Gimme Shelter

The sun is blazing and I'm waiting for a tram. Where do I stand?

a) Out in the open
b) Under the shelter
c) Across the road in the shade of a tree

The answer, of course, is either a) or c) but never b). Why? Because there are no shelters at tram stops in Budapest. Well what's that then?

That, my poor fool, is not a shelter.

Shelter is one of man's basic necessities, along with food, water and oxygen. If you had to rely on Budapest's "shelters" for shelter, you'd be in worse shape than if you relied on Jean Michel Jarre's "Oxygène" for oxygen.

I interviewed the Minister of Transport and he explained:
"My mate owns a glass and plastics company." *

*Clearly, I made this up.

Andy Sz.

In Budapest almost anything goes. Almost.

It's a laid back city, with ruin bars, people drinking beers in the street literally at all hours of the day (I've seen dudes on their way to work, 6:45, open beer in hand), and enough dog poop and people puke on the sidewalk for people to step en masse. However, there is one place where a plethora of distinct rules presides: THE TROLLEY BUS.

Phantomly smoked cigarettes have been banned from all trolley buses since the '56 revolution.
Dogs whose noses have just been covered by Spider-Man's web are exempt from all laws and are allowed to board without a ticket.
If you're trying to transport that car door and you're caught: 1 million forint fine. Shit's serious.
Farmers are prohibited from drinking from long-neck bottles while the trolley bus is in motion. Cans are okay.
Single, double, and quadruple ice cream cones are in fact permitted, but three scoops: a definite no-no.
If a dispute over a seat occurs, the only legal way to resolve it is to do that old baseball bat 'hand over hand' game.
Kids and cops alike: please silence your walkie-talkies, it's distracting to the driver.
Runny nose? Don't you dare even think about grabbing for that tissue.

Don't say we never warned you...

-Jacob P.

Back in October, we ran a blog called "Get the fuck out of here..." directed at Gloria Jean's, the extortionate coffee mongers. And guess what... they got the fuck out of here!

Some would blame the tough financial climate for their decision but we prefer to believe that our chastisement was just too much for them.

It turns out that they're not only in the business of trying to rip everyone off (615Ft for a small cappucino) but they're also in the business of trying to fuck everyone up (treating anorexia with exorcism.) More on their links with deranged "Christian" organisations here.

In their farewell blurb, they say "Our aim remains to make Gloria Jean’s Coffees, Hungary’s most loved & respected coffee company. We thank you, with all our heart, for your support and hope to be able to welcome you back again soon."

We, on the other hand, say "Spare us your sentimental bullshit." ...and once more, with gusto: "Get the fuck out of here!"

Andy Sz.

An Oik at the Opera

Hungarian State Opera
Andrássy út 22 [map] [tickets]
Tel. 331 2550
Pest Centre, Opera (M1), 1 min

Alright? I went to see an Oprah, wiv singin' n'that at the Oprah house. I fought Oprah was well gay an if my mates knew I was goin’ to that kind of thing, they’d say I was losin’ it. But the missus wanted it and so I gave it a go.

So all the toffs and students were all wearing suits and sparkly dresses an that, an I was wearing a t-shirt but it was ok. But the thing was, I had to leave my coat at the cloakroom, an that cost like 140 florints, which they should of just put on the ticket because you have to leave it. Know what I mean?

We was up near the top because the seats up there was much cheaper than in the main bit but I reckon it was better cuz you could look round the room which was well posh: all gold stuff everywhere, like for the Queen or Puff Daddy. Maybe in one of the boxes, she would of sat in there wiv Prince Phillip on one side and Puff on the other. Ha ha! That would be well weird.

But that would of been loads an I reckon it's not much different an even we paid 3500 florints each for a ticket when we could of paid 400 florints - when you could of sat not anywhere but it would of been the same. But don't buy any drinks because wine was like 1200 florints for a glass an you can't take it in with you. Rip off! You're better off getting a coke, which was 350 florints, an then just getting drinks somewhere else later.

So this one was called Anyegin or somethink like that an it was in Russian, which I knew because when the scoreboard said "Nem, nem, nem" the men in the Oprah sang "Nyet, nyet, nyet" which was "No, no, no" in Russian. I didn't know they had a scoreboard like that at the Oprah! Shame it was in foreign.

