Tag Archives: Palinka

Pumis, Bacon, Palinka, Terrorism, Politics and The Ominous Toilet Bowl

March 26, 2016

At Hajnalka Velekei's "Ttoktudó Kennel" at Tápióbicske

At Hajnalka Velekei’s “Ttoktudó Kennel” at Tápióbicske

Pumi talk with József Árkosi Club president, Gabriella Szabadosné and me (pictured)

Pumi talk with József Árkosi Club president, Gabriella Szabadosné and me (pictured)

We are home at long last!  After six weeks in Hungary we are back home on the farm in Delhi, NY.  Every day has been a continuos inseparable experience in Hungary. Pumis, family, friends, food, alcohol, melancholy, nostalgia, literature, religion, political discontent  and the dreaded central European toilet bowl…- essential attributes of Central-European existentialism.

I’ve spent six weeks in Europe, mostly in Hungary where I’ve traveled all over the country to see groomers,  breeders and their Pumis.  I also had a quick trip to Austria and a short stop in Helsinki, Finland.

Felt art - preparation for Easter

Felt art – preparation for Easter

ham ham ham

ham ham ham

We were also invited to a Pumi Club party/meeting, where current changes in the law affecting breeders of Hungarian native dog breeds have been discussed along Club life, activities and delegation of responsibilities.

 

For Hungarian women, the work place, formal organizations and even everyday life in general still offers different experiences and less opportunities than for men in Hungary.  To summarize my experience, the food was great while club business and female membership are still incompatible today.

Bacon Nation

Bacon Nation

An authentic and legal... distillery in Mezöberény

An authentic and legal… distillery in Mezöberény

Dog shows are reflections of the existing power struggles of the opposing Hungarian Pumi parties.  According to rumors  oppositions have slowly been eroding however. The word is out that more people are considering to join the official club – after all common sense might prevail in the interest of the breed.

Undoubtedly, Hungary remains the Mecca of the Pumi, even though, dog culture and breeding practices could use a bit of update and a few gallons of fresh paint.  The good news is that changes are  coming along thanks to the Hungarian Pumi Club’s (Magyar Pumi Klub) efforts.  Health testing is becoming more frequent, the registered breeding stock is managed better through frequent breeding stock review, including essential temperament tests.  The number of breeders who take responsibility and health test their dogs are slowly increasing. What is ironic however is that many who still refuse to test their own dogs, demand to see test results from breeders who have done the health tests.  hypocrisy at its best…!

Street musician in the heart of Budapest playing using wine glasses

Street musician making music by using wine glasses in the heart of Budapest

The mobile pedal powered beer cart riding through one of the historic districts of Budapest. Patrons must be pedaling to move the vehicle on the road while drinking beer.

The mobile pedal powered beer cart riding through one of the historic districts of Budapest. Patrons must be pedaling to move the vehicle on the road while drinking beer.

For Hungarians, life is well greased with bacon, smoked with cigarettes and wetted with Palinka in Hungary.  Vegetables and fruits are expensive and therefore they are not integral part of Hungarian diet. Fresh green products, including fruits’ prices have been controlled by the vegetable mafia for over five decades.

Meat, cured salami, smoked sausage, lard, alcohol and its corollary, high blood pressure overwhelms everyday folks’ lives. Heart attack is the most frequent killer of Hungarians.

The ever present healthcare crisis you to severely underpaid medical professionals further complicates the story.Any ambulance can be easily redirected from hospital to hospital while the patient is dying of  a heart attack in the ambulance due to serious shortage of doctors. The exodus of doctors from Hungary is the second largest human migration in Europe after the  current middle eastern refugee crisis.

Demonstration of power at the Liszt Ferenc Airport in Budapest after the Bruxelles, Belgium terror attack. Opposition parties regarded it unnecessary, ineffective and expensive. An anchor woman in one of the the morning news asked, "So who is going to pay the overtime for the S.W.A.T. team?" The following day the number of military vehicles were reduced at the airport entrance

Demonstration of power at the entrance of the Liszt Ferenc Airport in Budapest after the Bruxelles, Belgium terror attack. Opposition parties regarded it unnecessary, ineffective and expensive. An anchor woman in one of the the morning news asked, “So who is going to pay the overtime for the S.W.A.T. team?” The following day the number of military vehicles were reduced to two at the airport entrance.

 a WWI museum show pushing government propaganda through glorification of militarism - rally around the right wing government

a museum show about the Great War and its consequences. Pushing government propaganda through glorification of militarism – rally around the right wing government

Hungarian politics is authoritarian and it is in close alliance with Putin’s Russia. Corruption is rampant in many aspects of life. Politicians are like feudal overlords who buy public land below market price and abuse power. Opposing voices are often intimidated and muted. The last television news I watched in Hungary has secretly followed the trail of a big chunk of money recently appropriated by the EU to investigate government corruption in Hungary.  The news story revealed that the money  has been embezzled by those government  agencies and politicians who should have been investigated for alleged corruptions.

Regardless, Hungary is still a fascinating country that you must put on your bucket list to visit. It is a beautiful place, with welcoming people, lots of Pumis,  fantastic architecture, endless history and  great cultural and culinary traditions. Also,  is still relatively inexpensive.

Architectural details in the castle district with a "cool girl"

Architectural details in the castle district with a “cool girl”

world class architecture

world class architecture

But remember, when visiting Hungary and Central Europe, always be on the alert.  The region has always been an exciting, however a complex place that often surprises visitors.  Hungarians like other nations in the area are absorbed by existentialism that is present in every aspect of life and sometimes can be overbearing. It can also appear in the least expected context like the often discussed “shelf modeled toilet…” But I guess, these are some of  the things that makes Hungary and Central Europe authentic and different from the rest of the world and also why we all like to go there.

