Thursday, September 6, 2007

Este az duna szép.

Before I start, a short note:

I have noticed that these posts can get rather long. Is this a good thing? Should I be more selective about what I post about? Are there things I post about that are not necessary? Is there anything you want to here about that I am not talking about? Please feel free to give me comments, either on this blog or via email. :-)

Weather exists here! The last couple of days have been on the rainy coldish side. They are not good for taking pictures, but the existance of actual weather makes me happy.

Szombat (Saturday)

While we were at school on Friday, Zoli went to the allatkert (zoo), so he was excited to talk about animals. I learned that there are az majom és az kis majom (a monkey and a baby monkey) amongst other allatok (animals). For dinner I went over to Christina’s and she made spaghetti for dinner. After dinner I took the random baking supplies (all labled in Hungarian) that had been left in her apartment by the girls who were here last spring and made something that approximated cookies. We had no measuring implements (well, other than 2 measuring funnels…) so I just did everything by eye and did not use a recipe. Given that I think the venture was a success.


Vasárnap (Sunday)

Christina and I met up with Kyle and went to Mass at Szt. Istvan’s Basillica. The building is very ornate, breathtakingly beautiful and completely distracting. I had a very difficult time focusing on the sermon (in Hungarian of course, it is good practice – I can pick out words and phrases sometimes). After church we went over to Margit sziget and wandered around in the gardens. There is an exciting fountain that is choreographed to music, lots of pretty flowers and the ruins of an abbey.

Here is a cool sculpture we passed on our way from church to the island. It has 3 parts, the one closest to the front is like a 3-D version of a möbius strip :-)

Pictures I took at Margit Sziget


Also, this is a picture of the Hungarian equivalent of those machines you put 50 cents into in the US and get some cheap toy out.

Yes, that is a Rubik cube.

Hétfő (Monday)

We all met up with another study abroad program for a 2 hour cruise on the Duna (Danube) after class. It was very pleasant and Christina I got some good pictures.

Kedd (Tuesday)

I met up with Mandi for dinner at a little hummus bar, which is not Hungarian food but was delicious and cheap. We then met up with several other friends at a bar that you would not find if you did not know it was there. From the street you can only see an unlabeled doorway that does not look as though it leads anywhere in particular. If you walk back through it a ways you get to a courtyard with tables set up and on the far side of the courtyard is the building that contains the bar itself. The inside seating area is in what looks as though it may have at one time been a wine cellar, but it has great acoustics (and is non-smoking!) and they had a live band playing traditional Hungarian music (which is why we were there). It was very cool.

Szerda (Wednesday)

Today was the last day of the language school. We spent a little bit of time reviewing, but the vast majority of class was dedicated to writing and performing a skit in Hungarian about the “Adventures of an American Student in Budapest”. My class has had a great deal of fun with the little songs they had been teaching us, so ours very quickly turned into “Adventures of an American Student in Budapest: The Musical”. The “musical” then included a song about Bőrönd Ödon and his bőrönd (suitcase). He was waiting for a rose to bloom and the number 4 bus to arrive (I got to be the rose). Then a tiger jumped out of his suitcase after they had gotten on the bus and we sang “Sárga Fekete” (Orange Black), a song about a tiger as the tiger ran around and caused chaos on the bus. Eventually our protagonist got to his apartment, which was freezing cold. So cold in fact, that there were icicles. His landlord told him to warm the apartment with singing, so we sang “Csipp Csepp”, a song about a melting icicle, as the finally. The whole thing was absolutely ridiculous and hilarious. For those of you with Facebook, one of my classmates recorded it and I have it posted on my profile.

After class Christina and I set off to find the concert schedule at the palace of the arts. This turned out to be more of an adventure than expected as the 2-ös tram line currently has a gap in the middle caused by construction, so we got to take a bus and then find the tram again. Overall, Budapest’s public transportation system is amazing though. It is slightly confusing at first as there is the underground metro, an above ground tram system, busses and trolleys, but once you get an idea where the buses run you can easily (and fairly quickly) get anywhere in the city. The biggest problem is that the whole system stops running at about 11 pm... One of these days I will figure out the night bus system though, and then that will be fine too ;-)


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