So I didn't know what was happenin' half the time because I don't read these old stories where people fall in love an then they end up killing each other and that kind of thing. Not exactly modern is it? So it would of been a bit better if I'd looked at the internet before we went.

But the good thing was that they put people in different colours. So there were two couples: a red one and a white one, and the girl in the white one was with this guy in the white and he didn't like her as much as she liked him. But the red ones liked each other but they had a party an the white girl got off with the red guy an then they did a big stand-off, like in a Western, and the red one got shot. But in the end, the white one wasn't happy either because the girl that he didn't like at the start didn't like him anymore but he liked her. She wasn't worth it, mate!

Anyway, so it wasn't that real but they had a big square stage that tilted and moved round, and these bits that kept floating over - so it didn't look the same all the way through. And, of course, they were singing all the time - an they were good singers - if you like Pavarotti or whatever! The orchestra was there at the front too. Imagine if they done that for films.

So it was ok in the end. It didn't go as slow as I thought and it was better than the time we went to the ballet. The room is worth it and it was ok if your girlfriend wants to go. You only have to spend 400 florints each and you can still see. Anyway, I can say I've done that now, an everyone at work's gonna say "You went to the Oprah?" And I'm going to say "Well, man of the world, my friends, man of the world."
Oik Sz.

You may have noticed that there are some pretty shady characters kicking around in Budapest: the ones who think they're in a Hungarian variant of the SS. The uniform of camouflage trousers and jack boots is completed with a black bomber jacket with a sewn-on badge of "Greater Hungary" - thanks mum! - and a t-shirt that proudly announces:

"MAGYAR VAGYOK NEM TURISTA!" (I'm Hungarian, not a tourist.)

It's not easy to comprehend the thinking of the confused misanthropic nationalist youth at the best of times. Unless there's some genuine resistance to tourism, which isn't beyond possibility, I can only assume that these t-shirts have to be worn beyond Hungary's borders to make any sense.

It's impossible to say where teenage angs
t ends and where fascism in earnest begins but it's disappointing that no one seems too interested in making any opposing political fashion statements. (Perhaps because that would result in having the shit kicked out of you by the kids in the jack boots.)

But maybe it's just that the fashion industry hasn't cornered the market. Here are a few ideas, just in case...

Andy Sz.

My experience with record stores in Hungary has been pretty non-existent. Mostly because I’m never compelled to go into places that have Jonas Brothers or Guns ‘n Roses posters in the window. I may be judgmental, but you can (and should) judge a record store by its cover, and quite frankly the High School Musical soundtrack isn’t even on my radar. let alone the riffraff that might lie alongside it in a record shop with such terrible taste. For these reasons I’ve just about given up on finding any decent record store in Budapest, but after spotting Laci Bácsi's Record Shop, hope returned.

Look at this place. The exterior is perfectly painted, no blemishes or graffiti, the metal gate always hangs over the windows to stave off even the thought of a late night break-in. The outside is about as inviting as a prison and gives you an idea about the guy running the place, none other than Laci Bácsi himself.

Record collectors tend to be anal, bordering on obsessive-compulsive and Laci’s no exception. His presence is downright intimidating. Sure he might be a nice guy if you get to know him, but the tension in the air alone had me choking on and fumbling over my words upon his annoyed and disinterested inquiry if I needed any help.

Normally record stores (in the US at least) have mountains of unorganized records scattered about, falling from their sleeves and in all sorts of conditions. Not here. Every LP is perfectly baggied, priced, and in near-mint condition. There’s not a single record haphazardly out of place—an anomaly if I’ve ever seen one.

His categorization is nearly impeccable, evident in the militant organization of the store as well as in the searchability of the online catalogue. He’s got things labeled to a "T" - Czech Beat, Polish Jazz, Eastern European Progressive, the obvious vast Rock section, even a lacking Punk selection that encapsulates the predictable (Ramones, Sex Pistols, The Damned). The world music sections are the standout qualities here. His collection of 1950s French Pop is great and includes plenty Édith Piaf LPs. Leonard Cohen has a strong presence, even if the prices marked seem a bit steep. And there’s plenty of the Smiths and Morrissey for the “in-touch with your feelings” crowd.

