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Creative Writing

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Literature

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Travel

From Budapest to Bratislava.

After a month of travelling, I am finally back in England. Here are some of the Instagram captions that I shared whilst away.


And Attila József wrote [translated from Hungarian]:

'Well, in the end I have found my home,
the land where flawless chiselled letters
guard my name above the grave
where I'm buried, if I have buriers.'

When poets pass, we owe them more than statues, for they leave us with their infinite souls.




I'm currently at the airport awaiting my flight to Brussels and I'm so sad to be leaving Budapest (and the 29 degree weather). Everything about this place is like the landscape of a fairytale, sculptures delicately carved into the sides of buildings, fresh flowers, monuments everywhere. It's so strange to constantly find and feel at home in foreign countries.



I was standing in line behind a couple at the supermarket, let's call them Dimitri and Lido. 


Although their basket was overflowing, Lido still continued to pick up and add more packets of biscuits to the basket which Dimitri would then proceed to place back onto the shelf. This sequence continued for 12 whole minutes until they eventually settled on buying two packets. By this point, the line was beginning to move forward and they soon approached the freezers. Before Lido had had the chance to speak, Dimitri shook his head and pulled the basket away from him. Lido smiled and pleaded until Dimitri finally gave in and picked up a tub of pistachio-flavoured ice cream. Lido thanked him by placing some frozen broccoli into the basket.


I didn't understand a word of what they were saying, but these moments all look the same and I think we often just forget that our humanness surpasses any language or country.


I'm currently at the airport awaiting my flight to Berlin and wanted to share some things about my time in Brussels. 

I don't care at all about football but when Belgium won the match a few days ago, crowds of people filled the streets until the concrete could no longer be seen. They sang and chanted in unison until their voices forgot them, until their tongues became so numb that they could no longer move. In that moment, their joy was about something much more than football, it was about all of these people, strangers, connecting and beating as one. 

The day after this, there was a Zumba festival taking place in the main square where people of all ages and races danced together. It was beautiful because they lost themselves in movement and the rhythm became their centre of gravity. They were just so passionate and that is the thing that I've felt whilst being here, passion, people that care about something more than themselves. 

I also saw a number of armed guards scattered around, clutching rifles larger than my entire body. Although it was initially terrifying, it did make me feel safe and I'd like to emphasise that I didn't once feel threatened or endangered during my time here. One guard even conversed with me, made a joke. 

I felt safe.




It was satisfying to see that Hitler's bunker, in which he married Eva and allegedly committed suicide, has now been turned into a car park where dogs come to relieve themselves. This notice board displays the floor plan of the bunker which housed over 35 rooms. Hitler had his own study, Eva her own dressing room. They also had a large enough supply of wine and champagne to see them through several weddings; they were not at all deprived of their luxuries. It was horrifying, utterly and inexplicably horrifying to think that it was and is possible for people like this to exist on this planet. It's even worse to comprehend that he did not at all suffer for his actions until he decided upon his own demise.

From a young age, we are taught about the atrocities that occurred during the world wars, but the memorial for the murdered Jews is right around the corner and it's difficult to fathom just how many lives were taken until you stand there and begin to lose count of the monuments.




The board read: 

'During the period of Communist Terror in the former Czechoslovak Republic near the iron curtain, 400 men and women were shot.

They sacrificed their lives whilst fighting for their rights.

Human being, free and unlimited, do not forget that freedom of thinking, acting and dreaming is a value that is not only worth living, but also bringing sacrifices.'



Eid mubarak from Slovakia! Whatever you are, wherever you are, whoever you are, I wish for you nothing but infinite joy. Our hearts, you see, were carved using the same mould and although we may steal each other's oxygen, we're still going the same way. If you know of somebody that is celebrating today, take a moment to wish them a happy Eid. It's only through tolerance, acceptance that we'll survive. 

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