Tuesday, April 28, 2009


So, the May trip is coming up fast! I can't believe that it is going to be just 2 more weeks! I only realised that this weekend! For those of you who don't know yet, the May trip is going to be an 8 day long bus voyage with AFS to Paris, London, and Brussels! I'm so excited! Its going to be awesome! And the Wednesday after, I will be going with the other exchangers to Szeged to take the giant Hungarian Vizsga! Wish me luck!

It's Tuesday here now and today is going to be jam packed with things. I think I will try to go to art club for a minute, at least, because I really need to finish this block print that Ive been working on for ever. Well, its not so much of a 'block' as a piece of paper-like rubber, but you get the idea. Then I'm going to go searching for this Turkish store that I found this weekend when I was with my friend who's living in Békéscsaba right now. Shes from Washington. Then back to the apartment, off to some arts building who knows where to watch two of the other American AFSers sing in a chorus, then to dance class. Hüha... (Hungarian for oh no...)

Saturday was really good, as I said, an American girl who lives really far away (or at least as far as you can get and still be in Hungary) came to Budapest and I got to be her tour guide. We didn't really do much touring, but we saw the basilica, some stores, West End, the Apple store (wanting) Radáy utca, Oktogon, the opera house, and Margit Sziget. That was the best part, Margit Sziget (or Margaret Island.)

We decided to rent a Bringó, which is a two person cart bike contraption thing that you have to peddle. I made the mistake of letting her steer first... It was fun. We freaked out a bus and continued on through a bush and into a tree. Yeah, It was awesome! YAY! There are pictures of the bush somewhere.

This weekend is going to be a 5 day one. Hungarians and their vacations, lots. I might be going somewhere into the countryside for a few days, Ill let you know how that ans out, and maybe to Gellert Hegye sometime?

Ok, see you,


Friday, April 24, 2009

Rest from Poland and Week 32!

OK, so I'm finally back, and in the school library again, what a shock.

The rest of the Poland trip was awesome! We went back to the city center of Kraków for the rest of the evening. At first our Rotary guy shepherded us around for a while, but we got to go up to this castle that had a really good view! There was also this amazing courtyard garden with loads of flowering trees and old gates. Afterwards we were set free! FUN! We were allowed out until 10, which eventually turned into about 4:30. I went with a group of three other Americans, all AFS surprisingly, to have real Polish food. We found this enormous restaurant that had outdoor seating, indoor, and dungeon. We sat outside, and there was absolutely no one else there! We though that that was strange for a Saturday night, but the food was good. I got mushroom Pirogi! YAY! And coffee. Leaving the guy a tip was an interesting process because Zlotys come in coin form until much larger amounts. And then all we had were Forints. Somehow we did it, we left little columns of metal, very strange.

The next morning we got back on the bus and went back to Budapest, I cant remember exactly how long the ride was, but it was long! We saw a lot of cool things though! My favorite was this castle up on a little mountain plateau thing, I think the picture is above. There was another one that I didn't see too. Apparently I slept through it twice, there and back. Oh well.

Back in Budapest we went to a humus bar! Before I left the US I knew about them, but only now have I gone. It was SO GOOD! And cheap! YAY! I got falafel.

This week has been about average. I went swimming three times and I think that I am getting a tiny bit better at the Butterfly. I still cant do the Breast Stroke to save my life though, the little girls in my lane pass me on that. Hum. We got to play water polo for the last 10 minutes too. Needless to say we lost, but it was good.

Today I am going to the Japanese library, we are going to watch an anime and I need to return a book. But I have to do a report on it for Irodalom class, I don't know how that is going to work really... OK, Sziasztok!


Monday, April 20, 2009


So! We are all back from Poland! I though the bus trip was going to last forever!

Saturday did turn out to be fairly awesome, too! Right after I last posted, everyone went into the bar and we had Polish breakfast. It was interesting. Sweet warm milk, a couple kinds of plain cereals, instant coffee, and black tea. Then we all went outside to wait for the bus to come to take us to Auschwitz.

We got there and it was so calm and unobtrusive, just a parking lot and a couple buildings. I was shocked by that. The bus pulled in, maneuvering around all the American tourists, let us off, and my little group of people headed off to find the bathroom and money exchange. We needed Zlotys. That done, we got back on the bus to go to a different area of the site. Auschwitz II according to out tour guide. She was a pretty strict woman. Bleach blond hair, huge accent, and quick to snap. On the bus, she didn't say much and we drove away from the center.
When we actually got there, we could see it for real. The view stretched for perhaps a kilometer in every direction with spindly skeletons of brick stoves and replica buildings structures sticking out of the field in a patchwork pattern. Stove, field, building. Stove, field, building. Train tracks ran through the center, creating a great elevated road between two ditches covered in little purple flowers and dandelions.