To any foreigner, well at least myself, this place is a gem that you’d have to scour the span of the USA to find. It might be near impossible to pick up old communist-era Hungarian Avant-garde LPs anywhere else, save for maybe eBay. Even if you’re without a turntable, or aren’t even into records, just browsing through all the remarkable album art that you’re not likely to come across anywhere else is worth your time, especially if you’re looking for artistic inspiration of any sort.

Music nowadays is disposable. Downloading is killing what used to be known as record sales, but is too easy to not do it. To me vinyl is the only thing that’s going to save the music industry, so Laci should breathe easy, he’s got a good thing going. It’s just a question of whether Budapestians are catching on.

Laci Bácsi's Record Shop is located at Kertész u. 42, just across from Hummus Bar. It’s open Monday-Friday from 12:00-19:00. Official site (including map) and more info here.

Jacob P.

What's that? Gyros. Looks like a kebab to me. Yes, it is, they call them gyros here. Have you ever wondered what's in it? Well, it's meat and salad in a pitta, isn't it? Is it? Isn't it?

Gyros takeaways are everywhere in Budapest. They serve at any time. They're cheap. So what's the catch?

You're going to die! (No kidding.)

My name's Andrew and I used to be addicted to gyros. I gave it up about 6 months ago and I've never looked back. [Applause.] I called them gyrosh, for a while, thinking that Hungarians did that. They don't. I never thought they were healthy. It's just, at 4 o'clock in the morning, when the alcohol abuse stops, the stomach remembers its primary purpose, and there aren't that many alternatives.

I gave up gyros because I came to notice that, more often than not, I didn't like it very much. For a while, I thought I was just getting a dud here and there, and it's certainly true that quality varies. But I eventually realised that when I was kind-of sober, and the meat was chicken, it was just too greasy; and if the meat was, well, whatever the brown one is, it was just too... not that much like meat.

Which raises the question: what is the brown one exactly; the 'meat' gyros? I mean, it goes without saying that anything called 'meat' without specifying which meat, could be anything. But perhaps it's not that they don't want to tell you but rather that they can't!

Not surprisingly, I'm not the first to consider this; click here for more extensive research.

The final straw was that Andy T kept going on about this article in The Guardian. Just in case you can't be bothered to follow the link, the key phrase for me was:

"Eating two a week could cause a heart attack within 10 years."


Now, that's a worst case scenario, clearly, and one relating to someone who eats "pie and chips and fried breakfasts as well." Now I'm not that big on pies but I do occasionally have a fried breakfast. How many years does that give me, I wonder?

Sorry gyros, we can't be friends anymore.

Igen, I think you heard me right. I said, "Szeretnék egy falafelt!"

Andy Sz.

AMENDMENT: The rail strike has since ended and trains are running throughout Hungary.

Hear that? No? That's because Budapest is missing a distinct sound. The sound of trains.

This photo was taken at peak rush hour time at Nyugati station, one of the city's main and usually most bustling domestic train stations. Take note of the arrival and departure board - nearly empty, save for a train headed to the airport. It's not exactly what I'd call active.

Since last Saturday there has been a strike that started with the railroad's domestic workers, but then spread by week's start to almost all trains in and out of Hungary. It's been reported that the cause for the strike is an internal battle between train officials and employees over money employees feel they deserve after the sale of a private sector of MAV.

Walk into any of Budapest's three main train stations, including Keleti, which normally handles most of the international traffic, and you'll be surprised at the deserted nature that haunts the iron and glass lattice-work. Despite Christmas being just days away, the strike shows no signs of stopping, which spells disaster, or at least major headaches, for holiday travelers with destinations outside of Hungary. However, it's been said that railroad employees will suspend the strike temporarily on the Christmas holiday. For those who want to arrive to family and friends earlier than Christmas Day, good luck.

A separate strike at Budapest's airport has holiday travelers needing to arrive at the airport three hours before departure to ensure everything goes smoothly. At this point, the bus is your best bet, either that or good old fashioned thumbing it.

Jacob P.

Ophélie Bretnacher has been MISSING since Thursday December 4th, in Budapest. She was last seen at around 3AM between Portside de Cuba and Chain Bridge. Her bag was found with her ID and phone on the Pest side of the bridge, but no sign of Ophélie. If anyone has ANY information, please contact the facebook group here or call this number:


Please help us look for her by spreading the word to your friends, your help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you. has gone viral!

That means we've posted a very silly video on Youtube which may or may not pass as entertainment. You decide!

