Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Boldog Uj Evet!

Wow! It is going to be 2009 in only a couple of hours here! Can you believe that! Time sure has flown. It's almost been half of the trip since I left the US! New Years here in Hungary is pretty similar to New Years in America, without the ball drop in New York on TV that is. They even have a similar pickled horseradish and lentils good luck tradition that is similar to my families' sauerkraut and black eyed peas! OK, have to go now, sorry that it is so short! Thank you everyone who has taken the time to write me here in Budapest!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Boldog Karacsonyt Mindenki!


Wow, I cant believe that tomorrow is already Christmas! That's so exciting! Christmas here in Hungary is pretty similar to in the USA, but with some small differences. Like, the Christmas tree is set up on Christmas day, in secret, by one parent while the other takes the kids on a 'walk' so that it will be a surprise, and Christmas dinner always includes fish. Presents are also opened in the evening, not first thing in the morning.

Lots of things have been going on this week, most inconsequential. School is finally over for a couple of weeks. We had our last day on Saturday when we had a 'Christmas party' in our classroom and swapped secret Santa presents.

Yesterday and the day before we decorated the house with the Christmas ornaments! Not quite sure what I will do with the rest of the day though. We might start cooking! OK, hope everyone has a great holiday! Sziasztok!


Saturday, December 20, 2008

More of my class.

These are the exchange students in budapest!

This is a movie of three of my classmates saying merry xmas!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Train to Budapest


AFS Szekesfehervar

Izzy's spooka in Hungary!

Boom Chika Boom reindeer ears

The Holy Hand Grenade

The USA and one guy from New Zealand.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Sziasztok! (pictures soon)

I am sorry that my posts are getting further and further between, but it is becoming harder to find good times to use the computer for more than a few minutes... Well anyway. This last week has been pretty good. The weekend was kind of an orientation from AFS, but not really. It was an optional weekend where we could go and live with temporary weekend host families and see more of the village of Szekesfehervar. I went and it was pretty cool. My weekend host family was nice. One of the girls is going to the US next year. She is very excited to become a cheerleader there (they don't have them in Hungary.) In Hungarian it is called pom pom lany. Literally pom pom girl. I thought that that was funny.

They also took me to see them practice synchronized swimming, which I have never seen before. Strange to see a load of Hungarian girls swimming in sync to High School Musical songs. We also went to the stables and the AFS Szent Miklaus party afterwards. The party, I guess, was to see more of the village, but the only thing that we really saw was this amazing clock tower that sung. I will upload it when I have a chance. (Unfortunately, I don't have access to any of the pictures because I am, again, in computer class at school right now.) So at the "party" every city chapter of Magyarorszag had to preform some kind of song or skit together. We had just heard about it so on the train we thought of our idea. You are never going to believe this Izzy, we make a Hungarian Christmas version of Boom Chika Boom (like from theater camp.) It was a Canadian girl who thought of it, but a German girl knew of it too! I would never have guessed that it was international! Cool. It was pretty great, then they made us sing Hull a Pelyes Feher Ho in Hungarian afterwards so that the host parents could understand what was going on.

There was a dance afterwards. Next day got the train back to Budapest where I had to pay full adult price by accident, which stunk. A whole 5 dollars. Oh well, that's OK. School all this week was pretty normal. I went with a couple of the other AFSers to see the Hungarian Music University (I can't remember the exact name right now) and then we got tickets to see one of the French boys in Budapest musical next week. It's the Nut Cracker, should be fun.

Christmas is making an appearance everywhere these days. My Magyar Irodalom teacher here in school has stapled chocolates all over her class room. They look nice, but all anyone in class can do is stare at the ceiling. Yum, chocolate... I got the Hersey's from the US, now that I mention it, and I brought a few of the to school and everyone loved them! Thanks Grandma and Grandpa T!

