Sunday, October 23, 2011

Trips trips trips

Last weekend I went to Western Hungary and Venice with all the other exchange students. We spent most of the time on the bus, but it was still a lot of fun. Venice is a beautiful city with amazing food! Jill, Alex, and Annika and I walked around together, and ran into the others a couple of times. We asked people walking by where the best pizza place in Venice was and even had a bite of a random guy's pizza! Eventually we found one that was AMAZING and very cheap. We wanted to go back there for dinner, but we found a different place and had pasta. We also had gelato which tasted the same as it does in Hungary, so that was rather anticlimactic. It was really good to see everyone again!

I got home today from my club's trip to Pécs... which actually ended up being a trip to everywhere but the actual city of Pécs. We visited a lot of churches and historical sites which were pretty interesting. Unfortunately we didn't get to meet up with the exchange students there, which we were all really looking forward to. Our next big meeting with everyone is in December, and I already can't wait.

Besides all the trips, school is still school. My Hungarian is coming along slowly and I have a midterm exam for my language class this week. I really want to do well so I plan on studying a lot! The weather here is pretty cold... it's in the 50s most days. It's going to start getting much colder soon, I'm so excited. I think next week is my autumn break from school and I have no idea what I'm going to do. Hmmm okay that's all for now! Next weekend I'm going on yet another trip with my host family and we're going to the mountains. Should be fun!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Assorted thoughts and such

Right now it's Sunday morning and I've been in Hungary for 6 weeks exactly. I wonder if I'll ever stop counting how long I've been here.

So, the last time I posted I mentioned not having a social life. That's changed! Last week, Zizi and I went into the city after school and had an amazing dessert which I forgot the name of and some ice cream, and then we sat by the river and talked. Yesterday, Jill and I went over to our friend Lilla's house and played ping pong and ate probably the best dinner I've ever had in my entire life. People in school will say hi to me and I have at least one friend in every class. I really have started to love school here, as boring as it can be sometimes.

One of the problems I'm facing is that I have literally nothing to do. After school I come home, eat lunch, do homework for my Hungarian lesson, and then sit around or talk to my host sisters. It's really frustrating because I want to do things, but I have no idea what to do or what I even can do. Everyone here studies a lot and I only have Hungarian to study for (which I do, but not for hours a day). I think this will change soon, though. For any potential outbounds reading this, exchange isn't always endless hours of fun and hanging out with friends... or at least, it isn't in the beginning.

I still haven't been very homesick. I've started to miss my friends a lot more though. I talked to Maddy on the phone last night for about an hour and it was so good speaking in English and hearing a familiar voice. I've been skyping quite a bit recently with different people and it makes me feel a lot better. There's nothing more comforting than seeing Alissa make weird faces at me or video chatting with Mareya and cracking up over nothing. I miss them.

Yesterday I was going through things on my computer and read something I wrote five days before I left. In it, I said this: 
I think the hardest thing about all of this is knowing that no matter what, I'll never be at the position I'm at now. I'll never be exactly the way I am now. I'll never have the exact same friends and relationships and feelings. I won't come back from Hungary and feel the way I do now. That kind of scares me.
 Reading it again, it really freaked me out, because I realized I still feel that way and it's actually happening now. There are friends I haven't spoken to since I've got here, and people I hardly talked to at home that I talk to pretty often. I think a part of me will always miss who I was before I came here, since already I've changed a lot. But I also think I'm changing for the better.

On a more positive note, I have a lot of exciting weekends up ahead of me! Next weekend I'm going on a Rotary trip to Western Hungary (Lake Balaton, Tihany, Szombathely) and then on to Venice, Italy! We're taking a bus overnight to get there... the only part I'm not excited about. I can't wait to see some of the inbounds again though and to go to ITALY! The weekend after, my Rotary club is taking us to Pécs. I'm not sure why we're going, but I'm so excited. The weekend after that, my host family is taking me somewhere. I love having things to look forward to, and by the time all of that's finished, it will almost be November. Crazy.

I'm not sure why this post is so negative... I'm definitely happy here! I'm happy as I write this. But I guess I don't want people to think my life here is perfect and fantastic. I don't wake up everyday and think "Oh my god I live in Hungary I'm so COOL!!" There are times when I look around and acknowledge that I'm here and it's actually really humbling. Nothing puts a person in check like being in a country so old and full of history.