If you think anyone might be amused, annoyed or believe that Bob and Skyler might be in earnest, please pass on the link. After all, you are our pathogens!

Down and Out in Budapest

With every Christmas comes new decorative fads, and Budapest is no exception. Last year seemed to be the year of mini-Santas climbing towards windows like jolly little gremlin-burglars. This year, they've grown and they've taken to hanging around outside shops, doing little jigs.
Just take a trip down the körűt and you'll see a few. Some just stand there; others shift from one leg to the other, to keep warm; one even has a saxophone, although he didn't bother to show up when I went to see him yesterday. Busking's not for everyone.

The one thing they all share is that they don't exactly exude Christmas - or Mikolas - cheer. Jingle Bells couldn't have been further from my mind. Several of them look like they've been standing outside for too long; like they have no homes to go to. In fact, I saw a disturbed-looking homeless person outside 'Plus' supermarket the same morning doing much the same thing, instilling a mixture of pity and repulsion in the passers-by.

Left out on the street, Santa isn't bearing up so well, and he's not even real. The guy outside "Plus", however, is as real as you or I.

So for anyone who's interested, there are several charities who are working to improve the lives of the homeless in Budapest. The Hungarian Maltese Charity is one of the most visible and has information in English here. Alternatively, you can donate direct to the homeless foundation, Fedél Nélküliekért Alapítvány, who are the ones who sell the papers on the streets. ("Számlaszám" is the account number.)

There, that's as much Christmas spirit as you're likely to get from me.

Andy Sz.

Giving Thanks

Americans celebrate Thanksgiving on the 4th Thursday of November. With the holiday just days away, American expatriates here in Budapest may find themselves scrambling for a way to celebrate the earliest American Federal holiday.
My suggestion: go to Pozsonyi Kisvendéglő and have the duck, it's pretty close to a traditional Thanksgiving meal and you'll be just as stuffed. However, if you'd rather not spend the holiday sullenly stuffing face alone, and actually enjoy sappily celebrating being overly thankful with friends and family, be my guest. Sure, we all may see Thanksgiving as a grandiose excuse to make a massive meal, shovel it in, then stumble to the sofa to watch American football the rest of the day while in a tryptophan-induced near-coma. To that I say, do some research about actual Thanksgiving. Native Americans were slaughtered.

A 1895 New York Times article stated, "New York celebrated her first Thanksgiving Day [...] in 1644, [...] the Dutch citizens of New York killed nearly 600 Indians and then marched home and 'cheerfully' ate their Thanksgiving Day dinners." The first Thanksgiving, which took place almost a quarter decade before this incident, supposedly celebrated a successful harvest season and the Pilgrims and Native Americans harmonious friendship. So if the hatred was still there 23 years later, one could bet that few puritanical pilgrims were sitting down with "them Injins" to gnaw on some turkeys.

One thing I'm reveling in while safe and sound here in Budapest: NO BLACK FRIDAY. For those of you unfamiliar; no this is not a racially slanderous day. It's the day after Thanksgiving where in America people start their official Christmas shopping and are insane about it. Just about every retailer in the U S of A has a ludicrous deal running, which they wildly advertise. In turn that forces people to camp outside of stores, waiting for the doors to open at some ungodly hour of the morning. All this just to end up getting scratched, kicked, stampeded, scraped, burned, stabbed, shot, et cetera by other rabid deal-seekers.

So be thankful this Thanksgiving you don't have to deal with inane questions from your folks, nagging in-laws, an annoying kid sister, or fighting for the last Tickle Me Elmo or that plasma flat screen you want to snag for your fiancé for x-mas.

Jacob P.

graffiti |grəˈfētē| plural noun ( sing. -to |-tō|) [treated as sing. or pl. ] writing or drawings scribbled, scratched, or sprayed illicitly on a wall or other surface in a public place : the walls were covered with graffiti | [as adj. ] a graffiti artist.

Just like any other major metropolitan city, Budapest has its fair share of graffiti. Whether you think it's an eyesore or view it as street art, it's not going anywhere, so you might as well embrace it. From the ironic to the blasé, from the political to the classic 'fuck' scrawled on a wall, it pops up in new places daily, which might just make your routine, same old-same old, walking routes a bit more interesting. Here's a small taste of what Budapest has to offer:

Now, if you're sitting there thinking: "Is that all Budapest can come up with?", you've missed our point somewhat. But to satisfy the appetites of any graffiti art lovers out there, check out SF's blog here or here.