Yesterday I went all over Budapest in search of the cheapest Rubic's Cube that I could find. Found on for 800 ft at one point but I couldn't find it again when I went back to get it. Don't worry, 800 is a tiny number in forints. But now I have a Rubics Cube and I am determined to conquer it. OK, I guess that is about all right now. I am going to see my art teachers art exhibit today after AFS Hungarian lesson, then I don't know what. OK, hope everything in the USA is great!


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Short post

Wow, so it's December already!

I have past the 100 day mark by a few days now. So much has been going on I don't even know where to start. Well I went to see Twilight at the movies. (we almost didn't make it in, so late) I also saw this really awesome eastern Asian museum with loads of cool things in it. Walked around Vaci Utca in the pouring rain. Went to the most awesome Xmas fair in the world! Got things in the mail. Went to school. Read. Went to the first of two chapter meetings this week. And sang a Hungarian Christmas song. Hungarians are big on Xmas here. So, short post, must be off. Sziasztok!


Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Wow, tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I keep telling people here that and they are like.... what... One American tradition that most people haven't heard of. So, I have officially been inside of the parliament! We went with AFS on Sunday morning, had to stand out in the snow for an hour before they would let us in. This is the only picture that I managed to take. My camera decided to die on me, but the inside of the parliament is amazing. I think that they said there was something like 44 kilos of gold leaf all over the walls. Pretty cool.
I went over to the German girl's house yesterday. We looked at this German Harry Potter fan site. I am officially a German hp fan now. That's just awesome! YAY!
Last night I made a snow woman in the park. She is cool. Wonder if she survived until today. Ok, have a very happy Thanksgiving tomorrow! Sziasztok!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

This week was also a very good one. Lots to do and things to see!
The AFSers in Budapest have all discovered this amazing little cafe. We had class there on Thursday, how CBHS of us. Usually there isn't anyone in it but our group. We've met the guy who works there too, hes pretty cool. he has adopted the American name Gabe, though we don't know if he only does that when he sees a load of foreigners. Well anyway, I had Wednesday off from school for who knows what reason. Seriously, I haven't got a clue. But I went with the German girl to this awesome palacsinta house. It was kind of like a fast food place I guess, except they only serve palacsinta. But the place is directly across the river from the parliament so it has an amazing view. No pictures I'm afraid. It gets dark here at 4:30 anyway.
Yesterday was pretty cool too. After a fairly average day of school I went with a girl from my class with her little sisters class on an after school field trip. YAY! Well, they were completely flabbergasted to discover that I didn't speak Magyar, and I think they had a good time trying to get me to say 1 -10 correctly. They were super cute. So we went to this massive museum. It had this Christmas wreath exhibit which I found kind of odd, but interesting. The kids kept asking me to read to them what the cards said. Didn't work out quite like they had expected I don't think.
Today we made more fozalak and it SNOWED! Its the first time I have seen snow here! I think I might go and touch it now. Or maybe not. I don't know. Ok, hope everything is good.
Jo hetvegen!

Sunday, November 16, 2008



Sorry, somethings wrong with blogger. The post right before this one can be displayed in its entirety by clicking on the title. More pictures and a text should appear. Hope it works.


Snails in Trees

This last week has been so busy, something most nights and after school. I guess that that is a good thing though.

Hetfo- Went to some cute little coffee shop in the Oktogon then stood around looking at all of the trains.

