A Day In Transit

I'm sitting in limbo right now, pulled between goods and bads. Where's that? The Oslo airport. On the friendly side, it is a beautiful, open and modern building with easy recycling and apparent efficiency. But, its ungodly expensive. I saw a pair of underwear for 30 euros, however much that is in USD. I just bought "lunch," 20 euros for a small smoothie (full fruit content!), some chips  and a little bag of nuts, seeds and grapes. Its worth exploring why my traveling has taken me today to learn about my style of doing things, and maybe offer some advice along the way. I've written about some over my overlying travel philosophy, but here is some insight into the day by day, nitty gritty.

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Brakeless in Berlin

I knew before I got to Berlin that I would love it. This is a dangerous recognition that can lead to disappointment, but even in my first few hours and days, my gut feeling about the city was affirmed over and over again. I was only supposed to be here for a week as the final part of my fellowship. But I quickly found that a week wouldn't be enough time, nor would I be content to only see Berlin in this structured and non independent context, so I extended my stay here by five days.

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The Power of Language

Language is a powerful tool, that is to say, the capacity of words to communicate and portray is extraordinary. That said, expression is even more significant, with tools such as art and physical expression filling in the gaps that words lack. Everyday here in Budapest I meet with a few curators or artists or directors of galleries. Most are Hungarian and not a single has spoken English as their mother tongue. But everyone has spoken quite good English, quite fortunately for me.

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Fine art, ramen, rain and double espresso

My apartment here in Budapest is just off one of those main boulevards that every big city has. It is heavily trafficked by motor and foot alike. Along the wide sidewalk are hundreds of restaurants and cafés, almost all of them shit. Un memorable places lacking in character, quality food and creative cuisine. But they are flocked to by tourists because of their superficial appearance and most of all, convenience. I don't eat at those restaurants. Food is one of my biggest expenditures traveling, so of course I'll do it right. Plus, I've found that food offers a great way to explore a new city.

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Székesfehérvár - Good Things in a Difficult Place

Art tends to be city centric, but during times of conflict and chaos, some of the most progressive and creative artists seek refuge in the countrysides and provinces, further from the reach of the centralized power. This was seen in World War 2 when numerous French artists spent time in countryside of the South of France, as the North including Paris was occupied. In the post-World War 2 Soviet era in Hungary, it was only outside of Budapest where contemporary art could truly flourish without the ideological control of the Soviet government.

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Beauty and Shifts at the Hungarian National Gallery

I've begun the second chapter of this journey as all adventures should, by diving in rather than beginning with a taste of the waters. Yesterday I spent the day at the Hungarian National Gallery, meeting with the curator of the post-World War II section and exploring the collection. In talking with my contact at the Ludwig museum (more to come on that one), and Zsolt at the National Gallery, I’ve come to understand much more clearly the artistic system in Hungary, as well as the development of contemporary art in the last century.

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A change of pace

In Rome, my buddy Matteo was incredulous of my plan to be in Bormio for a month. Wouldn't I get bored in a small mountain village, no more than a few thousand people, most of whom don't really share a language with me?! The easy answer is no. I went there to bike, and I threw myself in. I was usually out all day, and time spent off the bike was usually with incredible Italian food.

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