Jacob P.

Andy T.

If our shocking expose of bad Budapest customer service (Miserable People in Shops) were a television series, it would be a very unsatisfying one. Episodes rock up only when we remember to make them. And they're never that interesting - in fact, by now we'd have been well and truly cancelled.

But we'll soldier on with this rubbish until we decide to pull the plug. My latest encounter with a Miserable Person happened in the Manna ABC on Friday night. It's on the corner of Bajcsy Zsilinsky utca. Of all Les Miserables, this woman takes the cake. And keeps it. All for herself. Which is exactly what she tried to do with my change.

What makes this particular incident doubly sad is that a very nice Real used to occupy the building next door but has recently closed down, presumably because it couldn't compete with the shiny Manna ABC 0-24 that barged its way into the neighbourhood. The man who ran Real was a creepily pleasant chap who spoke English very well. One night, he gave me a ham and cheese croissant free of charge. 'We're closing' he said, 'and I'll just throw it out. Take it. Have it for breakfast.' I couldn't imagine Manna ABC giving me a free croissant. If they did, they'd probably throw it at my head.


What happened exactly?
It was about one in the morning and I fancied taking a stroll around Parliament. I'm leaving Budapest in a week and was feeling nostalgic enough to get out of my bedroom for a walk on some deserted streets. To help me, I needed a) a bag of peanuts, b) a can of beer and c) some milk for the morning.

This is shaping up to be as interesting as the last Miserable People in etc.
Thanks. Anyway, I got to the counter and laid my three items out. 585 ft. Disaster! Digging into my pockets I realised I only had 400 ft.

Go on. Please.
I will. It was time for an executive decision, so I left the counter and stood by the fruit and veg for a bit in order to concentrate. Peanuts were essential, as was beer. Milk? I could get up in the morning and get some, or just skip breakfast.

What happened next?
Well, me changing my mind was a disaster of epic proportions. The financial crisis? Dwarfed. Global warming? Dwarfed. She'd already scanned the items! And once the items have been scanned, there's no going back. Never. Ever. The member of staff, a sour looking oldish woman who looked like she'd put her make up on in the dark, stood staring at me. Chewing. Like a cow.

It's a disaster once the items have been scanned. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to un-scan items? Do you? No, you don't. Why didn't you get on your knees and beg a thousand pardons?
I should have, I know. Instead I paid for my items and waited for the change (30 forint).

It didn't arrive. So I looked at her, pointed at the till, and mouthed ineptly in Hungarian that I should have some change. At which point she picked up the beer, slammed it down on the desk then picked up the peanuts and slammed them down on the beer! Slam! Slam! Slam!

It was. But knowing I was right, I started to flap my arms about a bit. I pointed at the price tags, and stood there till she gave me my money.

How did it end?
She realised her mistake and slammed the money on the counter. I slammed my beer into a pocket. She slammed a basket onto the floor. I slammed the door. Slam! Slam! Slam! Slam! Slam!

You won't be going back there then.
No. And neither should you.

Andy T.

Here are some pictures of Sunday mornings in my area. Always a horrible minefield of broken glass, sick, wee wee and litter. This is an interactive post - I've included some hymn lyrics, to make up for the fact that most people out boozing/weeing/vomiting near my house last night won't have managed to get up in time for church. All together now.

The purple headed mountains,

The river running by,

The sunset and the morning, that brightens up the sky.

The cold wind in the winter,

The pleasant summer sun,

The ripe fruits in the garden, He made them every one.

Andy T.

Who is Gloria Jean, exactly? I picture her as a huge, hugely successful woman, the ageing head of a global coffee empire who sits around in her Beverly Hills mansion, eating crackers, while ogling the pool guy. Her coffee shop is a recent addition to the city - there are branches in Hősök tere, Mammut and on the körút, near Nyugati.

Forget my first question. A more pertinent one would be, who exactly does Gloria Jean think she is? I was walking past the Hősök tere branch the other day when I was forced to do a double take.

