06 Sep Faces of Budapest
So, I wanted to capture some faces of Budapest. But almost everyone I asked (and who was able to understand me) turned out to be a traveller like myself – or rather like I used to be ;)
I guess I recognized something oddly familiar in them, in their open faces and eyes that drew me to them.
Most of these young people told me bits and pieces of their lives, where they’ve been, where they’re headed…
How I miss the excited voices, that sparkle while talking about discovering new places. And when strangers aren’t strange at all.
On my first day in Budapest, I practically stumbled upon Sebastián. I got off the ferry at Boráros Tér and stepped right into the Skaterpark, which you need to cross if you’re headed for the tram station.
When he got off his board, I asked him whether I could take his photo for my blog and he immediately struck up this incredibly natural pose. Like he’s being photographed all the time? We chatted a bit and Sebastián’s English is so good that I was almost surprised when he proudly told me of his home in Chile. He has been travelling around the world, staying in Budapest for five days with Prague on the horizon.
When I first walked into the old fashioned coffeehouse Gerbeaud, I crashed a film scene. Seriously. It was only after I got politely kicked out of this particular part of the cafe that I read the sign “Filming, do not enter this salon”. In my defense: The doors were wide open from the outside.
Because of the filming, the other rooms were quite crowded. I was over the moon that I had innocently taken a picture of the beautiful parlour (aka the film set) and was about to leave the Gerbeaud, when I spotted Maura. Amidst all the buzzing tourists, the big fans that had no impact on the heat whatsoever and the children’s voices she emitted such calmness that I initially thought I stumbled upon another film set.
On second thought … she looked so much like she belonged there that I was sure she was Hungarian – going to the coffeehouse every Friday morning to meet with one of her oldest friends who had only recently returned to Budapest.
But no, Maura hails from Italy :)
Jonathan washed my hands and in return he let me take his photograph.
We met right on the shopping street Váci u. in the heart of Budapest: I thought he offered me something to eat and it turned out to be a piece of soap.
(I rarely eat on photo trips. Apparently this makes me a bit illusional…)
Jonathan is a Russian-American who is financing his round-the-world trip with jobs on site, usually as a promoter. It was actually his very first day in Budapest. How odd to have a two-day-advantage over someone in the same city. You have to see this! And that!
We went outside again for the photo and standing in front of a bistro you’d think he’s a waiter, but he’s a very good promoter indeed. (Sorry I didn’t buy anything ;)
There was a funny moment though, because when I was done metering the light, he thought I was already done taking the picture. Oh no … come, meet the beast :)
Floria & Lara
Meet Floria (left) and Lara (right) – two Hungarian girls (finally!) who celebrated the latter’s birthday on that sunny day in Budapest.
I had actually seen them before, strolling through the streets with those pink balloons and having a hell of a good time. Thought about asking them for a photo as well, but the moment wasn’t quite there. Until – hours later – I saw those two climbing onto the steel frame of the Liberty Bridge (which is forbidden of course, yet shamelessly ignored by tourists).
I was two traffic lights away, but the opportunity was too good to pass. So I fast-walked up to them and – due to language barriers – didn’t get much more than an excited nod, two names and this global teen pose. But everything else, their carefree nature and gales of laughter, was contagious anyway :)
Pedro – I never would have guessed by looking at him and speaking to him – is originally from Spain. He works in a very cool bar called Vicky Barcelona in the Historical Jewish District where they serve cocktails with blueberry jam and mint and ginger beer and which truly tastes … divine! Again – who would have thought, right? He’s currently residing in Budapest, because his parents have business in town.
I peered at the menu of Vicky Barcelona though I wanted to see the market first. He didn’t quite believe me when I said that I’d be back. But I would, of course, because I had already made up my mind about asking him for a photo ;)
(Which usually takes about a second.)
I didn’t plan on taking this picture. All I wanted was this delicious mango-strawberry-popsicle, because I was dying of heat. But this was one of those moments when everything needs to freeze for a second while you grab your camera.
When I asked her for permission she put on her sunglasses and I knew that I wouldn’t be getting anyting else. But it was a very cool moment nonetheless (and the ice cream so good!).
You can actually see her outdoor stall in this double exposure. It’s located right at the top right corner of the St. Stephen’s Square (Szent István ter), right in front of the Basilica going by the same patron.
Last but not least …
Thank you, you wonderful people! It was a true pleasure meeting you and quite an honour to capture you on film ♥
Until we meet again :)
PS: I’m sure I got some of the names wrong. If any of you read this and notice, please let me know!