Sunday, March 18, 2012

Skiing in the Austrian Alps

This past week I was with my Rotary club and the other exchange students in Szeged in a city called Wildschönau in Austria.

I was in a car with one of the Rotarians and his wife and Matt, the exchange student from Australia, and we left on Saturday morning at around 7:30. We made a lot of stops along the way and got to the hotel at around 4. Jill and I just hung out in the room until it was time for dinner. I was really sick, so I didn't really feel like eating and we ended up just having soup and going to bed. There was only one bed, and I didn't want to cough in Jill's face all night, so I decided to sleep on the couch, which actually really wasn't so bad. Jill read Mockingjay out loud to me and I ended up falling asleep.

The next morning, we ate breakfast at 7:30. Us, Matt, and Raymond were the first ones down there to eat. The breakfast was really good... Every day I ate bread or croissants with nutella on them, eggs, and fruit. After breakfast, we met the Rotarians in the ski room to put on our boots and get our skis to take them up the lift. If you've never walked in ski boots before... let me just tell you that it is the most painful and difficult thing to ever do for the first time. The lifts were really cool but also pretty scary.. when they left from the place where you get on, it felt like the start of a ride at Disneyland or something. We got to the middle station and started our ski "lesson" which was really two of the Rotarians telling us what to do. My first time going down the mountain I didn't know what I was doing at all, and ended up going down REALLY quickly and falling at the bottom. The good thing about snow is that it really doesn't hurt to fall in it. Jill and Matt fell a lot too, but Raymond was amazing at skiing within the first hour. By the end of the day, he was skiing down from the top of the mountain with the Rotarians!

We met with everyone for lunch, where we had pommes frites (french fries). We ended up eating fries for lunch every day, even though we could've had something different! We skied a little bit more after lunch, and then headed back to the hotel. I'm really sad because I don't remember what we did on each specific day... So I guess I'll just write in general now :/.

Well, most days after skiing we would either go to the sauna that the hotel had, or Jill and I would take naps or just lay in bed and listen to music. The dinners every night were amazing, and I forgot what it was like to eat an actual meal in the evening, since here it's always just sandwiches for dinner. I had spaghetti, tortellini, some other things, and most importantly: STEAK!!! When they brought it out, I wasn't sure if it was going to be like real steak or just some kind of meat that looked like it... so when I tasted it, I almost cried because I was so happy. I haven't had steak at all in Hungary!

Starting Wednesday night, we would play poker in the lobby with our club president's son, and sometimes one of the Rotarian's daughter and niece. These nights were definitely my favorite! I didn't know how to play poker before, but I think I did pretty well. We didn't play for money or anything though. After poker, we would hang out in mine and Jill's room and listen to music and drink juice.

On the third day, my leg felt really bruised from the boot, so I was unable to walk in it and couldn't ski. I just sat at the middle station and watched Jill go down. We played cards and made snowmen though, so it was still pretty fun. Also we all got really nice sunburns! Oh also, the Rotarians gave us all nicknames... Raymond's was "Ching chong chung" or "Indian," Matt's was "Kangaroo" or "Koala," Jill's was "Miss Florida" or "Sitting Bull," and mine was "Miss California" or "Snowflake."

On the fifth day of skiing, the Rotarians helped Jill and I go down from the very top to the middle station. It was really hard and tiring, but we did it!! I was really proud of myself afterwards. On the last day, I didn't feel like skiing, so I just sat around at the top of the mountain. Matt didn't ski for a bit so we talked and played cards, and for the record I'm much better than him at the Australian version of speed!

Basically, this past week was amazing and I miss it so much already. I would do anything to go back! I miss the really good food and just being able to lay around and not do anything. And now it's so lonely because I don't have to share a room with anyone and ahh I just miss it!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

REALLY Brief February Recap & Some March Plans

The last time I posted, I was feeling kinda down about everything. Regardless, February was actually a really great month!

I've started Hungarian lessons again and it's so great to be back in the classroom and learning more. We're finally starting to learn the future tense, which I know a little about already. There are a lot more people in our class this semester than there were last semester, which makes it a lot more fun.

Terry came and stayed with me last weekend. We went out with Olga and had a really good time. It was so fun having one of my best friends here around! Hopefully I can get Alex and Annika to come visit as well.

I think March is going to be a really good month. Next weekend the exchange students in Szeged and I leave for a week of skiing in the Austrian Alps. I'm a little nervous since I've never skied before, but I think it will be a great trip! The weekend after, Jill and I will go stay with Gabby in Szombathely. We'll also get to hang out with Tawny and Kristof, who was in California last year. This month will probably go by REALLY fast!

Andddd that's all for now. Just wanted to give a quick update :)!