Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Visiting Dracula. Sort of.
I don’t know where to start in telling you about my weekend in Transylvania. It was amazing, for one thing, and very informative. I learned so much from Janos, our guide.
He was most knowledgeable about all things church-related, and he knew a lot about the cultural life of Romanians (and those who live in Romania - they are not necessarily the same).
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Four-hundred thirteen…that’s the number of steps I climbed today. I also walked down all of them. With these people:
left to right: Cory, Kyla, Christina, Ryan, and me
Why, you may ask? Well, let me get to that.
Monday, September 18, 2006
I think I’m Gonna Like it Here
Ten points to the first person to comment with the source of my title. It (the source) really has nothing to do with what I’m going to write about, but it does convey my feelings. This weekend was so relaxingly fabulous. While almost everyone was out on weekend trips around Europe, Dora, Cari, Christy, Eric, Karin and I stayed here in Budapest. Karin’s family was here to visit, and it was so nice to have a family around, even if they weren’t my own. Her family has been doing a tour of Europe for the past month, and will be here for another month and a half. By here I don’t mean Budapest, but Europe. Her three younger siblings are taking a semester off from school to do this. Mom, Dad, why didn’t you take us on an adventure like that?
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Speaking Hungarian. Or not.
We had our first culture class last night. One of the things we did was to go around in a circle and say something that had been particularly hard for us, and them something that was especially rewarding. For many of us, including me, the language barrier was the most difficult thing so far. It has been very frustrating for me at times to be unable to say simple phrases like “excuse me” and “you’re welcome.” I have learned these things now, but for a long time after arriving here I felt like a total clod a lot of the time.
Monday, September 11, 2006
happy to be here
So my post on Friday was a little bit down. There were no funny little anecdotes or entertaining observances. I apologize. Let me liven up this blog a bit. I’ll start with the partial lunar eclipse that I witnessed on Thursday evening. A group of girls from my apartment decided to head down to Budapest’s Castle District where the International Wine Festival was being held. As we were leaving the dormitory, Christy pointed out that it looked like there was a lunar eclipse, and sure enough, there was a shadow over about a quarter of the moon. Unfortunately, we saw it right at the end, so the moon was quickly reappearing, but it was still a beautiful sight. We looked online the next day and found out that there had indeed been a partial lunar eclipse visible only in eastern Europe and Africa on Thursday night. So I guess you could say I’m glad to be living in Europe at this time.
Friday, September 08, 2006
the honeymoon is over
Well, we aren’t in the honeymoon phase anymore. I wouldn’t say that’s necessarily a bad thing, but it does change certain dynamics. I no longer feel compelled to take someone with me on the bus or tram. I can safely go by myself to class or to the travel agent to talk about trips I’m planning. Certain things about the city irk me. Why can’t anyone throw away their cigarette butts? There are trash cans with ashtrays all over the place, but no one bothers to use them. The other day I was lying on the grass in the park, minding my own business and reading my book. I kept smelling stale cigarettes, though even though no one around me was smoking. Finally I got up and moved, and when I did I noticed two cigarette butts under where I had been lying. Ew. Not a yard away was a trash can, complete with ashtray. Some things I will never understand.
Monday, September 04, 2006
a laundry novice
I learned how to do all my own laundry two and a half years ago, and have been doing it on my own ever since. The washing machine here, however, has me stumped. I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one - everyone in our group is struggling. I did laundry for the first time today, though, and now I understand why everyone complains that the washing machines are the trickiest part of being here. First of all, there aren’t really any instructions. I think that if there were, I could pull out my Hungarian/English dictionary and figure it out.