Showing posts from February, 2017

Cultural Proof #3: The Cost of an Olympic Game

For this cultural proof I have been following the news stories surrounding the Budapest Olympic Bid, as well as the petitions against it.

I take the metro line to school in the morning, to my friends' flats, and to run errands. Some metro stations, like the one nearest to my flat, are clean, quiet and almost eerie. The ones on the older metro lines are places to grab a pastry, listen to some music and to sign the petition to stop Budapest's bid for the 2024 Olympic Games.

I must pass about four different booths every day. The people behind the counter are often students, and they are never rude or pushy. They've been using this petition campaign to make a statement about the current economy in Hungary, as well as the potential problems with hosting this international sporting event.

(There is a good picture of the booth at this link )

I've …

A museum, an opera and some sheep cheese.

Picking right up where I last left off! 
On Thursday I visited the House of Terror Museum. The address on Andrassy Utca in Budapest has been home to the security administrations of the Hungarian Nazi Party (The Arrow Cross), and the Soviet Regime.

The museum was long, but the message was striking. The history of the place was made more potent by its location. Historical photographs depicted tanks, weapons, explosions and bodies laying right outside the steps of where the museum now stands. The basement of the museum has replicas of the prison cells and torture weapons used by the Soviet Regime in the time of spying, secret police and deceit. 
Although the museum has a few bright moments (Colorful Soviet propaganda, revolutionary tales and the end of the Communist bloc.) again the message was grim. Many innocent people lost their lives both in the revolution in 1956, and in the transition from Nazi control, to brief democracy, to the Communists taking control. 
An Italian student who …

Am I European Yet??

I've been here for just over two weeks! I've probably been to the grocery store about fifty times, and I've forgotten my reusable bag about forty of those times. I have learned to talk slowly with my flatmates, and puzzle out the weird spellings and pronunciations made by my Hungarian professors. I found the printing shop, the post office and the passport photographer. I don't fumble for my metro pass on my way to school. A Hungarian mentor finally taught me how to pronounce my tram stop (Harminckettesek Tere). In a lot of ways I feel like I am starting to belong here.

And in a lot of ways I know I won't totally understand everything before I leave. Yesterday I was stuck in the grocery store trying to go out the way I came in, and it took me about an hour and a half to buy stamps. I haven't applied for residency yet but that's on the to do list for tomorrow! We need to take a bus quite a bit out of the way, and cross our fingers we grabbed all of the right…

All about the food! (Cultural Proof #2)

Again, this post was written specifically for the McBride Honors Program. 
Here in the land of Goulash and Paprika, rich comfort food is always on the menu. I think it has something to do with the bitter cold...

The other night I went with a large group of international students to a restaurant that served traditional Hungarian food. Like most good food places in the city, it had a walk up counter and a casual atmosphere that catered to the locals and the visitors to the streets many bars and night clubs. It was also fairly inexpensive for a large hot meal. I'll list a few of the things I tried. 
Crispy Duck Duck is actually a fairly common menu option here, although I'm not exactly sure why. It is much richer than chicken, and the way they had it prepared was delicious! The spices were very similar to what you might find in the states.  Pickled Cabbage  Cabbage is everywhere!!! With cold winters, pickling was necessary to preserve it in the winter months, but now it serves to c…

The Hospital in the Rock (Cultural Proof #1)

The following blog post is written for my McBride honors class, I was asked to visit a museum and hear from native speakers about some of the events in their history. 

On Friday this week I had the pleasure of visiting the Hospital in the Rock in the Palace district of Budapest. We went in the afternoon, and we were able to see an English guided tour, presented to us by a native Hungarian.

A Hungarian mentor from my university suggested that we see the museum, because she thought it was one of the best in Budapest. She tried to explain why she liked it so much, and I think that it boiled down to the rawness of the material covered. The tour does not shy away from telling the story of Hungarian trials and tribulations. This museum does not contain art or creative expression, it serves only to tell the story of the people who lived and died underground in this hospital.

****We were not allowed to take photographs during the tour, but I have included some photos from the internet****

First Impressions

Well I have been in the city for about three days now, and it feels like I have already been here for about a month. I have met so many wonderful people already, and I am so glad that I have the time to sit down with them and actually have a conversation.

It is time to stop being a tourist and start actually living abroad!
When I first moved into my new apartment, I was met by two international roommates. Juan, who is from Spain, was nice enough to share dinner with me, so I didn't have to find a supermarket until the next day. We had a lot of fun talking about music, pop culture and the differences between the Spanish and English language. Very quickly I realized that we had a lot in common, even though we are from very different places.

Pretty soon Ahmet came out of his room and greeted us in the kitchen. He shared his instant coffee and we also got to talking. He is from Turkey, and he is majoring in translation. I was so lucky to meet him on my very first day here, because he…