The German shelf toilet - Heideggerian Existentialism explained -

The German shelf toilet – Heideggerian Existentialism explained –

CLICK HERE ——>https://youtu.be/bpSiMbkhkuE

to be continued….

“It is All About Kaffogo Agyag…”

May 25, 2013

Photo 17-05-2013 17 31 33

Kaffogo Agyag has passed the FCI “Working Dog”Trial/Test… In fact, she has scored higher than my Herding Queen Fruska…

 

After a week long of serious work, Kaffogo Agyag, has passed the herding working trial/test and become eligible to enter  “working class” at  FCI regulated shows in the future.  In fact, as a super surprise,  she has scored higher than my Herding Queen, Fruska.

Kaffogo Agyag, HJCHP

Kaffogo Agyag, HJCHP

Agyag has also won the Club Exhibition of “Pumi Baratok Egyesulete” that has consequently earned her the Hungarian Junior Champion, (HJCHP.) title!

Fruska has placed Third in the Open Bitches Class and has also earned the “Working Dog” title for future FCI shows.

Fruska, my Herding Queen

Fruska, my Herding Queen

GIRLS I AM SOOOO PROUD OF BOTH OF YOU!!!

However, as a greatest surprise, I have received a Certificate  of Ambassador of the Pumi recognition by The  Pumi Friends Association, presided by Arkosi Jozsef. 

I am truly honored by this recognition and want consider this title/award as an investment in me for the future to actively utilize my special position as a Hungarian-American in the preservation and more importantly in the improvement of the condition of the Pumi worldwide.

I trust that this year will bring a new dawn for the breed and all positive aspects from the past will be embraced and considered prudently for a brighter future…

We had a great dinner party again! – I love multiple farewell parties. – it is perhaps addressing our separation anxiety that we’ve learned from our dogs… By the way, rumor says that the Hortobagy area has run out of Palinka since the arrival of the Alien Pumi Contingent :-)

Finally, with tomorrow’s show we will arrive to the end of our long journey and than we will take a well deserved rest.

But before resting, my Prima Donnas are certainly ready to represent Team Pumi Americanus one more time.

 

 

 

 

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“He Who Rises Early…”

May 21, 2013

oh no... everyone is waiting for me at the gate. I am late again...

oh no… everyone is waiting for me at the gate. I am late again…

“…to seek her will have no difficulty, for he will find her sitting at his gates.” Wisdom 6:14-24

This is certainly not about me. No one should rely on me at any gates that early in the morning.  Sorry,  I am not an early riser… and they make us to get up here at 5AM?!?!? Gosh… By noon time, I am ready to fall on my face.

 

Tom Levy and Gaby practicing...

Tom Levy and Gaby practicing…

We had a busy day today.  After the 6AM breakfast, we had a 7AM training to beat the daytime heat which can be very uncomfortable.  Agyag is turning into a monster… We have worked on her very hard today.

After the training we got a guided tour of the local museum and than went to see the Matai Stable. Later, we stopped by at a ceramic studio where we were also invited for lunch.

The famous lebbench leves. We also do outdoor cooking in New York when inviting our friends over. It just have such a magical effect...

The famous lebbench leves. We also do outdoor cooking in New York when inviting our friends over. It just have such a magical effect…

We had “lebbencs leves” a wide noodle soup with bacon, onion, potato, and red paprika cooked on open fire. It smelled delicious.   If  for no other reason,  one must taste it simply for its name, “SLAMBUC.”  It sounds so playful, fluffy and light – just as it tastes.  And of course we had  the ever present shot of palinka before lunch to help increasing our appetite. (Do not get alarmed, we had the palinka after 12PM…)

 

After lunch, we have learned wood sculpting/carving that I enjoyed a lot.  I like the idea of hands on experience of various crafts media.

yes...!

yess…!

I also ran the trial field with Fruska today. She was great we had no problem.  Agyag is a different story from a different planet…

 

 

Day Trip to the Country, Pumi History, Palinka Festival and Nostalgia…

Kate Pinches' Magic Pumi Carpet. My Pumis would have been safer to fly on it to Hungary from the U.S. than on Lufthansa...

Kate Pinches’ Magic Pumi Carpet. My Pumis would have been safer to fly on it to Hungary from the U.S. than on Lufthansa…

May 16, 2013

Thursday I went to visit Anna Varadi, Kaffogo Agyag’s breeder in Alsopahok at the western tip of Lake Balaton. Agyag and Fruska was thrilled to play and run in the countryside with Anna’s dog after their high-rise building experience at my sister’s home in Buda.

An animated sequence while talking to my husband Laszlo via Skype...

An animated moment while talking to my husband Laszlo via Skype…

While on the road, I’ve also visited Lovasz Gyorgyne in Kapolnasnyek an important figure in the history of the Pumi in Hungary.  It was an interesting experience to leap back in time and listening to old stories of the breed.

Once back in Budapest, in the evening, my sister’s family took me to a Palinka Festival to Erzsebet-ter on the Pest side of the city – a very Hungarian way to finish a great day – I may add…  The evening brought back old memories from the

My sister Zsuzsanna, my nephew Raymond and me.

From right to left, my sister Zsuzsanna, my nephew Raymond and me. (Everybody Loves Raymond…:-))

1580’s when I used to live in Budapest after moving here from Transylvania…