11:44 am CET
After three days without internet, I am happy to say that we are back up and running again! It's only slightly pathetic how annoyed and anxious I became without it... but really, when one's sole method of communication is through a computer, being disconnected can cause some problems (not the least of which being intense, incurable boredom).
Anyway, our last week of real classes, and therefore the BSCS program, has ended. The class was nothing special; very much the same as the some of the others (meaning I was sleepy and not paying close attention). On Thursday we shook up the routine a little by having a Secret Santa gift exchange; I had gotten a couple Transformers toys for Matt, and Dan got me a question coin in Hungarian. Following Thursday's class, Jane, Julianne, Yoana and I took the six from school in the hope of going to Moszkva tér for lunch, but the transportation pass-checky-people were out and accosted us. The lady, for some unknown reason, kept asserting that Yoana's pass was invalid and was trying to make her pay, so Yoana got off the tram. I got separated from the other three in the hustle, but we met up again at Trombitás for mulled wine and a tasty lunch. After eating, we walked around in search of a hands-on science museum called (in English) the "Palace of Miracles" (Csodák Palotája in Hungarian). When we finally found it, though, we couldn't get in because they were about to close. We went home and attempted to study for the exam the next day, but due to a serious lack of internet, very little studying actually occurred.
Following the exam on Friday morning, Jane, Yoana, Catherine, Ada, and I went back to Millenáris Park near Moszkva tér and again found the Palace of Miracles, but this time it was open. We had such a blast running around playing with the exhibits; it definitely took me back to when I went to the Detroit Science Center as a kid. A lot of the exhibits were related to optical illusions and tasks we studied in class, actually. It would have made an awesome field trip! After we'd had our fill of entertainment at the museum, we went to the other end of the park to a small, kinda funky café for some mulled wine ('tis the season, right?). Then we went down the street to the City Pub for lunch. It was great to spend a last day with friends; most of them will be gone by this time tomorrow, and I'm going to miss them terribly...
Last night was the official "end of BSCS" dinner with the program coordinators. A few of the professors were there, too, along with Niki and Zoli and some others. All of us participants were there (save for Carrie, Catherine, Dion, and Tristan) and, though these wouldn't be our last goodbyes, they certainly felt like it. We got some good free food and certificates for completing the program, and we even got tupperware to take the leftovers home with us! It was a nice evening and, though we weren't eager to miss out on our last night together, we were all quite tired, so we went back to the dorm to chill instead of staying out to party.
Catherine left yesterday, Jane left this morning, Yoana leaves later this afternoon, and Julianne leaves early next week. Half of our BSCS contingent will soon be gone, and even then, many K students will be in and out of Budapest till we all go home in February. I doubt the quasi-cohesion of the group before will last now that it's only Kalamazoo students; we'll see one another, to be sure, but I don't think there will be any group dinners or drinking excursions or explorations. Hopefully we won't entirely drift, but I fear that's where we're headed. But who knows... maybe we'll crave one another's company.
But here's to you, BSCS friends. The last three months have been wonderful, and I hope we see one another again someday. Have safe and happy travels, and don't be strangers!