Where the Heck is Budapest?!@#!

You’ve heard it a hundred times: Americans can’t identify capitals, countries, or continents. Whenever I read this, I’m always skeptical. Who did they ask? I wonder. My own grade school teachers certainly made sure that I learned my geography. As … Continue reading

America is Coconuts for Coconuts!

Every year when I go stateside for the summer there seems to be some new beverage craze: flavored water, boutique booze, immune boosting juices, even vitamin-enhanced beer. This year it’s all about coconuts. Tweet

NO! Please! Not in July!#@!

Every summer when I fly home to California for a visit I experience little reverse culture shocks. I forget that so many of the cars here are huge and that the parking lots are, too. Parking lots are practically nonexistent … Continue reading

Pogácsa: Hungary’s Favorite Snack!

I avoid Metro stations in Budapest – not for bad reasons, but because they smell so dang delicious. At the entrance of many a Budapest Metro you’ll find a bakery. Once when an American friend came to visit me in … Continue reading

The Cologne Counter: Is it Just Me?!

I love a good bargain. I’ve been known to fill up on the free toothpicked food samples that the lady hands out at the end of the supermarket aisle. My TV favorite show is the one where coupon-cutters buy thousands of … Continue reading

Napozó: When in Budapest, do as the Budapestis do!

A few weeks ago, I was talking with my third graders in class when one of them said the word “dog.” Bence, my Hungarian student, announced, “That was my first English word.” I looked at him, surprised. “You remember your … Continue reading

Happy Birthday Széchenyi Fürdő!

Fürdők (FUR-derk): n. baths. Public bathing venues where European men hang out in Speedos and American men wear long trunks. Budapest is famous for its baths, and Széchenyi fürdő is one of the most popular. With its neo-Baroque facade and marble colonnades, … Continue reading

Széchenyi Baths: Don’t Drink the Water!

Not long ago, my friends Lisa, Botond, and I were lounging in the outdoor pool at Budapest’s famous Széchenyi Baths. Lisa was enjoying a much-deserved break from her house full of kids. As the three of us wallowed in the … Continue reading

Uborka: Hungarians and their Pickles!

A few years ago at the American School I had a Polish student named Ola who was just learning English. I was going to teach her the names of different foods, and a Polish friend of mine suggested I teach … Continue reading


Before moving to Budapest, I figured a wine spritzer was a spritzer. Well, not in Magyarland. Here there are dozens of different kinds, all with varying ratios of wine and soda. And they all have different names, too! Continue reading