Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Shoes on the Danube

Ferenc Liszt: If you thought the Transcendental Etudes were hard, watch me materialize 70kg of malamute.

It was very easy to sleep in this morning after yesterday's cross-countries excursion. Today I was just going to do a lap of the central part of town, to size things up, see what caught my eye.

It's nonsense!

We pretty much tripped over Liszt Ferenc tér (Franz Liszt Square) taking a detour off the main Andrassy Ave thoroughfare, realising later that Marton had circled it on a tourist map for us as a prime outdoor eating location. Aside from the hand-waving statue of the master, and one of the buildings of the Budapest Academy of Music that he founded, one finds a great choice of cafes and restaurants. Marton had suggested Menza, and it was a good choice, roast chicken with banana & apple, plus plum dumplings.

I found an interesting music store called CD Bar, with an large eclectic range of jazz, classical and Hungarian folk music. It's several cellar rooms, so Bondi spread out on the cool floor while I went a huntin'. It seems every music store I go into has an intriguing selection of CDs from the Budapest Music Centre, accompanied by a broken CD preview machine. That's a shame as I would love to sample some of the domestic releases.

I'm being followed by the Víndówswistapöliz.

On the return leg of our walk, which would simply take us along the right bank of the Danube back to Poszonyi I saw this art installation, which I first assumed to be a modern piece of street art. It's certainly a recent work, but - as I overheard from some nearby people - it memorializes those people shot by the Arrow Cross militiamen, a fascist organisation active during WWII, the victims falling into the Danube. I had to sit down to take it all in. In its simple directness, it is at least as moving as Maya Linn's Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC.

Extensions to Parliament house awaiting the big Allen key from the IKEA depot

'Bad' stitch of 4 images of the Parliament building (actually Parlament) that came out rather well.

Parliament building from the north of the Danube side.

Aboriginal T-shirts

I left Bondi at the apartment to rest and eat, while I went out to forage in the West End, the largest shopping mall in central Europe. Entering it from an underground metro station, the first thing that I noticed (after the don't bring in any bombs warning) was a store called Aboriginal, selling T-shirts emblazoned with New South Wales Athletic Dept logo text. Very surreal. They had another store on an upper level of the mall that had even weirder text about aboriginal feelings, Sydney Beach and New South Wales University*. I wasn't sure whether to laugh or be appalled by a lot of it. A store with this merchandise in New South Wales would cause a riot.

The mall had a food court with a Thai kitchen that made me unspeakably happy, as it's the first chance I've had to get any East Asian food since leaving London 7 weeks ago. They seemed to have many more customers than Cabbages 'r' Us just a few doors up.

Seen and noted: Szudoku puzzle books.

*There is a University of NSW - I did my Masters' degree there - but NSW University is a font-jockey's creation.