Tues. 9/5

Well, this past weekend was great! It was the first Rotary conference - in Komárom. We took the school van there - the Director of the school, Darago, drove us, and my host mom and Peter's host mom came along, as well. Meetings lasted 'till midday, then the "official" part of the weekend was over. All the exchange students went back to the motel and hung out for a long time. About midnight, some friends and I got hungry, so we went to any bar that was open saying, "Ehes vagyok" ("I am hungry"). But no food was forthcoming, so we settled on Coke out of the only machine that we saw.

We spent part of the next day in Komárom, then caught the train to Budapest. We had two hours there before our train home, so we walked around a bit. Budapest is SO beautiful! Unfortunately, we didn't know enough to feel safe going far, so we didn't see anything particularly important. We got home about 10.30 after a 4 hour train ride.

Fri. 9/8

Today was great! At 3.00 Laci and I went to Támas's house, met most of the guys from school, and rode to Banyacska to play *real* football! They told me I was very fast and had good defense, but my dribbling skills needed work. I was just proud because I held my own against Europeans. We played for the best part of 3 hours, and got back about 7 PM.

When I got home, I converted Celcius to Fareinheit, so I can bake choc. chip cookies tomorrow for the family!

Sat. 9/9

Lesson learned today: things are never as easy as you think they'll be, but they usually turn out alright anyway! This even applies to baking chocolate chip cookies in a foreign country. I had the C-F conversion all figured out, only to learn that their gas oven didn't support baking things at specific temperatures. Nor did they have American measuring cups, etc. So, I used a mug for a cup, a tablespoon (which in Hungary is a bit bigger that in the States) for a tablespoon, and a teaspoon for a teaspoon. And you know what? Everything turned out REALLY good!

In the afternoon, my host-mom gave Nadia, Rita (her host-sister) and me a tour of nearby villages. We saw an amazing castle - even though it was ruined... Because Hungary had a tendency to revolt, the Austro-Hungarian monarchs (and the Turks before them) decided to destroy all their castles. Needless to say, I was mad at the Austro-Hungarians, but thoroughly enjoyed myself nonetheless. We also visited a palace - both the palace and the castle are being restored, which is really fantastic, I think! That took up most of the evening.


This morning was funny, in a strange way. I felt like I should be going home soon. It seemed like even though I'd only been here a short time, I'd be leaving soon. Maybe its homesickness - I sure hope not! I'm worried about learning the language. I feel sort of out of place, and somewhat stupid for not knowing it already. How will I do it?

Sat. 9/16

I feel good today. I made a phone call, and asked to talk to someone. Only I did this all in Hungary - and understandable Hungarian at that. I also bought a pop using only my Hungarian! It realy *is* the little things that count!

Mon. 9/25

This weekend was the Rotary trip to Balaton - and it was fun. The real highlight of it was the trip to Tihany on Sunday. The oldest existing document written in Hungarian is there, as well as a king's tomb. It was really beautiful.

On Saturday, they took us for a boatride on Balaton, but it was really rainy and foggy, and we could barely see anything, so we all just chatted.

I only went to my Hungarian lesson today, because my host-mom made me stay home over a slightly bad cold. The rooms we stayed in at Balaton weren't heated, so lots of people got sick. But our Hungarian books finally came today! Definitely a bright spot.

Tues. 9/26

Today I went to Scream 3 with the 11.B English class. It was fun, and I discovered a new Hungarian custom - paying for guests. Being not used to this, it was somewhat uncomfortable being forced to put my money away unspent!

Dinner was *interesting* tonight - Hungarian hamburgers. More condiments than meat, and more bun than condiments, but I could taste meat, so it was alright.

Oh, yeah - school. I sang (poorly, I thought) the National Anthem. Even though I couldn't carry a pitch in a bucket, the teacher called me brave and gave me a five (the Hungarian grade scale goes from one to five, five being the best). So other than completely embarassing myself, it was OK!

Fri. 9/28

Today Pete and I went down to Budapest. We'll meet a guy we met at Balaton and stay with him for the weeekend. We went to a couple of discos at night, but Pete didn't really want to dance, so nothing at all really happened. It was OK, I guess.

Sat. 9/29

This morning, we went to an offroad rally. It was rather boring, and we could have used the time better (I thought) by going to a museum or something. But that night was a party (at a disco, of course) for one of Laszlo's friends. It was pretty cool, because people actually danced this time. Before we went home, we went up the Gelért Hegy (the Gelért Hill). It afforded the most beautiful view of Budapest and the Danube River that I've ever seen. The Hungarian Statue of Liberty was there, too.

Sun. 9/30

Today we finally went "sightseeing." We visited Vaci Street (a large shopping street), the Parliament, and Westend City Center (a shopping mall).

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