Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Cave

All great trips are accompanied by some kind of mortifying adventure, right? Well, that would have been today. In.... THE CAVE.....

I slept over at my friends house yesterday and we went with her host family to"walk around some caves," which we did, to a point. The first time we saw one of the low parts of the cave we began to worry, claustrophobia and lack of oxygen fore-front in our brains. Those were some smaaaaall holes. My hard hat could hardly get through, thus resulting in lack of light as my head lamp decided to fly off and fall apart. We got it back together eventually, with me sitting in a crevice. I can't decide whether it was at the bottom of where we were climbing or not, so many ups and downs. All I know is that it was small and very deep. The stalactites were cool though. Definitely not the most desirable for gripping, but cool nonetheless. We saw some urchin fossils and shells and crystals too. At one point I found this awesome shard of something shiny just laying there on the ground, that was hard to resist. Oh well. Pretty crazy place, you definitely feel like you aren't really on earth and in a way you aren't, you re in it.

The rest of the journey continued in much the same way, until we got lost. Our main guide (there were two) had forgotten the keys to get us out the door to the other end, so he went back for them. And, well, I guess the other one didn't really know the way. We took a wrong turn at one of the crevices and went a route that I don't think humans were ever meant to travel, let alone without ropes and gear. Yeah. It went straight up, like a well. It was about the same size and shape too, and wet. But mostly you just got showered by rocks as the person in front of you climbed. Well, I thought I was going to die. No joke. Eventually we did make it to the top, only to find more tiny holes. Then our guide realised it was really a dead end. Great. So back down the hole of doom we went to skooch on our stomachs and backs and other random body parts until we could get to a hole big enough to crouch in. Weewww. But we did it. After we corrected our wrong turn we found the stairs. Hallelujah!

So yeah, that's today's news. Sorry if it sounds over dramatic. I have to go now, its about 11pm here. Bye, Ve

Friday, May 22, 2009


Sorry, to cut things short again. No time to really tell about the rest of the Euro trip, but I had my Vizsga! AHH! That's the Hungarian language exam. On Wednesday about 20 of the exchange students from AFS went to Szeged to have the test. We got a really early train and then studied like mad in our compartment on the train. There was some Hungarian guy in there, I bet he had a laugh at all of us foreigners trying to speak Hungarian. We got there about half an hour before the testing started, but the speaking section was all done individually so I had to wait for the longest time. When it was finally my turn, these two Hungarian women sat me down on this incredibly tall chair and had me take about housing. Somehow it spiraled off into trailers, and then FEMA, and then to cooking with pepper. Don't ask. They were pretty nice. The writing section, though it was more of a reading and listening comprehension test, was in the afternoon, and it was hard. They put us all in a classroom next to the train tracks and had us listen to questions and then fill in the bubble answer on our score sheets. Interesting, but my grades were OK.

I didn't really get to see much of Szeged, hopefully I will get to go back for a weekend of something later. Times running out though! There's a chance I might get to go to Romania in June, depends on if I decide to go or not. What do you think?

So, yesterday I was supposed to go swimming, but I kind of went to a French competition instead. My team, Les Allumettes, (we have an awesome name) got third place out of eight teams. It was fun. Then afterwards we went on a class trip to the theater that I didn't know about, but had already paid for somehow. Cool. We saw something called Stingy in Hungarian. We had the best seats too, second floor, right at the center. Oops, bell just rang, got to go to gym. I hope they don't make us run. Sziasztok, Ve

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

So the Euro trip is over. Wow, that's scary to say. I don't know how to tell it all to you, there was just so much happening. Maybe just some of the places that we went? Eiffel Tower, Brussels, London Eye, British Museum, to the Crown Jewels, Leeds Castle, Westminster Abby, uncountable cathedrals, Napoleons tomb, Piccadilly Circus, The Tower Bridge, Champs-Élysées, boat tours, Canterbury, markets, shopping streets, crépe houses, bakeries, french McDonalds, hostels, trailer parks, the Louvre, and so much more that just isn't coming to mind right now.

I think the best was Leeds Castle. It was stupendous! And maybe because it was the only day I didn't freeze or get blown away by the wind. But we got to see all around the grounds, the bird cages, the moat, falcon show, and inside. It's really beautiful. Wish I could buy it. Right. In one of the lawns was a hedge maze, quite difficult actually, especially with a Hungarian/Chinese/American team. There was a dungeon like place there too, not very big but creepy! All carved with mermaids and shells, loads of colored lights. Reminded me of the mermaids we make on the beach in summer back home. Apart from the creepy of course.

The London Eye was cool too. That was the first thing we did once we had gotten to London for our four day stay. Right up we went and you could see everything. We got to hear Big Ben from it. The day before we had seen Brussels. I don't know how to describe Brussels. Like some kind of freaky beautiful festival with loads of vacant streets and then millions of people on stilts wearing goth clothes. Cool. The street performers were everywhere and their costumes really were spectacular. We go to go have waffles too, on the main street. And we visited the statue of the peeing boy who's really famous, but somehow I can never remember his name.

Going to England from France on the boat was interesting. Let's just say that it's the first time I've been seasick. The view was gorgeous though. We could see the White Cliffs the whole way. Those four nights we spent at a trailer park right next to the water. Also a first. Eight girls, 6 beds, one bathroom. One night we all went down to the beach though. We couldn't see the water because it had gone so far out, but I got some cool shells that I'll turn into earrings when I get home.

