Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Life Now (život teraz)

1.Who are your best friends?
I have several friends, the best ones are the ones I’ve known for a long, long time. Unfortunately I don’t get to see them as often as I would like to.

2. Who’s your most recent love?
J. It was something so unexpected to happen, but when it happened it just felt so right (even with him being a Swede and all). We think alike, we both love travelling and he doesn’t get tired of visiting book shops (or Hungary) with me. And oh. He understands the sarcasm of “even with him being a Swede and all”.

3. What’s your favourite food?
There are many great dishes, but I will never say no to a good salad and some cheese.
4. What’s your favourite colour?
Red and navy blue.

5. Where do you live?
Bratislava – the big little city in the middle of Europe.

6. What’s the best thing that’s happened?
For me personally, the best thing that ever happened to me is the fact that I’ve had possibilities to go on adventures and experience the world.
7. What’s the worst thing that’s happened?
The summer of 2012.

8. What do you want to work with?
Really now? If I had the freedom to choose and the talent to go with it, I’d be a writer. Or possibly a translator.

9. What’s your favourite sweet?
Fresh raspberries with some Greek yoghurt.

* Pictures are from our trip to Sopron in May 2013

Last Week…

…of uni before the summer holidays. Four more crazy days, after which I will do sports, sleep, read in the bath tub and just relax.

The summer ahead will be filled with work, but all the free time in the evenings will make it feel like a real holiday. For June I have planned a couple of trips to the Slovak mountains and one day in Budapest.



Saturday, 25 May 2013

Eurovision 2013

Last weekend it was time for Eurovision 2013. One of the things I like most is the opportunity to hear unknown artists from other European countries. It’s a huge plus if they sing in their own language. My favourites this year came from Hungary and Iceland.

Speaking of Iceland, listen to that language. Isn’t it beautiful or what?

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Stockholm at 4.30 AM

I came to Stockholm to spend the day yesterday. After a few hours of sleep and some general ditziness, I’m now on the airport coach. Stockholm is lovely at this time of the day. The day has started well; the sun is rising, the birds are singing and the taxi driver had a lot of interesting things to say about the state of Europe. People inspire.



This morning my facebook status read:

Stockholm at 4.30 am is a very beautiful place (despite the drunk youngsters on the streets). Also had a very interesting discussion about travels, Slovakia and Russian politics - already :) Just a few hours, and I will be home in Bratislava :)

I don’t think there’s much more to add, other than that I wish the onward journey will go smoothly so that I will arrive in Vienna on time and all OK four hours from now.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Summer Food




Main course: tabbouleh made with couscous, fresh parsley, spring onion, tomato and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Chicken marinated and fried in a sauce made with spring onion, fresh basil, garlic, freshly squeezed lime juice and olive oil. Tzatziki. 


Fruit salad: mango, orange, pear, apple and grapes. Topped with vanilla-flavoured qvark and some lemon balm.

A Declaration of Love

Whenever I come to my parents’ house, they welcome me. The piles of dictionaries and grammar books have shown me the wonders of language. They will always remind me of my first unsure steps with Russian and Hungarian. The collections of Dostoevsky, Kundera and Murakami greet me like an old friend. The chic lit books made me laugh once upon a time, whereas all those books on politics, psychology, international relations, political philosophy, decision-making, corruption and social trust inspired a thought or two. The stories told by Kertész, Márai, Kis, Capek and Milosz take me to the world that always intrigued me -  Central and Eastern Europe. Pushkin and Bulgakov, Turgenev and Chekhov stand next to Sokholov, Solzhenitsyn, Lukyanenko, Marinina and Mayakovsky. Some of them are translated, some of them are not. They all speak to one of my deepest loves – the one for Russian language and literature.

Greek food, pasta, salads, food from the Balkans. Slow food and enjoying life through the taste buds. Training bibles and positive thinking. Guide books. It is all there. All those books, all that knowledge. I love it.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Pondelok (SK: Monday)

Cold coffee and Petöfi Radio. Chatting with classmates.

The sun is shining even though it’s past 7 pm.

I’ve been working a bit with Slovak and found some interesting expression. Or what do you say about these?

Bohatým bral, chudobným dával = He took from the rich and gave to the poor.

Keď ste si ma upiekli, tak si ma aj zjedzte! = Now that you’ve baked me, you should eat me as well!

Bez práce nie sú koláče. = Without work, there are no cakes.

Učený nikto z neba nespadol. = Learned, no one has fallen from the heavens.

Keď neprší, aspoň kvapká. = When it does not rain, at least it drips.


I also found some Slovak music on youtube. This is quite catchy.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Láska (Sk: Love)

It’s been a while since I translated Slovak poetry. Today I finally found some spare time for this highly satisfying endeavour. Playing with languages is fun.

The poet who wrote this poem is called Ondrej Nagaj and he has been active for quite a few decades. The original Slovak version is below the translation.


Love cannot be encountered


For the lucky ones -

like a bright star it appears

once, twice in a lifetime,

others will not touch upon it.

It entered my atmosphere

like a meteorite,

like a comet,

when I was living tiredly

the evening twilight flew

into my soul.

From your brightness

a pair of yellow rays

touched me with their

warm shiver

and became for me

the golden key.

For that I so happily

live on Earth.