Kedd- Went on a wild goose chase through the market with a girl from school trying to find a lemon juicer with a handle. I know, right.
Szerda- I met the girl from Germany and a boy from Hong Kong at Moskva ter and we set out to find the Lions at Lanc Hid (Chain Bridge.) We walked along the Danube for about half an hour before we realised that we were going the wrong way. But that was fine. The Danube is so cool right now. It was all foggy and awesome. We did finally find the lions though (aren't you happy Izzy?) And yes I realise that I have (very) red eye in that picture. Afterwards we were standing at the metro stop and decided to try the roasted chestnuts that the little stall was selling. They were ok. First time for everything.
Csuturtok- Went to MOM park and then my first Hungarian class in about a month. We started the past tense.
Pentek- Friday was very interesting. I met some of the other AFSers after school and we went to this cafe where we ran into more exchanges from the US. They were from a couple different Rotary clubs I think, but that was cool. Then we went to this 'Blind Museum.' It was really interesting. The Hungarian tour guides led us around these rooms that were pitch black, not so much as a distant outline. There were rooms like kitchens, markets, streets, rain forests. By the end we could all tell who was standing in front of us by what their hair felt like. I still wonder what the rooms we like. The very last room was an imitation of a cafe. We could order something if we liked and try not to drop it. I was sitting on a couch with a couple of other girls when we realised that there was a fourth sitting between us and she wasn't talking. At first we thought she just didn't want to. But after a few minutes we began to really wonder why she wouldn't talk to us. We couldn't see her so we didn't know what was going on at all. When we finally tried to tell someone the whole place went quiet and one of the tour guides came in the dark and took her back outside. She had fainted and was fine in a minute, but it was kind of freaky. We had no idea that anything was wrong. Kind of makes you appreciate that you have eyes.
Szombat- We went to Szekesfehervar again. Made more tok soup. They tried to explain why it wasn't actually soup though. And it's not actually a stew. Apparently it is a Fozalak. Something that we do not have a word for in English. Kind of a thin vegetable stew with something else I don't know. Well anyway, don't call it leves, soup, or you will be corrected. Also, did you know that snails live in trees here? That was like, wow.
Vasarnap (today)- Not much today. I was going to go to this Museum that I keep seeing signs for everywhere for. It closes today, but I don't think I can make myself. Anyways, it might come to the US sometime. This afternoon Mira and I are going shopping I think. I don't know yet. So, that is my all so exciting week. Hope yours was fun! Sziasztok!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

This is a picture of a metro stop.

In Deak ter.



So the last week has been pretty normal. Well, as normal as it can be here. I got to go to the massive library again with some people from school. We tried to get a library card for me, but apparently I would have to bring my real parent all of the way from the USA to the library to sign the form. And basically that can not happen. But I got to check a book out on my friends card so it was good.

Speaking of books in the library, it is so fascinating to see all of these familiar books written in Hungarian. The Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, Jane Austin books, and a load of books based on American movies.

After we vacated the library we went to this little shop full of hand made jewelry and wood figurines. It reminded me so much of Mexicali Blues! I could have spent all day in there! Apparently the girl I was with knows the owner though, so I found myself being wholly welcomed in and shown around and such. He came up to me with this wooden basket of little funny string men dangling from a cell phone string and got me to understand that I should take one. Well anyway, I am calling him Bence ( pronounced Ben-ts-e... ) and he is purple. I quite like it. So many notable characters here.

So a couple of days ago was the monthly chapter meeting where everyone in the Budapest chapter gathers in some public place and just talks. It was pretty good, well, the last hour of it was. For I spent the beginning half wandering aimlessly around the streets of Budapest with an Italian and a German. It was fairly funny. We had to ask for directions from these Hungarians. I don't think that they could believe that we were all from different countries, totally befuddled them. But we got there in the end and it was fine.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Obama for President!

I got up very early today, it is about 6:30 now, to watch the US news or Obama being elected. I got to see his acceptance speech! Its so amazing!

In other exiting news going on in the US, I have a new cousin!

I kind of wish I could be there in the US, just for today, to see everything that is going on. But I will go to school here instead and try to tell everyone that Barack (pronounced Buratsk, 'barack' in Hungarian means peach, there is a whole peach campaign here) Obama won the election.

Halloween here was uneventful, I did get to see some little Hungarian trick or treaters though, I guess the idea has caught on a bit here. I did have 'tok' soup though, very good. 'Tok' means pumpkin, but it was more or a squash. I was in Szekesfehervar at the time.

Ok, I am going to get ready for school now!