Guess how much a kicsi cappuccino costs. Go on, guess. Wrong. Try again. No, still wrong. One more chance. Okay, you’re rubbish at this, I'll tell you. A small cappuccino at Gloria Jean’s would set you back 615 ft. Six hundred and fifteen ft. What is this - Dubai? Why, for that much, I could buy a, a, a… dinosaur! Even the California Coffee Company opts for a less ballsy 490 ft.

615 ft is a ridiculous price, made even more ridiculous by the fact that the minimum wage here is 69,000 ft per month. If that’s net, which it isn’t, the average minimum wage employee working 22 days a month would earn 3136 ft per day. Now then, let’s say that on their way to their job, said worker stops in for a morning coffee every day at Gloria Jean’s. In a single month they’d spend 13,530 ft on coffee. Which leaves them just 55,470 ft to pay for such luxuries as food, a travel pass and rent.

But of course, it isn’t aimed at the average Hungarian, it’s aimed at the decidedly average tourist. As a Hungarian friend of mine pointed out (after having been duped into paying an arm and a leg for a coffee and a sandwich in Gloria's), at the very least it solves the problem of tourists not being able to get a hot drink in Hősök tere. No, it’s much better now - they can visit one of Hungary’s most striking monuments and wonder at the fact that a cappuccino costs more than double what you would pay in a New York Starbucks. Truly amazing. Glory be!

Andy T.

My metro arrived at Deák ter. I got off and walked into the concourse beyond the platform, along with the majority of the morning commuters. Obviously, I was in a rush, as I tend to be in the mornings, and strode briskly towards the escalators that lead to Metro 3.
Now, it seems to me that ticket inspectors aren't employed for their tactical nouse. There were about eight of them, arranged in such a way that they could chat to each other at the base of the right-hand escalator, casually menacing passers-by. In principle, I agree with the idea of ticket inspectors but why are they so bloody ineffectual? If they're intending to stop people without tickets, they're standing in the wrong place! With two up escalators, one right, one left, what kind of fare-dodger would choose the one with the flock of inspectors?

Well, perhaps a gutsy, wily one! Possessing a ticket, as I did, I
headed for the emptier escalator on the right, and a stray inspector drifted towards me. I ignored her, but three metres from safety, she asked for my ticket. Irritated, I found that the best way to convey "Look, I obviously have a ticket because I've chosen this escalator!", was to ignore her again. This proved rather effective, as the inspector waited until I was halfway up the ecalator before she employed her next tactic: "Uram!" ("Sir!"), she cried out.

I'm sure there are some people who would find this call impossible to disregard. No doubt there are some who would turn around at the top of the escalator, take the first escalator back down, interrupt the inspector's subsequent conversation about why they never catch anyone without a ticket, and say:

"I'm terribly sorry, madam, did you want to see my ticket? Here it is. And, if I may, might I add: you haven't caught anyone because you're not even trying!"

And... while I'm on the subject: why are there never any inspectors at Kossuth tér? Do MPs and bank staff travel free?

Andy Sz.

The unseasonably cold weather, coupled with pissing rain doesn’t make for the most ideal of conditions to hold a jazz festival, let alone an event that’s outdoors.

Luckily thou
gh, this only put a slight dampener on Friday night’s main event for the MOL Jazz Festival at Közraktár. Held in a long white tent, it was a bit like being in the jazz tent of a larger music festival, except there weren't any other stages; this was it.
The bands kicked off with Zoltán Lantos, a man clearly indebted to the work of McLaughlin, and his Mirrorworld quartet. Think Mahavishnu, or Shakti (but a bit less Indian). There were Hungarian folk melodies in there too, as well as some pretty straight funky jazz fusion. Nothing mind-blowing, but absolutely fine. Their set finished with a long, reasonably smug drum solo, which in fact, was the last time we came across any drums that evening.

Next up was the duo of Heinz Sauer on saxophone and pianist Michael Wollner. This was easily the highlight of the evening - a genteel performance; these guys filled an otherwise chilly tent with their warm on-stage connection.

The Argentinean "Horacio Fumero Trio" followed: different from the last group, but not that different. Fumero probably kept a few more people in the tent with some endearing chat. If you could ignore the cold, trumpeter Raynald Colom’s solos were a bit of an ear-opener. We couldn't, so halfway through we drifted home.

Jacob P.


Copyright 2006| Blogger Templates by GeckoandFly modified and converted to Blogger Beta by Blogcrowds.
No part of the content or the blog may be reproduced without prior written permission.