Thursday, August 7, 2014
Hungry in Hungary
That means good evening in Hungarian. (For those of you wondering, it's pronounced: yaw (long a) eshtayt.) Today was my first full day in Budapest, and I had such a weird night, that I didn't really leave my apartment until one in the afternoon. My jetlag was quite a bit worse than usual, and I just couldn't make myself get out of bed. So when you add a crazy case of jetlag, plus the nerves that come from knowing you're going to be living in a new country for five months, you get a girl with no appetite. But, let's get to the interesting stuff...
My flights were fine until I got to my transfer in Frankfurt. Originally, I was flying a Polish airline into Warsaw and connecting to Budapest, but I was notified early Tuesday morning that my flight had been cancelled. There was a moment of panic, but, thankfully, the airline was able to re-route me to Lufthansa, which is how I ended up in Frankfurt. The individual who changed my flight was kind enough to give me one hour to make my connection- those of you who have flown before know this is a near impossible feat. While I didn't have to collect and re-check my luggage, I was forced to go through security again (where they made me throw away my Nalgene bottle because it was full of water which the security inspector refused to let me drink/dump... Grrr.) The same lady who made me throw away my water bottle also forgot to tell me that I needed to take my iPad out of my carry-on. Because my iPad wasn't taken out to be scanned separately, I was forced to "submit" to an extra security check. I think the poor security man could tell I was about to break down. In very rough German- I'm a little rusty- I told him that my flight left in 15 minutes and the terminal was on the very far side of the airport. He called over his supervisor, who took pity on me, and told me I was allowed to go without the extra check.
Cut to me running through the Frankfurt airport with a 50 pound backpack plus extra personal item. I managed to make it to my flight just as they were about to close the doors. We won't even talk about how sick the flight made me- I hate small planes.
But you guys didn't come to read about my terrible flight. You want to hear about Budapest, right? I did a little exploring today, and was excited to discover that my apartment isn't far from many of the major sites in the city. I'm still trying to catch up to the time change, so I didn't venture out too far. From what I've seen, Budapest is beautiful- sort of like a much larger version of Krakow (and you all know how much I love that city).
My apartment is beautiful, and is actually owned by my roommate's parents. I'm grateful that the weather has already started to cool down- the high for this week is 81- as living with no air conditioning in hight heat is not one of my favorite things. There's a girl living somewhere in my building that has the most amazing voice; I fell asleep last night listening to her play guitar and sing cover songs.
To conclude this post, I leave you with a list, because I love lists and this is my blog so I can do whatever I like...
Things I've Learned So Far:
1) Magyar (Hungarian) is difficult. Like learning Icelandic difficult. None of the exposure I've had to other foreign languages is going to be any help here.
2) Thankfully, the grocery store next to my apartment has quite a lot of items with German labels- I always knew my German language minor would come in handy (told you, Dad...).
3) Don't go to the grocery store unless you've got a tote bag with you. I know better, and yet I still had to pay for plastic bags. No forgetting next time!
4) Budapest has more police than I've ever seen in my life, seriously, they're everywhere. You turn a corner, and there they are. I don't mind, though, as it definitely ups the safety factor.
5) Sim cards are impossible to find, as are hair dryers.
That's all for now. I have my first meeting with the Research Center Monday night, so I have plenty of time to do more exploring.
Sok szeretettel (much love),
P.S.- Mom, Dad, if you're reading this, feel free to send me a new Nalgene bottle and/or Amazon gift cards (I seriously underestimated my book supply), and peanut butter- always peanut butter.