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Zsúzsi's Paprika Cheese Spread


I am in Szekesfehervar again right now, I spent the night here. I got to ride here on a seriously cheap train, I think that it came to about 3 dollars. You never see that in the US, well, you hardly ever see people-carrying trains in the US. It was just me and my host dad, Mira is in school this week. We sat behind this British family with awesome accents. The little boy played a Star Wars card game most of the way. Isn't it strange how some things are universal in people?

Well, we got here and I went out into the yard and ripped out all of the paprika plants in the garden. They are something fierce, paprika plants. But I felt very accomplished. Then we found this huge bag of old yarn in the attic that no one's seen for years, so guess what Ive been doing? Knitting! YAY! I'm about half way done with one mitten right now, I hope that it actually comes out looking ok. Its blue.

This morning my host dad left for Budapest again so I am with Mira's aunt and grandpa until Saturday. This is both a good thing and very complicated thing. Mira's grandpa and aunt are much more traditional Hungarians, as far as I can tell. It's awesome to see it all. Lots of paprika too, lots. And in everything.

This is what I had for breakfast, I suggest that you try it.

Zsúzsi's Paprika Cheese Spread

Bagged cottage cheese
Lots of paprika
Lots of Onion
Lots of Salt
Kifli, Hungarian bread roll, or just a piece of slightly stale bread.

Stir - (Eat with fork not on top of bread if you want to be traditional)

It was pretty good. There might have been other things in it that I couldn't tell. Maybe some lemon juice.

Today I really should do some homework. Hum. Ok, I hope that everything is great in the US and that Pumpkin is born safe and sound!

Happy Halloween!


Monday, October 27, 2008

Nearly Halloween!


Its finally officially fall! Which is very exciting. All of the trees are nice colors and its comfortable to go outside with a coat!

So Halloween here is basically non existent, unless you count the 'Claires' like stores and MATCH shops that sell little plastic pumpkin bracelets and little witches made of hay. They do have a kind of death remembrance day on the first of November though. Everyone who has had family members who've died, goes to the cemeteries and give them flowers.

Another holiday, already passed, is the 1956 revolution day. At school the grade below us put on a play about it. Margit Hid was all decked out in flags, it was so pretty.

Though there is no real Halloween here, I couldn't not get a pumpkin like object to celebrate, some things just can't be let go. I went to a giant market and found that little squash. I then proceeded to get completely and utterly lost in some tourist district. I still don't have any idea where I was. I think maybe I went out the back of the market and just kept going, away from Kalvin Ter. I realised there was something wrong when i reached the Duna and saw Gellert Hill looming at me from the other side. The market isn't anywhere near Gellert Hill. Oh, well. It was quite interesting though. Perhaps I will someday develop a sense of direction. Ok, Happy Halloween!


Friday, October 17, 2008

It is starting to really feel like fall here now. All of the trees are yellow, and when I get off of the bus I can smell fall. Its wonderful.
Today our class went to the National Museum steps and took loads of pictures. It was pretty fun. Later I am going to a photo showing with some other people from AFS. Should be cool.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

So another week has gone. This one has been pretty good, but I can't remember where I left off last time so I'm just going to start with the weekend.

We went to this massive old castle on Saturday. From what I could get lots of queens lived there once. Then I went with Mira to the stables and watched her ride for a while. Look down and you will find a two second clip.
Then Sunday we cleaned a lot and I did lots of random things.
Hetfo was the start of S. Gy. Alb. Het at our school. We had to organise loads of game for the grade under us to play after school. The actual playing of the games was very strange, like a Casco Bay event gone very, very, strange. But it was fun. And hysterical.
Yesterday, kedd, I went to a Hungarian poetry reading after school. It was pretty good. They had me read a Shakespeare verse in English after the Hungarian version because they wanted to know what it was like in the original form. We got tea in little plastic cups too.
Oh yeah, some of these pictures are from last week when I decided to go exploring the castle district. Only problem was, I never figured out how to get into it. The castle district is this small hill that is all buildings on the outer. I could see the castles, buildings, and stairways. I just never figured out how to get in. I still got to see loads of cool things though. Almost everything from that section of my travel book! YAY!
Tomorrow is another AFS lesson, and Friday I think that I am going to some kind of photo thing. But I'm not really sure what that is entirely. Should be an adventure! Ok, Sziastok!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