We were escorted up into the main watchtower in groups of thirty to take pictures, then lead down to see more of the buildings. There will be pictures. Make of it what you will.

The monument is at the very end of the train tracks in 12 different languages. Bulbous rock formations and black stone tablets. There is another tower there too. We didn't stay there long, many people were glad.

Arriving back at the first site, we got a tour through the museum. It was similar to the one in New York, only 100 times more real. It's harder to imagine that these things actually took place when you are on another continent, or even walking around the fields there. But the rooms full, literally full of items and pictures really get to you. The swimming pool like holes in the floors filled with human hair, children's shoes, even one just for brushes. You get a feel for just how enormous it all was, how many lives this one little place saw the end of.
Sorry, I have to go now. Rest of the trip later. Bye


Saturday, April 18, 2009

Hi Guys!

I'm in Poland! We drove up through Slovakia yesterday and arrived here at about 10:30pm. We were supposed to be here at 7pm though. Poland is beautiful, but I think the most drastic difference from Hungary are the buildings, not a single cement house, all wooden. You can start to see that in the Slovakia countryside as well.

Its definitely colder here. I forgot to take my coat out of my bag before we left, so I froze every time we stopped at a gas station (every gas station by the feel of it.) We got to take pictures of some incredible mountains too, all covered with snow.

In Slovakia, we could use Euros to buy thing, which I have a few of, but here we can't. It's kind of a pain because there aren't any ATM machines around the hostel. This place is pretty good. It's called Giraffe and is absolutely crawling with foreigners. There's a little kitchen that we can use as well, equipped with tea and everything. There's also a bar in the hostel, shocker. Guess why I couldn't sleep last night. They did let us have free ear plugs.

Today I'm not so sure what we are doing. Hardly anyone else is awake right now even though breakfast starts in 20 minutes. I just decided to get up the 8th time I was awoken. OK, people seem to be rousing. I can hear English. I never realised how easy it is to overhear other people when you completely understand what they are saying.

Yep, Americans are roaming the halls now. Got to go, szia! And I hope Junior Journey was good for everyone back home!


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Easter and Trip to Poland

I hope you all had a great Easter! Here in Hungary, it's two days long, both Sunday and Monday. We also had about a week off, lots of vacation time here! On Monday morning, I got the full blown experience of Magyar Easter; perfume. A group of my host families' friends came over to 'keep the women young.' Basically, the tradition goes that if a boy recites a poem and sprays a girl with perfume then she will remain young. Pretty cool, I guess, until you've been perfumed six times with two different kinds of perfume. It was very cute to see the little kids all dressed up and nervous though. Easter was pretty good.

Tomorrow morning I set off to Poland with the Rotary Club people and some fellow American AFSers. It should be an amazing trip. I really can't wait! We will take a bus through Slovakia too! OK, I'm in the school library right now and I really shouldn't be using the computer at all... Sziasztok!


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Just want to say a quick Bolond Napot! Its April fools day here. So far no one has been tricked in the slightest really.

I went swimming today and to art club yesterday. I entered a painting competition and they are going to be exhibiting the paintings in a gallery not far away from my school, starting tomorrow. I can't go though, maybe Friday. Tomorrow is going to be fast and long all at once. School, Hungarian language class, then I'm seeing my angel (volunteer) and going to Angol ora. There will be a new American teacher and I bet he's from Utah.

Last Friday was the first really WARM, take your coat off, day that we have had. I went with three of my classmates and our French lecturer, whose from Bordeaux, to the language college to compete in a French Dictée. Needless to say, I did miserably, but it was fun. My French is steadily decreasing. I got some good information about the school it was at too, who knows? It's supposed to be really good. Afterwards, I walked around Budapest for a while with my friend. We went to a load of foreign stores. It was fun.

Monday, I went for coffee and went again to the Piac near my school. My friend bought this awesome hand embroidered pillow case.

Tuesday, I had dance class. Our teacher is having a show this Sunday. About a third of our class going now, so it will be good, I hope. She also showed us this piece of paper that someone had just found a couple of days ago when cleaning a synagogue. It was money that the Jews used on Sundays. Pretty deep. Her apartment, where she teaches classes, is built in the old ghetto district.

Friday, I hope I can make it to the Japanese library. I still haven't gotten around to getting a card there yet. So, another busy week. See you all at home in less than 100 days!