Paris in spring

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film photography

Paris is one of my favourite cities and coincidentally (or maybe not so coincidentally) where Léa lives. She invited me to stay at her place in April and it was glorious. Her apartment opens onto a square with the perfect view of the Eiffel tower. She made me fall in love with the city, the beautiful gardens, canals and people. Paris and its dwellers are the perfect embodiment of the term joie de vivre. They enjoy life to the absolute fullest and they aren’t apologetic for it. They know how to live, and Paris allows them to do exactly that. It was such a special weekend.

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(Photos shot on Nikon Fm3a // Voigtländer 40mm f/2 // Portra 400)

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the French Alpes

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film photography

Last week I went skiing with my friends for the first time in my life. There’s actual proof of this in the shape of a semi-permanent bruise the size of Africa on my ass. You’re welcome. But actually apart from that, the trip was so much fun.

It was 10 of us taking a 22-hour bus ride from Budapest over to Grenoble, it was so long that we basically ran out of letters playing Mr. X (our favourite guessing game). We picked Les Deux Alpes because it has over 200km of ski slopes and the prices were a lot better compared to Austrian ski resorts. I hadn’t been in the mountains during wintertime sice I was a little child, it got me so excited when the bus was circling in the Alpes. And the view from the windows was breathtaking.

Aside from the daily struggles on the slippery slopes, we also went on a little trip to Venosc, a nearby village that we had direct access to via a ski lift. We had our first Raclette, a traditional French dish of potatoes that you dip into what is basically melted cheese, it was beyond delicious. The waiter at our restaurant was very generous, he got us slightly tipsy on some delicious red wine and proceeded to offer us 4-5 shots of Génépi, a traditional herbal liquor of the region. Needless to say, I highly recommend! We swam outdoors, had an intense sauna session with The Cure playing on repeat and had so many laughs while playing the weirdest games each night.

These were some of my favourite shots from the week.

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Morning cloud

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When the bus doesn’t come

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Light baubles in Venosc

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Felix

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Snowy pine

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Clowdy street

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Serpentines

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Frenchman with umbrella (it wasn’t raining)

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The view form the room

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Liza daydreaming

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Crew segment

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Clearing clouds

foreigner body/life

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mood journal

These last two weeks I’ve been wondering about myself a lot.
Me, as a being on this planet, as a living breathing person, born into a city, a country and culture that I never had a chance in choosing. These thoughts are probably due to the fact that I have been reading Judit Shklar and her essay on liberalism in which she returns to the core of existence for her political philosophy: to the human being. Don’t get me wrong, I am okay with being Hungarian, I will always consider it home. But having lived  in the United States for three years and am nearing two in Germany, it is very hard not to want to peel this layer of myself off and become someone different. Not a foreigner.

This is a conflict I face every day and will be facing possibly for the rest of my life. It is something that you never really think about when deciding to move to a different country. You think about it but can never really be prepared for it because it is a phenomenon individual to each person. In the beginning I thought it was because of my insecurities with the German language and that it would be much easier if I could communicate in English, having a semi-flawless American accent. But I just started an internship where I work together with Americans and it just pushed my struggle to a new level of crazy. I am not an American. I can act like one, speak like one and maybe believe it for a little, but it is not me. Why did I think for a second that it would be easier?

How does one take all that they have learned about themselves in the last 20 years and construct a self from these scraps, a person that they could enjoy being? One that is confident to be different, doesn’t have to follow the norms to be able to identify with people and looks into the eyes of strangers instead of staring at their shoes. Someone who doesn’t preconstruct all their sentences before saying them.

(Original artwork from Daehyun Kim)