.Ups & Downs

I can confidently say that my Hungarian has been improving! I see it every day – conversations with family are getting easier, I can teach my baby cousins some new words (very few yet still cool), and talking to a waiter isn’t too stressful anymore. This isn’t a phenomenal change or anything but the past two weeks or so have consisted of one really hard week and one much easier week and I’m feeling that high of doing something well and being proud of myself.

I also took the next language exam in the series yesterday and just got back the score: 93.5%! The test is a nice personal marker to quantitatively assess my progress, but the daily life is where it matters most and where I’m seeing it more often.

Like I said before, one of the two past weeks was really hard. At my cousins post-confirmation lunch I felt like a fly on the wall… I could hardly understand anything and whenever I was included in the conversation it was “do you understand what’s going on?” And thats hard. It’s hard to feel like the dumb kid in the room. Late nights, lack of sleep, studying, Heather leaving and a bit of beating myself up didn’t make that week very fun, culminating in an unfortunate night of panic attacks, although that’s more of the glass half empty view.

“You get a strange feeling when you’re about to leave a place, like you’ll not only miss the people you love but you’ll miss the person you are now at this time and this place because you’ll never be this way ever again.” – Azar Nafisi – Heather Van Ness

Glass half full would have to say that I stayed up till sunrise on Heather’s last night talking late and saying goodbye to the city with her, I watched Eurovision with friends, spent time in the sun at parks, and watched Bran the Broken make his final move on Game of Thrones.

It’s a good reminder that you can’t have good times and good days without bad times and bad days. Otherwise everything would feel grossly mediocre all the time.

Onto week two. After that not so great night of panic attacks I stayed home from school and slowly spent the morning caring about me: bike riding, sleeping in, cleaning up my room… it was relaxing and by noon I was feeling out of my head enough to see some people.

I spent the day with my friend Kim, wandering Budapest streets and finding quirky places and design stores, going into any spot that looked even the least bit interesting. We started with a place called Altair Teahaz; shoes off, siting on the ground, surrounded by cushions and tea… with rain outside? What a lovely, cozy feeling! The rain didn’t stop us from visiting design stores, art galleries, and a coffee shop from 1870. Then we met up with her brother Leslie for some food and beer at a ruin pub and rounded out the night at a jazz club for some free-to-the-public jazz jamming.

It was a really wonderful day and I saw so many things I wouldn’t normally see if I was wandering around on my own. I get into a mode of comfort here where I like what’s familiar and have to remind myself that there’s so much to see and explore – I’ll try and continue to branch out more in the next couple weeks when I have no work or school.

I had time in Kismaros biking, studying, relaxing and reading and I could feel my anxiety dying down. I think the constant rain has helped too and I’ve slept very soundly each night. On Saturday, Kim came to Kismaros and we went bike riding along the Duna – whichhhhh, due to constant rain, is flooding. And not just because it’s raining in Hungary, but Germany and Austria and everything up north will affect the river down here. And I think in the next week we might actually see the Duna flood in Budapest, which would really screw up traffic flow – stay tuned.

But the weather has been warm and when there’s no rain it’s been perfect conditions for sitting and talking along the Budapest waterfront. After Kim came to Kismaros, we took the train together back to Pest, joined up with more friends at a park, sat at the Duna and accidentally came across a giant festival stage in one of the squares. AND GUESS WHAT?! One of my favorite Hungarian bands, HoneyBeast, was playing. A free concert? Only 20 meter’s or so from the stage? I mean, COME ON! It inspired me to see if my absolute favorite band is playing anytime soon.. and they are. On Saturday night, for a summer festival. And there were about 20 tickets left. I scored two and I’m SO excited! Margaret Island here I come!

Exam done, anxiety satisfied (for now), and some pretty neat exploring under my belt – I’m feeling good and I’m starting to plan more adventures for the upcoming weeks. Exciting stuff 🙂

Margaret Island!

~Sokat esik az eső! A Duna Kismaroson árvíz es szeretek biciklizni… nincs kerékpár ut most! De, semmi baj, minden hét Budapestre megyek négyszer és vannak dolgok. Voltam a művészeti Múzeum, egy kiállítás korul 1956, és mikor szep idő volt, sétáltam a Dunaba. Akarok menni a Gödöllő ezen a héten, lehet egy vígjáték, és tervezzen egy utazást Zágrábban. És szombaton, van egy koncert “Margaret Island”. Nagyon izgatott vagyok!~

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