Original version by Ondrej Nagaj:

Každý deň sa láska
stretnúť nedá.
Pre šťastných raz
-- dvakrát v živote
objaví sa
ako jasná hviezda,
iný sa jej ani nedotkne.
Vstúpila si
v moju atmosféru
ako bolid,
ako kométa,
keď na dušu
žitím unavenú
mi večerný súmrak
Z tvojho jasu
zopár žltých lúčov
dotklo sa ma
teplým zachvením
a stalo sa
pre mňa zlatým kľúčom.
Preto tak rád
žijem na Zemi.
- Aj kalina je kvet, 2000

Feeling Good


There have been times in my life when I haven’t felt so good, times when the anxiety was ripping me apart from the inside. At some point I decided to take a positive outlook on life, and my plan is to maintain it. Life is simply too wonderful. Or, as Oscar Wilde put it, life is far too important a thing ever to talk seriously about.

One way to keep a positive outlook on life is to surround oneself with positive people. Sure, life cannot always be perfect – in fact, life can sometimes be unfair, painful and a real pain in the bum. I do, however, believe that it becomes easier if one can see the colours, the rainbows and the reasons to laugh.

The inspiration for this post: I used to work with a middle-aged lady who was always positive and walked her own way in life. The other day I sent her an impromptu message, asking to meet up for coffee. It’s one of the things I’m looking forward to the most right now.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

“Longing for some sore muscles…”

…but not a sore head Smile Since I came to Finland, I keep waking up with a nightmarish headache. Anyhow, being here is giving me time to think about things I want to do, like training and being creative. The inspiration is overwhelming, but I will try to keep some of it for Bratislava.

Working out and “healthy living” are the things I miss the most. Right now I’m browsing the web for inspiration on training programs and diet.

So, what am I looking for?

When it comes to working out, I want something that mixes cardio, strength training and “fun stuff”. Food-wise I’m thinking about a diet that is clean, consisting of plenty of veggies and fruit, and fish.

NB: I did find a simple, yet efficient workout to be done at home. When things need to be kept simple, this is probably the way to go:


Thursday, 2 May 2013

Final Module

You might notice that I have been absent the past few months. The reasons are many and I don’t feel that I need to explain myself further. However, I will tell you about something great that has been occupying me this year. My studies.

Now that there is only one module left, I can safely say that Sociology of law feels like the right thing for me. We have been studying a mix of European law, theories of social sciences, methodology and evaluation research. It’s all been a lot of fun even though it’s been tough at times.

A question people often ask me is: but what is sociology of law? I tried answering this question in the autumn, now I know more. Laws have implications and they are related to the society within which they are created, formed and implemented. It is this relationship that is interesting in the sociology of law. Today law is very multifaceted, the nation state (especially in Europe) has lost a lot of its traditional powers, it’s a very complex world we live in. And it’s an awfully interesting object to study.

I have one more year left. In the 2nd year we are free to choose our modules. I have applied for two modules; Social Sciences: Social Welfare in a Global Context and Sociology: Classic and Modern Theory. My backup plan is to do some Russian Smile

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Objects of Annoyance–Or the Day She Decided To Let the Words Flow

Is there anything more annoying that a Wi-Fi-connection that refuses to work even though there are 5 bars showing and no yellow warning signs anywhere to be seen?

I had planned on doing some reading. With this complete technological failure, I’m instead forced to look at old photos and turn inwards, into reflective mode. The coffee tastes bitter and I’m looking forward to a proper coffee machine and real coffee. This ferry and the people around me are so familiar. There’s the feeling of knowing what to expect. The language spoken makes complete sense. I seldom complain about Slovaks and their use of English, but the service on the bus from Bratislava to Vienna airport was horrendous. There was a slight misunderstanding between the bus driver and me when I was boarding the bus. We spoke English.  When he started to mutter something about stupid foreigners not knowing how to speak Slovak, I gave him a long and wistful glance. Hey, Mister. Just because I don’t speak Slovak, it doesn’t mean that I don’t understand what you are saying.

Relating to my previous post, going home always makes me start planning things. This is positive, I suppose. Especially since I haven’t been doing that much planning lately.  Things I want to plan is the work out regime, the detox regime, studies and stuff. Really, I do like the word regime. I also want to plan my time so that I can get up at five, read the news and sip on morning coffee in peace, go for walks. This is what happens when you read too many books about the perfect life, or the writer’s life. It’s one or the other. Anyhow, I miss my reading. I miss reading the news and books and articles. It has only been uni reading lately. At this advanced age I’m starting to notice that I have an affection for short stories – the glimpses they catch into moments of people’s lives. Short stories and photographs of random people – like these kids spending a typical Sunday afternoon in April in Bratislava.




And then the internet started to work.

Plans for May

Time to recharge the batteries for ten days. Apart from uni tasks (finally able to give my complete focus to uni, yay), I’m planning on reading a lot of books and be a bit sociable. I also want to write a lot.

Life has been quite hectic since I moved to Bratislava. Or, to be more precise, the first few months I was enjoying being single, focusing on being social and so on. Now life is calming down and I want to return to some of old hobbies.

  • I want to blog daily. It’s not a promise, but something I will try to do.
  • Cook more and do a detox. This is something I have thought about for a while, and what better time than May?
  • Re-start my workout regime. It has been on a break, but considering that I have a great gym buddy AND a boyfriend who loves exercising, I should take advantage of the opportunity.

How about you? Any plans for May?