After the Arrival Orientation

So this weekend was the after the arrival orientation. It was pretty good. Got the HEV to some remote area of Budapest with a group of others, and spent the next day and a half stuck in a hotel. The HEV is awesome, its a train that goes all over Budapest but I can use my monthly pass on it. Which means its basically free for me to go anywhere that I want to in Budapest

because AFS pays for the ticket.

The rest of the weekend was pretty good. Met loads of new people. Tried to understand the people who spoke French, tried to translate 'Garlic' into German, and played pass with a stress ball. Apart from that the weekend was pretty quite. And school started again yesterday.

Yeah, one of the weird things that is different about the schools here is that when a teacher is absent, you don't have class. Only rarley are there real substitutes. Which means that because there is a plauge going arouns and everyone is ill, I did not have to first lesson Monday and today. I don't really know if thats a good thing though. I missed drawing. But I got to sleep:)!

I am going to go to the Castle District and walk around sometime this week I hope. Must take more Matyas pictures. Hope all is well!


Thursday, October 2, 2008

A allant kert, az egy maci! nagyon cuki serintem!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Its Tuesday here, kedd, and I am going to go to the ZOO in about half an hour. Isn't that awesome, I can just pick up and go to the zoo anytime?

So yesterday was quite a full one, after school I went to the Hungarian National Museum again, but it turned out to be closed so we went to this MASSIVE market! It was awesome, I could have spent ages in there, there was so much to buy and see. I do admit that it was an obvious tourist trap, but it was a good one. They had tons of paprika, palacsinta, scarves, etc. I have to go back sometime and look more closely becuase I had to leave right away.

Then I went to have coffee with some of the other AFSers, I like coffee... Wish there was more of it. I met this girl from Sydney, Australia. Shes been here for 8 months now and knows a lot more about what the rest of the year will be like for us. There was also a girl from Finland, germany, and another from the USA there. We went to this big cafe outside of Deak ter, which has this huge park and shopping block.

Here is a picture of my class. This is the most interesting room in the building, no joke.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Het vegen hat. A istenem, az nagyon furcsa.

Well its sunday here, morning. Two days ago I went with my 'angel' as they call them here to (liason in the US) to this massive church. It was so cool! Huge and MASSIVE and very cool. We went all the way to the top and got to walk around. The view was absolutly amazing there, I could see the entirety of Budapest. I could see the same communist buildings that I mentioned when I first got here too. I guess that everyone in Budapest thinks that they are just as ugly as I do. But its very interesting. There is a great expanse of old building and squares and statures, then row after row of gray rectangles out in the distance.

But anyway, it was an amazing view. We sat on the steps after and had tiramisu, I've never had that before I don't think. Its so amazing to think, hey, I'm in Budapest having tiramisu on the steps of some ancient building. Yeah, it was pretty awesome.

Yesterday we went to Szekesfehervar again. I got to pick loads of black eyes peas, but I didn't get the chance to shell them because we went to watch my host sister ride a horse for a minute and that turned in to all day. I met this 10 year old boy who was hysterical. He has a load of horses and the tinyest little kitty (cica). When Mira got back we went for a bike ride. Or I guess that I should say I went for a bicycle ride, they went for a motercycle ride... through the forest. Its very diffucult to keep up to motercycles when you are on a bike. And I did feel a bit like Harry Potter in the side car. But it was ok. I can say that I didn't polute the environment.

We got back pretty late last night, Budapest is very cool to drive through at night. OK, sziastok!

Boldog Sulinapot JP!