Photographs And Memories [Jim Croce]

Friday, October 16, 2009

[19 September 2009 - 25 September 2009]

Hungarian of the Day(s): "Please say that again?"



Now that I'm learning a little bit of Hungarian I'm starting to realize things being said around me are not just gibberish anymore. So when a little old lady at the bus stop starts talking to me with a smile on her face (a good indication that she's friendly and I, in my ignorance, haven't done something/stood somewhere/looked at something wrongly) I can ask her to repeat what she's said and then tell her that I don't speak Hungarian very well. Here I either get a sad little smile and a sigh, a confused look, or an utterance that yes, you do speak good Hungarian, girl! Either way, the conversation usually ends because little old Hungarian ladies seem to rarely know/speak/want to speak English. Someday I'll be able to answer them!


19 September

Today was the day we were going to make the trek to Memento Park - a tourist trap to be sure, but no trip to Budapest is complete without it. Basically after the Iron Curtain fell they Hungarians needed to do something with all the statues of the Communist Era that had been scattered around the city. They couldn’t just get rid of them - after all, they are a part of the history, and they should be remembered. We can’t just ignore or erase the bad history, we need to be able to access it so that we can explain it enough that we can hope to avoid it in the future. So Memento park is a place designed by an architect (who won a competition for its design, by the way) that was created to house all of these statues. It’s not as big as I expected it to be, but it’s still impressive.

The bus ride up there was interesting, as it took a good fourty-five minute ride up into the Buda hills. At about 35 minutes we were convinced that we had missed the stop or had climbed aboard the wrong bus. Fortunately we didn’t, and we arrived (at the stop called “Memento Park” no less, that will teach us to actually look at the schedule of stops next time!). Outside the entrance to the park is a replica of Stalin’s Boots. The original of this statue can still be visited - where a huge statue of Stalin once stood a bunch of protestors tore it down, all but his boots. They’ve become sort of a symbol of the end of the era of Communism.

I’m going to just do a photo show of the inside of the park, because it really just speaks for itself. However, if you notice the scarves wrapped around our faces it’s because of the massive swarm of gnats that seem to inhabit Budapest in the late summer. You couldn’t take two steps without swallowing or inhaling one of those gross tiny suckers. Ugh. So we wrapped up our faces and trudged on. Enjoy.

20 September

Today we decided to finally visit the Hungarian National Museum. No pictures of the inside taken because I’m cheap and didn’t want to pay the $10ish extra to take the pictures. It was pretty impressive inside - they did a really good job setting everything up. You sort of progressed from ancient Hungarian history to modern. There were exhibits on clothing, military paraphernalia, and all the other essential museum things. The section on the war and interwar periods were my favorite, and they totally did the best job with them.

21 September - 25 September

And so school begins. Nothing exciting happened all week, due to the mass amounts of work involved in this whole school thing. We did go see a movie at the cinema though - The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3. Movies here are in English and then subtitled in Hungarian, so we were safe. Thank God.

this is what I walk by every day on my way to and from school. be jealous.
starbucks? no. i wish! california coffee company to my chai rescue!
we're still trying to figure out how you get away with graffiti on a bus? don't the bus drivers notice the kids with the big markers? how don't we notice the kids with the big markers? It must be magic!

1 comment:

  1. I would LOVE that walk to school! I am VERY jealous! :P


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