Keeping Up With the Hungarians

I’m here, I’m alive, and so far so good. This place is really cool, and not at all what I had expected. Even though I don’t actually think I had any expectations. It’s really interesting because the streets are squeaky clean and beautiful, but the buildings range between very decrepit and very new. The signs on some shops are kind of beat up and scruffy, and they kind of remind me of overcrowded signs on stores in India, but less crowded.

The city is beautiful in both the day and the night, but I have to say the night gives it a certain quality that is indescribable. A lot of the buildings get lit up from below so you can see all the cool shadows created in the enclaves of the buildings. The Parliament at night is one of the coolest things I’ve seen. Not necessarily because it’s gorgeous as shit, but because the lights attract dozens of birds that end up circling around above, lit up from beneath. From far away they look like small paper birds being sent up from the roof of the building. Check out photos on Facebook re: birds, even though I couldn’t fully capture the beauty of it.

I had my first Hungarian class a couple days ago and I kind of like the language. I didn’t understand the pronunciation method at first but once you sit down and someone shows you, it’s more intuitive than you would think. I can now say that I am an american student (amerikai diák vagyok) but I think my favourite word so far is probably pingvin (guess what that means). Also fun fact the inventor of the Rubik’s cube, Rubik Ernő, is Hungarian and he’s still around and teaches at a university here. I still can’t solve those little buggers though.

As for the nightlife, this city has some of the coolest bars I’ve been to. I don’t know a whole lot of Budapest’s history yet, but I do know it’s been burnt down/destroyed way too many times. Because of this there are at least a couple ruin bars where bars have been built among ruined buildings. They’re sort of outdoors and have strange decor and furniture and vibe is absolutely fantastic.

Basically, this city is awesome and I’m so glad I’m here for a while so I can keep exploring. Obviously I’m going to travel other places in Europe, but having this place be my home base is probably the best idea I’ve ever had.

Classes start on Monday so stay tuned for some history and art lessons in the near future!

Also if you’re feeling particularly generous, feel free to mail me stuff! My address is:

Dharani Persaud
Corvinus University of Budapest
ISP – CIEE Study Center
Room 140
Fővám tér 8
1093 Budapest
Hungary

And send me your address if you want a postcard or something. I haven’t figured out post offices or stamps here yet but it’s on my to-do list.

Until next time!

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