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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Music to my ears.

5:37 pm CET

Today has been a rather normal, boring, R&R-type day for two reasons:
  1. It's rainy and windy and cold outside.
  2. I'm very tired and thus very lazy.
So instead of recapping for you, my lovely readers, how many times I dozed off while reading (seven) or what I ate for breakfast this morning (some creamy, peach-flavoured yogurt stuff), I will regale you with the happenings of yesterday.

We went to the actual university for the first time and were shown around the buildings where we will be most often. The BSCS program has been allotted a tiny classroom where all of our lectures will take place. It may induce a little claustrophobia, but I'm sure we'll get used to it after a week or two of classes. We were introduced to the program directors and some professors, and received a short lecture on John von Neumann. It was rather amusing to see how quickly everyone reverted to school mode; some scratching out notes, some trying to pay attention, and some failing miserably at that task. Hopefully all the lectures we must sit through won't be as listless as this one. After the droning on and on, we got BSCS t-shirts and left the university. We got Hungarian cell phones (the guy at the phone shop spoke good english, so that was relatively painless) and public transport passes. Once everyone returned to the dorm, my roomie and I got some more groceries from the Spar across the street from the enormous hill that leads up to our building.

Following the day's business, we got to rest for a few hours before being ushered onto a bus headed across the river. After getting off the bus, in one of the underground stations we walked through, there was a younger guy playing the third movement of the summer concerto of Vivaldi's Four Seasons. I almost stopped to listen for a while, but we were in a hurry, so I reluctantly kept on. We went to this bar that basically looked as though it had been furnished with everything but the kitchen sink (and perhaps even that, too). We met up with the other program members who have arrived thus far--us seven K students, three from Carleton, two from Vassar, one from Reed, and one student from the New Bulgarian University--and the professors we had met earlier for some drinks. We each ordered half a liter of the best Hungarian beer (which, as our professor joked, means it's still not that good), and we all had a great time socialising among the people with whom we'll be spending the next 5+ months. People left in small groups, and a few friends and I finally departed around 9:00 to go find some food. We hopped on the bus back to Móricz Zsigmond körtér and bought some gyros from a small restaurant at the base of the hill. After a tasty meal, we walked back up that deadly hill, up several flights of stairs and to our rooms, where we relaxed for the rest of the night.

Today, as I said, has been quite boring; lots of sitting around, reading, sleeping, and the like. Tomorrow we begin part of our Hungarian language course, so hopefully I'll be able to communicate the basics soon. And that is a huge hopefully. Whew.

9:08 pm CET

I met up with my darling Jacob this evening!! It was so wonderful seeing a close friend and being able to just walk and talk as though we were home. We walked to the river looking for someplace to eat and then doubled back, deciding upon gyros (third time in two days for me! So goooood). Since he's been here for two weeks already on an extended language deal, he pointed out words on signs and awnings, and I tried to repeat them with little success. Following dinner, we got dessert at the neighbouring bakery, got yet even more groceries, and we went back to my room in the Collegium. I am so glad that we got to hang out, and I'm looking forward for more fun times together throughout our stay here; it's going to be so much fun!

Now I'm sitting in bed, hanging out with a glass of wine (famous Tokaji white this time) before I get tired enough to sleep, trying not to get nervous about the giant barrier that awaits me tomorrow as I dive headfirst into Hungarian. Maybe that barrier will come crashing down with time. I guess we'll just have to find out together.


  1. Yay! That sounds exciting (even though you didn't do much). I'm glad you're enjoying yourself (though sad also because I miss you). Can't wait to read more of your posts as your program goes on.

  2. RACHAAAAAEL! Your day sounds like so much fun. I'm jealous that you got to sit in a bakery and eat dessert. I won't be able to do anything like that for a very long time. How awesome is the food? Do you love it, like it, or are you adapting? Tried anything besides the gyros yet? :P
    I really hope all your classes, and especially the Hungarian ones, go smoothly and entertainingly. Even if they don't, have fun anyway! That's what you're there for. Drink lots of beer and eat lots of sweets for me!
    <3 Rene ;-)~

  3. Hungarian rocks. You will laugh a lot. Also, John von Neuman lecture by Dr. Erdi? Love it. <3