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.

So how exactly do you do a blind beer taste test? Well, I'm told there are three ways. The first is the most common: get someone not taking part to serve the beer. Second, rarer: turn all the lights out. Third: if everyone there wants to take part but no one trusts each other enough to turn the lights out, use socks. Come again?
Yes, socks, it's obvious. Select the beers you wish to test, in our case, Dreher, Borsodi, Soproni, Arany Ászok and Kőbányai. Sit in a circle and distribute the cans/bottles evenly. Find 5 different pairs of socks, ideally the ones with days of the week on them, and put them within easy reach. Then all close your eyes and slide the beers around the circle until none of you know which is which anymore. With your eyes still closed, put the beers in the socks. Now you can safely open your eyes and test the beers. Simple.

We embarked upon our scientific study. Beers are listed according to the socks they were in. The voting system: 3 judges, each awarding 15 points. 5 points for the best, 1 for the worst.

Friday socks (orange)

It's lively... bubbly... a sharp acidity. (If we thought we were lacking the rudimentary descriptive language, we weren't going to show it.) Jacob looks like he's taking it very seriously. 'It's like having sex with a woman you met on the street, on the street.' He's referring to the cheap beer combined with a panoramic view of Budapest, for such occasions require a fitting stage.
Points: 1 + 2.5 + 2 = 5.5

socks (blue)

Alert: Andy's seen the can. Operation "Rescue Beer Test Integrity" commences, as Jacob is elected to close his eyes and swap some socks over. Disaster averted.

Cheaper than the last one, said one. More flavour on the first sip, said another. Sweeter, made with river water. Almondy. Yes, I'm getting almonds. I think I've come across this on the tram, early in the morning. What does hoppy mean? This one's not hoppy. Points: 2 + 2.5 + 1 = 5.5

Sunday socks (khaki)

They all taste a bit the same. The word hoppy is gaining ground now but what exactly does it mean? We like saying it and this is therefore the hoppiest yet. Jacob bangs on about IPA, a little motif for him for the evening. Comparisons are being made. It's inferior to the last one. No, this is my favourite - the closest to IPA. It's lager, it's nothing like IPA. Yes, but it's hoppy and IPA's hoppy. Points: 5 + 1 + 4.5 = 10.5

Tuesday socks (one red, one pink)

This is the beer you drink when you're sick. Orsi says it smells funny. I don't think it smells funny. I think it's alright. It tastes like crackers. Yes, it does. It does taste like crackers. Jacob's spot on. Jacob's cream crackers. Points: 3 + 4 + 4.5 = 11.5

Wednesday socks (grey)

There's a full moon tonight. 'That's not a full moon, that's gibbous.' This beer is the best, although I've written that on three separate occasions. Maybe it's the beer talking. Give me some more. It's got a floral nose; it tastes like dandelions. Everyone agrees. "A true drinking beer", whatever that means. Points: 4 + 5 + 3 = 12

Are we going to unveil them? Yes, let's unveil
them. I can hardly contain my excitement (no irony intended).

Friday, in joint 4th is... Borsodi. Saturday, also joint 4th is Arany Ászok. In 3rd place, in the Sunday socks is Dreher. And in 2nd, masquerading as Tuesday is Kőbányai. Finally, in 1st place, Hungary's finest everyday beer is... Soproni! Cue 'Formula 1'-style celebration... but with beer.

Our results, certified by the Cambridge examining board - bore a few surprises. Borsodi, one of my staple choices out on the town, fared rather poorly. Meanwhile,
Kőbányai, the cheapest of the bunch, was pretty well-received. Perhaps most significantly, the results show a certain trend: the more you drink, the better beer tastes. You probably didn't need us to tell you that, which I think, adds a certain legitimacy to our experiment.

Andy Sz.

2ManyBloggas 2

Thehub doesn't usually get invited to parties. The last time we did, we were told in no uncertain terms that this one would be our very last and we were 'an absolute disgrace' - words that were shouted loudly by a scary man who kept clipping us around the ears.

All that hurt a lot but it didn't stop us from nicking a load of random objects on the way out - including a copy of
Woman's Own, a set of candlesticks, a miserable-looking cat who howled so much we had to leave it in the street somewhere, and a high-heeled shoe. It still gets worn from time to time, that.

So, given our track record, imagine our surprise when yesterday we were told we're going to be part of the very exciting 2ManyBloggas 2 party at Trafo in a week and a half, organised by Kunk, the best two djs of electro/indie/etc. in Budapest. Check them out here.

Here's what Kunk's Brandon has to say about the event...

