Hi hi, I’ve been neglecting this as of late. I’ve seemingly had too much on my plate and this got put on the back burner.

The great news is I have a hand full of exciting new adventures that lie ahead and I couldn’t be more excited for them. Today, we (two of my hockey teammates Vanda and Mima, and of course myself) are on a train headed towards Salzburg to ski in the Austrian Alps for a few days. Filzmoos is the village exactly, about an hour train ride outside of Salzburg. Next weekend, I venture off to Switzerland a place I have wanted to visit for as long as I can remember. Super excited to see what it has in store.

Not long after that, I head back to Sweden!! Oh my God, I can’t believe it! Will finally be home again and speaking Swedish.

And after a little less then two short weeks in Sweden, I come back to Budapest to just leave again. Although these are tentative plans. What we have permanent so far is a little trip at the end of March to Prague, Wroclaw, Krakow, and Warsaw. I’ve been to Krakow twice before and love it, can’t wait to show my friend the city!

In April, we are in the process of planning a massive European trip, hoping to go to Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Transylvania, Greece, Berlin, Barcelona and maybe some more cities depending on what we can fit in.

My teammates are definitely leaving Budapest in the middle of April so we are also trying to do as many things here now as possible. If you are or were ever an exchange student, about half way through your time you really realize how much you haven’t done. I feel like that’s usually the time people start to get active and realize what an opportunity it really is. I mean of course they always know that but once you remember you have to leave soon you embrace it more. Which is what we have started to do! Cafes, museums, parks.. You name it, we’re trying to do it! I think I will stay in Budapest longer and this definitely won’t be my last time in Budapest so I am not as rushed. I still am going along for the ride though, it’s fun to see more of the city and do more things!

Yeah, my life sounds a pretty exciting right now, I guess. I haven’t really had the time to appreciate it because of how much I am stressing out about it instead. I have to deal with the Hungarian government a bit and really need to step my Hungarian up a level. However, it seems no matter how much I study I am just not grasping the language. Sure, I’ve learned so much but it is still very difficult for me to put together sentences and understand much more then a few words.

I’m disappointed because my Swedish by this time was so good. I understood so much and could express myself fairly well. I guess I can’t compare the languages because A) Hungarian is said to be much harder and B) The conditions are different. That being I am not in a language course for 2-4 hours every day. I’m not completely submersed in it (going to school and living with a native family). Trying not to get down on myself about it and really just push and learn as much as I can.

So that’s where I’m at right now. It’s possible that all of these trips don’t seem real to me yet and that’s why I am still stressed out about everything. Lately, the smallest of things have been upsetting me, which is totally unlike me. Especially, one of them being the way things are done around here in Hungary. I’ve had a number of problems with the government, the post office, and some of the people I have to deal with throughout the day in general.

Then I recognize that around ever corner I turn, I am memorized by this city regardless. I fall in love with the city of Budapest more and more each day. Sure, it’s a bit easy to become frustrated when things go wrong. Frustrated at this culture that doesn’t do things the way you’re used to. But that’s the point isn’t it? It’s all part of the adventure. One of my personal goals was to go to other countries to experience a different way of doing things, to see how other people live their lives. Sometimes, I’ve learned, it’s not always the way for you. And there’s nothing wrong with that. In the end, you’ve got to adapt with it and learn from it.

Some pictures from the past few weeks (beware they are shitty iPhone photos)-

Kunsthalle/Műcsarnok- hall for contemporary arts. Went with my teammates Sammy and Nina who were more then happy to smile for a picture. I am not ashamed to say that I did not understand 99% of that art. A great deal of the art was pleasant to look at, but some of it I was wondering why it was hanging in a museum. I suppose it’s just perspective, but I really wonder sometimes. Honestly loved the front hall more then anything. I guess I’m just an architecture nerd!

This post would be incomplete without some mention of food. 1- Breakfast for lunch made by me! I make the best pancakes or so I’ve been told 😉 I actually use a Swedish recipe for American pancakes.. weird as it is they’re always perfect. 2- We went out to brunch at a cute place by my house to celebrate Sammy’s birthday. Needless to say we will be going back. I need another mimosa. 3- “Leves” or soup in a cup! We’ve been having some nice weather recently. I took advantage of it by taking a walk and eating some soup.

This is my new favorite cafe. I discovered it taking a walk after eating my soup. It’s called “Kelet” which means East. It’s location is not far from our ice rink so I definitely think it’s going to be our new hang out spot. Nina and I have been there twice in the past week and both times we spent 6+ hours sitting there. It’s cozy and their drink and food menu offers a bit more of an unique selection. It’s refreshing to try some new things, all of which have been unquestionably delicious. The downstairs of the cafe is the second picture, walls lined with bookshelves. The third picture is from the upstairs of the cafe which is a bit more open and has floor-to-ceiling windows. Fun to people watch!

I’ll finish up with some random pictures. 1- It’s finally snowing in Budapest! The last time it snowed here I was in Dresden. I am overly excited to see the city covered in snow, it looks so different! 2- I got “lost” and found this. After having a bad day, I was immediately brought into a better mood by this beautiful view. I had to stand there for a few minutes just to take it in. 3- Ice skating at Városliget (city park) with Nina. This is the biggest ice rink in Europe, pretty cool stuff. 4- Much needed wine night with the girls. 5- Another picture from my walk, this time of Géllert which is a hotel and spa.

Will post some pictures from Austria soon!


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