…destination home

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Airplane food, wine, sleeping aids, my kindle & earphones…ah the simplicity of the next 30 hours in the life of Cinders…

It’s only been sixty three days since I left home but not even the thought of cramped airline seats, pesky seat neighbour elbows, transit rooms or customs could dampen my excitement about flying back to the land of the long white cloud.

I’ll admit it feels odd to be going back so soon – I have only just set up my new life and already I’m trekking back to the other end of the world – before I have even had a chance to really miss down under.  Continue reading

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boodapesht | four

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Monday saw us getting up bright and early for a chilly stroll to The Central Market Hall. The cold proved the better of us, so we hailed a taxi. Four of us girls jumped in, leaving the other two girls and our resident kiwi blokes jumping in another. Turns out, our friendly local friend ripped us right off and charged us nearly triple what our fellow gender split pests were charged – the downside of being female travellers…

Situated in the 9th district, Nagycsarnok is the largest indoor market in Budapest and was designed and built by Samu Pecz around 1896. As we entered the markets we noticed the the huge variety of stalls on offer, some inviting, some….intriguing. Continue reading

boodapesht | three

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8 Kiwis, 8 huge hangovers, in the “City of Spas” – there was a light at the end of our self-inflicted dark tunnel.

Thanks to the city having more thermal and medicinal water springs that any other capital city in the world, Budapest has held the title of “The City of Spas” since 1934. There are 118 springs which provide 70 million litres of thermal water – per day! Budapest’s thermal waters were enjoyed by the Romans as early as in the second century, but it was only during the Turkish occupation of Hungary in the 16th century that the bath culture they are now famous for really flourished. Today, there are 15 public thermal baths in Budapest, with temperatures ranging from 21 to 78 degree’s Celsius – quite a contrast to the minus two degree days we were experiencing. Continue reading

boodapesht | two

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Despite a few headaches and some tired dancing legs, we got up bright and early and walked down towards the Danube River. Pretty quickly we discovered exactly why the Danube’s panorama is a Unesco World Heritage-listed site.

On our way to the river, we came across the Hungarian Olympic rings in Olympia Park, which was built as a memorial in honour of the Olympic Games. Hungary has competed at every Olympic Games since 1896, apart from 1920 after World War One when they were not invited to attend due to their alliances with the Soviet and communism. Continue reading

boodapesht | one

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Travel time!

Ryan Air started off one of many European adventures and budgetly cheaply flew us direct from Stansted airport, London, to Buda Airport, Hungary – at £90 I was neither surprised nor should complain at the lack of leg room or the gritty filter coffee I paid £7 for (!!) mid flight.

We landed at 9.30pm European time and caught a taxi to our air b&b booked apartment. Budapest is a city of cultural diversity, stunning architecture, history and thermal baths. The city is divided in to two districts; Buda – on the eastern side of the Danube river, and Pest (pronounced pesht) to the Western side. Buda is supposedly a bit more upperclass – home to doctors, lawyers and old money, with pest tending to be a bit grimey yet fun and home to students. Our gorgeous apartment was situated on the pest side, however there was nothing grimey about it. It was warm, modern, dressed in IKEA and comfortably slept all 8 of us Kiwi’s embarking on a long weekend in the Hungarian capital. Continue reading

the more golden than red ticket

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It’s a weird feeling when you go to book a flight somewhere but can’t go through with the final step because the standard everyday, black and silver passport you have used your entire life won’t suffice.

Until my early to mid twenties, I never realised the true beauty of my mother being English. I will forever be grateful for being brought up to speak what my mother calls ‘properly’, without the kiwi twang, for the introduction at a young age to sherbet lemons, hula hoops & walkers crisps and the amazing department store Santa’s grotto’s at Christmas time – but it’s the realisation of the meaning behind my dual nationality that really takes the cake.

Until her final days, my grandmother – who I dare you to find a woman more British than she – called my sister and I “Pom-Iwi’s”. This amalgamation of slang was something we grew up perceiving as weird and something we never really understood or cared about. I now see what her term means and how it personifies the official paperwork that will help form my path over the next few years.

With my passport currently at Her Majesty’s Passport Office in Liverpool awaiting renewal, I can see that it’s pure existence changes things quite drastically for me;

  • I don’t need to apply or nervously wait for acceptance of a two year visa
  • I can walk in to England through the citizens line at customs
  • I can apply for any job I like
  • I’m not bound to the two year restriction with the fear of not being sponsored if I wish to stay on
  • I can flee back to little old NZ if I get homesick, and return to London years down the track without having potentially wasted my precious visa and limited my chance of living the London life

I grew up being told by my father, who is as Kiwi as my grandmother was British, that my not as pretty red passport would one day be my ticket to the world. Now that I am at a place in my life where I am eager to make the move across the globe, I see the little 36 page book that I once viewed as meaningless and associated with brussel sprouts and the cold, as more of a golden than red ticket.

Continue reading