'Part schmooze-fest, part fashion show, part tech convention, and all awesome, Kunk’s 2ManyBloggas2 will see the collision of art, music, culture and fashion blogs wrapped into one tasty indie/electro party package on September 20 in Trafo. The event, building upon the success of its first version last winter, will be live-blogged at, with posts being submitted by party-goers and projected on screen.

Attendees will be handed name tags upon entrance with empty fields to write their name, as well as they blog they most identify with. During the evening, giveaways will be awarded to both a random raffle pick from all attendees, as well as to the blog garnering the most worn name tags. Each blog will also have their own space for placement of promo material'.


Great. Sounds like they're even trusting us enough to give us our own table! Bet we can think of some funny things to do with that.

Anyway, next Saturday (20th), stick it in your diary, and we don't care if you live abroad - Andy and I will be extremely disappointed if you aren't there. With our name on your name tag. Oh, here's some details and a list of the blogs involved.


Kunk presents: 2ManyBloggas2
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Trafo Bar Tango
Address: IX. Lilliom u. 41
Entrance: 800 HUF
DJs: Kunk, Kollektiva, WPAHP, Gumipop, Tonyo vs. Adi (The Moog)



See you at Trafo then. We'll be the ones getting clipped round the ears.

Andy T.

Bodies - The Exhibition

VAM Design Center
, 3300ft - 3900 ft, until 31st December
Pest Centre, VI, Deak F. ter
(M 1,2,3) 4 min

So, it looks like Budapest may have one of the ‘bad’ bodies exhibitions. Not that the exhibition is bad - I haven’t been - but the bodies themselves could be bad. Or not. I don’t know. Are they? Maybe.

Back home in Manchester over the summer, I saw a huge amount of advertising for another display of cadavers - Dr von Hagen‘s Bodyworlds 4. Same, but different. My curiosity was tickled and I decided to head over to Wikipedia the other day for a bit of grave digging.

It turned out that Premier Exhibition's Bodies, currently showing at VAM design on Kiraly (one of 10 venues globally), is not the original. It debuted in 2005, ten years after von Hagen's Bodyworlds first opened, and the good doctor has sued Premier in the past. Apparently, people get confused as to which exhibition is which. Fancy that!

Unsurprisingly, both shows have generated their fair share of controversy. Germaine Greer claimed she would no more go to an exhibition of dead bodies than she would eat a live one, while the Catholic Church feel these displays are inconsistent with the idea of reverence towards the human body. People have taken issue with gender stereotyping within the exhibits, and there’s even a virtual picket line/protest which currently has 277 people (not) standing in it.

Comments there make for interesting reading - ‘I was very glad to find a way to protest this neo-Nazi exhibit’ writes Jean D’Ascenzo of New Jersey. Palo Paley looks like she was so furious she decided to text in her cryptic contribution - ‘will u make this exhibition with the flesh of ur child??,‘ while Timothy Ingram opts for a rather more succinct ’Evil.’

Setting religious objections or comparisons to a travelling freakshow aside, there is a more legitimitate concern relating to the Budapest exhibition - and that is where exactly Premier's cadavers come from. Von Hagen’s bodies are obtained via a donation program, but Premier are not quite as transparent. They say corpses are received from the Chinese government. However, any moral concerns about that are not helped by the ghoulish disclaimer on one of Premier's official sites...


‘This exhibit displays human remains of Chinese citizens or residents which were originally received by the Chinese Bureau of Police. The Chinese Bureau of Police may receive bodies from Chinese prisons. Premier cannot independently verify that the human remains you are viewing are not those of persons who were incarcerated in Chinese prisons.

This exhibit displays full body cadavers as well as human body parts, organs, fetuses and embryos that come from cadavers of Chinese citizens or residents. With respect to the human parts, organs, fetuses and embryos you are viewing, Premier relies solely on the representations of its Chinese partners and cannot independently verify that they do not belong to persons executed while incarcerated in Chinese prisons‘.


That appeared in May, after an investigation into all this led by the New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who went on in a concluding statement to say...


'The grim reality is that Premier Exhibitions has profited from displaying the remains of individuals who may have been tortured and executed in China. Despite repeated denials, we now know that Premier itself cannot demonstrate the circumstances that led to the death of the individuals. Nor is Premier able to establish that these people consented to their remains being used in this manner.

This settlement in New York resulted in Premier, from May 2008 on, being required to provide written documentation of who the subjects are, as well as proof that they consented to be part of this exhibition. But as far as I can tell... that's only in New York!

So there you have it. A couple of major, quite similar corpse exhibitions touring the planet - one of them is fine, if you like that sort of thing, and the other seems a good deal shadier, with a remarkably cavalier attitude towards human rights...

...and we get that one. Interesting times we're living in though.

Andy T.


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.