Most of the days we just walked around. Our "tour guide" gave us "free time" a few hours a day in the shopping districts. I don't really know why. She told us we could go buy clothes and things, and most people did I guess. But one time we found a Beatles shop, very cool, but I didn't get much, one sticker, 4 dollars. The Pound is a fortune! I have to go, again. I'm in the library. Today I have to swim again, 4 times this week. I couldn't the week before last because my ankle decided to swell like Aunt Marge. OK, see you, Ve.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I'M IN ENGLAND! HOW AWESOME IS THAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This keyboard sucks, sorry... today we went to London! YAY! *has happiness*

We went to Brussels too! and saw everything! WOW! My favorite was Leeds castle though, I'm going to live there someday. :) OK, one minute left, it was a whole pound for 15 minutes. We are staying in a trailer park tonight. OK, have to go, more later.

Friday, May 8, 2009

It's finally Friday and I can't believe that the London, Paris, Brussels trip is only one day away! Seems like only yesterday that it seemed like the distant future, something cool to do at the very end of the exchange. Wow, fewer than 2 months left. This is scary. Don't blink, you'll miss it.

So, yesterday was interesting. I presented my book project in Irodalom and immediately got gales of laughter from my class about how hysterical my accent is. I guess its pretty bad. I've always wanted an accent, though American wasn't really what I was going for... But the presentation its self went well. It's over at least. I think I might have freaked out my teacher a bit with the piece from the book that I read. For some reason I chose the most bloody scene. Interesting.

Afterwards, I went with my friend to have salad at a coffee shop. Lots of new interesting things, then we had really awesome cheap Bangladeshi vegetable paneer.

I booked it to Angol class afterwards. It's really funny to sit in on English classes with a bunch of Hungarian women. They're great. We studied shopping and how to telephone order a pizza, for some reason. I act as spell check, mostly, when the teacher is writing on the board. Sad, my spelling's not all that good either. Sorry about that.

So, then I went back to the house and discovered that my ankle was all purple and orange. New acquisition and I haven't a clue how it happened. Hope the swelling goes down before I leave tomorrow. OK, I'm in Informatika class right now. Sziasztok,


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Sorry I ran out on that last post. The little window on the screen came up that said I had only another 59 seconds left. I had to book-it offline anyway.

So, Monday was pretty great too, I went up to Gellért Hegye (a big mountain overlooking all of Budapest) with a girl from Belgium. I hadn't actually been up there yet, which is kind of sad. It's one of the biggest tourist destinations here. They have their own Szabadság Szobor, which is their Statue of Liberty. Pretty cool. It's funny to see tourist junk labeled in English with the words 'Statue of Liberty' on it. We met at Nyugati, where I was shocked to see Hungarian Deal or No Deal girls parading around in gold dresses, advertising. It's really going global I guess. They asked me if I had seen their principal. Or at least I think they did. Strange.

Well, after we made it up the mountain, we walked in a big circle around the center of the city. We must have gone in 50 places. We even managed to find this great text book shop with 'learn Hungarian' books in it. Unfortunately, they didn't have the second of the Hungarian book that I just completed. Oh well. In two weeks will be the Vizsga, the big language test. I'm not exactly nervous, but I guess kind of scared that everyone else will get much better grades than me. Ugg.
This Saturday starts the London-Paris-Brussels trip and I couldn't be more excited! It's going to be really great! Only thing is that I haven't really received any information about it, only word of mouth. Hum. Should be good though. Yesterday was the chapter meeting. They told us to go to Érzsébet tér for the meeting, so that's what everyone did. But an hour later we decided we were cold and went for refuge in the coffee shop that we usually have things in. Guess what, that's where the woman from AFS was. But it was fun, I got to see everyone.

Tomorrow is school again. Today I finished nyelvtan-ing and fordittan-ing my irodalom homework. Tomorrow I present to my class. OK, I should go now, szervusztok!


Tuesday, May 5, 2009


It's now Tuesday and this last weekend was completely awesome! Just about as perfect as can be here. Last Thursday, after my school's graduation ceremony, I went with my friend to her country house way up near the Szlovakian border. It's not as uncommon here, as it is in the US, to have plot of land that you farm, but it was great. We got to do so many things, but my favorite was when she found all of these real traditional costumes, that her mom had, up in the attic. We got to try them on and parade around the garden. Pretty awesome. She has new kittens too, not to mention bats, lizards in the garden, a cat called 'Ördög' (devil), and a whole lot of other things. On Friday and Saturday, we got to work in the garden too, and I got to make two enormous bonfires! Pretty sweaty work, but FUN! Are you jealous Izzy? On Sunday we cooked a combination of British cuisine and Hungarian. I have to take some recipes back with me. We made sorrel (don't know how to spell that) soup, black root with walnuts, cheese (Worcester like from Wallace and Gromit) and a lot more! I got to crack open all of the walnuts. They grow most of the things themselves. Sunday, my friend's dad took me for a tour of the nearby town, Hollókő (raven rock). There was a sweet little village, very touristy, but real, with some ancient castles, and a great view! Don't worry, I have pictures.

OK, I have to go, I will tell you about yesterday's excursions later!