Today I've hit the one-week mark here in grand old Budapest. Before I get into the exciting where I've been and what I've seen bits, I just wanted to take a moment and let you know how deeply grateful I am for the prayers and long Skype conversations everyone sent my way after that last post. I have to say that today is the first day I didn't wake up with the odd feeling that I'm in some place I don't quite belong- this isn't to say that I've assimilated over night- simply that things are starting to make a little more sense, and I've stopped worrying over every little thing.
I'm slowly making my way round to different sections of the city. Budapest is really quite walkable, and once the weather starts to cool down, I'm sure I'll enjoy it infinitely more than I do now. In the past few days I've: gone to my first internship meeting, visited the Nagy Vásárcsarnok (Great Market Hall), hung out with a hippo at the Budapest Zoo, and finally braved the Budapest Metro System.
The internship with Corvinus is going to be quite different than expected- but in the best way possible. Instead of going into an office for a set amount of time every day, our group will meet every other week to receive a new "project." Currently, the Cold War History Research Center is creating a timeline for all events that occurred during the war, and my present task is to copyedit the work done on a specific section of that timeline. Seems this is one of those instances where being a "native" English speaker will come in handy. So, as long as I get the work completed within the set time frame, I'm free to do what I will during the day. This is fabulous news, as I've got a few friends planning to visit, and this will give me more free time to play tour guide.
It just so happens that Corvinus is conveniently located next to the Great/Central Market Hall- that's the Nagy Vásárcsarnok in Hungarian. I'll do my best not to go total fangirl while writing about this place, but I can't make any promises. It's a foodie paradise! The bottom floor is where local vendors sell fruits, veggies, honey, homemade yogurt/cheese, meat, and paprika, of course. Everything is straight from the farm, and so much more affordable than farmers markets or organic co-ops in the States. The second floor is where you'll find the more "touristy" items like Hungarian lace and pottery, as well as super delicious, prepared Hungarian food. The gulyás (goulash), you guys! So, so good! In fact, I'm already desperately hunting recipes that are "authentic," so that I'll be able to indulge my craving once I come home. There's also the orange juice guy- who is totally going to know me by name. I told my Dad that one of those old fashioned levered juicers is a necessity once I get home. Oddly enough, there are quite a few Market Hall naysayers on TripAdvisor- a place I normally trust for travel advice. Don't listen to them! If you ever find yourself in Budapest, the Market is a great place to mingle with locals and fellow tourists- you can buy things to create your own meal, or get something that has already been prepared. Definitely a fun little slice of Hungarian culture!
That's all from me tonight. I just finished my first load of laundry, and I've got to go hang it up to dry (the joys of European living!). I'll be back tomorrow with lots of animal awesomeness, and a few helpful tips on traversing the Budapest Metro System- because I know you're all dying to come see me, in which case this information becomes highly valuable!
P.S.- I promise I'll start taking more pictures with the real camera soon- it's simple too hot to lug that bad boy around right now.