If you are expecting a photography related post, you might be disappointed this time. If you are interested in learning about me, my past and present, I invite you to read on.
Every summer I have the luxury of taking my daughter to my birth country, Hungary, for a few weeks. We used to come for four weeks, then five, and in the past few years it has been a six week long vacation. I know many other families who spend a few weeks, sometimes months in Hungary. Plenty of them seek deep cultural experiences for their children and themselves: folk music concerts, folk camps, visiting numerous museums, etc. I also try to include some of these in our trips. But my main goal is to have my daughter experience the culture I grew up in. Of course, the country has greatly changed in the past twenty plus years. It is impossible to show her what it was like when I still lived here. What I am able to have her experience is this: she can spend time with parents and other family members, especially her cousins. She can socialize and talk with Hungarian kids of her own age, which is nearly impossible at home, in Southern California. We need to come „home” to be able to do this. We take public transportation in the city instead of driving to every place. We eat simple but home made food that my daughter describes as the „best in the world”. I think you get the point.
Yesterday I headed out for my first Budapest photo walk. I like to do a few while I am here. It feels great to see places I know by heart, and to discover new, hidden gems. It makes me very happy to take snapshots of the city I called home for over twenty years. I can never have enough of these images.
This morning I planned to have another photo walk, but it was already 6:30 am when I left home. After a 15 minute wait for the bus and feeling the already hot and humid weather, I decided to walk home from the bus stop. When my parents saw me, they invited me to go with them to a Sunday market in a nearby town. This market combines farmers selling their fruits and vegetables, as well as others selling clothing to hardware to almost everything. I basically gave up a walk in the prestigious Buda Castle for a hot, crowded, dusty market. But I have to tell you, that I made a great decision. Instead of walking among tourists, I had the true Hungarian experience today. I saw what people eat, wear, want and don’t want. I heard them talk about their everyday life, although I definitely could’ve skipped a „few” words I keep hearing here. I’m not a fan of swear words. But all this is part of my original culture. The one I want my daughter to experience, so that she could understand me better. Because I did not grow up with either folk art or contemporary art. I learned about both of them later in my life. Instead, I went to the market, learned to cook from my mom, and learned to garden from my dad. And when I visit them, I want to cook with my mother and garden with my father. And I am having a wonderful time in Hungary. So is my daughter.