I made it! For the past couple days I have been roaming the streets of Budapest, Hungary. During my time here I have been feeling really… hungry. I am hungry mainly for two things: exploration and FOOD.
Ever since landing in Hungary I have been so HUNGRY to eat food. When I first got here there was just so much to do that somehow I forgot to get dinner (something I NEVER have forgotten in my life!). Luckily, I packed some snacks for the flight, so I tried to craft a meal out of the snacks that night. Even with these snacks, I woke up that night at 2AM absolutely starving! I think my internal clock was telling me it was now dinner time because 2AM here is 6PM back home. Every night I have woken up at 2AM ready for my fourth meal of the day. Today I am hoping I will be able to break this cycle.
On my second day here (oh course I woke up starving) I tried to go to cafe to order breakfast around my neighborhood. Quickly I realized that not everyone knows English here and that if I want to feed myself I would need to learn a little Hungarian. Currently, I am enrolled in a 2 week language immersion course where I am learning basic Hungarian. I definitely wouldn’t say that the language comes naturally to me or to most people in the class. Hungarian (what locals call Maygarul) is universally accepted as one of the hardest languages to learn because it is one of the most unique languages. This is because Hungary has been under control by so many different powers that their language has become a unique blend of these languages. Because the language is so unique no one in the class has a head start in understanding the language which makes me feel a lot more comfortable when I continuously mispronounce even the most basic phrases (for instance goodbye in Hungarian is Viszontlátásra). When I go to restaurants I always try to speak Hungarian to the locals, and it is obvious that they truly appreciate the effort even when my pronunciation is way off.
Also being the food lover that I am, one of my favorite qualities about Hungary is there food is so inexpensive!! Yesterday I was able to buy a large sandwich for about $2!! I also recently went to a more upscale restaurant with a group of new friends and each plate was about $10! Because the food is so cheap it cost about the same to go out to eat each day as it is to cook for yourself. I may have been hungry when I got off that plane, but now knowing how cheap and accessible food is here, that will not be happening again!
I am also just so hungry to explore! For the past 4 months I have been making list, charts, and diagrams of all the places I want to go and experience while in Hungary. Now that I am here I feel like I just want to make as many of those ideas possible. So far I haven’t had much time to really dive deep into this list. The main exploring will happen this weekend. On Saturday, I plan to do a walking tour in the Buda Hills and then learn how to make authentic goulash ( a popular Hungarian dish). On Sunday, a smaller group of us will explore the Pest side of the city. You may be wondering what I mean by the Pest side of BudaPEST. The territory of Budapest actually originally use to be two separate cities – Buda and Pest – that are split by the Danube River. It wasn’t until 1873 that the cities merged to form Budapest, the largest city in Hungary. The Pest side is know for their beautiful castles and amazing views of the city.
Be sure to tune in soon for updates on these adventures and potentially a video of my apartment and neighborhood.