek, hanem bárki, akinek egy kis inspirációja és tehetsége van (persze, van olyan is, akinek nincs semmi tehetsége...).

Régebben ATC-ket csak személyesen cseréltek. De most létezik sok online csoport, meg weboldalak, stb, ahol találhatok csere listákat. Ezek a listák mindig ugyanazt tartalmazzák: a csere témája (mindenki csinál kártyát ezzel a témával; bármi lehet - kávé, Afrika, fekete és kék, állatok, "open" nyitott téma, stb.), a csere-rendezõ ("hostess") neve, címe, meg email-címe, hány kártyát kell csinálnom (általálban 3 és 9 között), és az idõpont, amikor a kártyáimat a rendezõnek el kell küldenem.

Ha érdekes cserét látok, emailezem a rendezõnek, hogy szeretnék a cseréhez csatlakozni. Utána megcsinálom az ATC-eimet és elküldöm a rendezõnek. A rendezõ megkapja mindenki kártyáit, osszekeveri, és visszaküld mindenkinek ugyanannyi új másfajta ATC-t, amiket mások csináltak.

Nekem ATC-ket csinálni a kedvenc hobbim, mert szeretem a kézimunkát, például a hîmzést meg az "art quilting"-t*, de nekem általálban nincs elég türelmem nagy projekthez. Egy kicsit packratos** vagyok, és annak örülök, hogy sokféle ATC-t gyûjthetek.

* ez lesz a követkézo esszém ;)
** (pack rat) gyûjtõ, gyûjtõgetõ