It's A Beautiful Life [Ace of Base]

Sunday, September 13, 2009

[30 August 2009]

Hungarian of the Day: Yes!



A simple word of the day, but quite the important one I think! It’s a positive word going into today - a whole new beginning, new people to meet, things to do. Got to say yes to a lot of new stuff starting today, there’s no turning back!


So after going to bed early last night I slept in nice and late as well. It’s nice not having any responsibilities today other than a welcome meeting for the department later tonight at 6:30pm. So I lazily got up and milled about my room. I made some toast with nutella for breakfast (and by toast, I mean some bread and nutella - as I haven’t found the “kitchen” on our floor yet. And by kitchen I mean a place with a toaster, microwave, and a coffee maker) and watched another episode of a TV show.

I decided to take my laptop downstairs to use the internet to check my email and other assorted internet things. While sitting and typing away a girl came up to me - it was Kelly, a girl I had been talking to over facebook. She’s in my program and we were planning on meeting up. How awesome! A friend! So we made a plan for her to come grab me from my room shortly and we’d take a walk up to the mall so she could get a SIM card and we could get some food and such.

So after a while we headed on a nice walk up to the Arkad (a mall type thing near us that have EVERYTHING - from a grocery store to clothing to a food court to an electronics store and more). It was nice to just have someone to chat with. Her husband is heading over in a month or so and they’ll be moving out of the dorm for an apartment, which is super exciting for them. I guess he’ll be doing an online program for a master’s degree as well and maybe working. When we got to the Arkad and got Kelly’s cell phone sorted out I realized I couldn’t get mine sorted out because I left my passport in the dorm and they wouldn’t accept only the copy of it. Oh well, it’s kind of liberating to be cell phone free.

Next we went downstairs to the food court for some lunch. Food courts should not be this complicated! It’s the same as any American food court (except there’s a McDonalds right next to a Burger King - talk about competition!) except I can’t understand any of it! So I ended up getting in line at a Greek place and simply asking for the same thing the man in front of me had - which was delicious. It was basically a gyro without being wrapped in a pita. I’m starting to like the spicy nature of the food over here - and yes, I know the Greek food is not Hungarian food, but still I’m loving that everything I eat here is spicy. Oh, and the process of finding a table is like stalking for prey. There are not nearly enough tables, so you have to keep your eyes open and literally run when you see someone vacate their table. It was an experience. After eating we went and picked up a few more groceries and then headed back to the dorm.

For the rest of the afternoon I just hung around my room, cleaned up some and reorganized some. I met up with Laura around 6 to head down to the welcome meeting in the dorm for the History and Medieval departments. It was a neat little meeting - they explained some of the philosophy of the departments (how they function separately but still together) and introduced themselves. Then we all went around in a huge circle, introduced ourselves - where we’re from and what our thesis topics are (good lord they’re all so prepared - crap!). And then once everyone was welcomed they gave us a few pieces of information about the field trip we were to embark on Tuesday morning. And then they told us we had small skits to do on this trip - are you serious? Skits? So, in the most roundabout way we picked partners and a pair of historical figures. Me and my partner, a nice guy named Pavol, received Christopher Columbus & Queen Isabelle. Score one for the American!

And then they let us mingle - with food and a jug of wine. Literally a jug - a plastic square container of amazing Hungarian red wine. Everyone was chatting up everyone and just having a generally good time. It was really neat to just meet so many people from so many different places. After a little while of mingling and meeting some people decided it was time to go out into the city. So we all headed for the bus stop and made our way into the city. After being led down a bunch of streets that I’m sure I knew in the daylight, but look so different in the dar we arrived at what looked from the outside to be a small pub. Wrong. It’s a huge pub. All of the bars from Chapel Hill could have fit into the main room of this place. And what’s even nicer (especially because the majority of people in Hungary are chain smokers - okay not the majority, but when you’re out at a pub it feels that way at least) is that this place opens up into a courtyard that comprises the general seating area.

After a lot of discussion about a whole lot of things (including, but not limited to: the american financial crisis, the cult of saints, hometown stories, what country makes the best beers, and more) and a snack for those who were hungry (a chicken salad, which is a heaping plate of chunks of chicken, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, cheese, and bread) we realized it was after midnight. This means two things: one - we were going to be very tired for school in the morning and two - we were going to have to take the night bus as the metro closes at 11ish. Oh joy, my first experience with the night bus. Basically, Budapest operates on minimum public transportation from 11pm - 5am. There are just a handful of busses to take you all over the city which means no matter what bus you get on you’re going to have to make at least 20 stops between when you get on and where you want to get off. All with at least 50 of your closest new friends. They stuff these busses to capacity and beyond. But we made it home safe and sound and that was all that mattered.

1 comment:

  1. My dear Court,

    I am thoroughly jealous. It sounds like you're having an amazing time and I love everything you're writing. I wish I was capable of making my life sound as interesting as you make school is no where NEAR as cool as living in Hungary.

    - krystalrose. (ps...send me a postcard!!! let me know if you need my address)


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