Week 3: Wednesday 23 August
It’s Thursday 17th August, I’m leaving Hosman – the place of my first volunteering, and I have to say that with mostly positive feelings. With rather with mixed feelings about the new place I’m going to volunteer at, though. But I’m staying positive, as already mentioned a few times, and experienced too, it may all turn to be good in the end.
Week 2: Wednesday 16 August
The second week of my journey has just passed and I would like to share some experiences and moments with you again. After almost a whole week of wandering around Romania, looking for a wi-fi connection and searching for a host, I finally found some peace and quiet. It’s been a week of my first volunteering, and If I shall summarize it in a few words, before I arrived I had quite weird, mixed feelings and can’t say I felt too happy about the place and the circumstances, but in the end, in a way, I got attached to this place and, believe it or not, now it doesn’t feel so easy to leave.
It’s exactly seven days since I left home, my original, and for the time being temporary, home. It’s been one week since I set out on an adventurous, low budget journey to Romania. It’s been a tiring week, but I don’t regret. After 7 days of wandering around I’ve finally found some peace and quiet, and with a bit freer free also time to share my story with you.
They say when you have nothing to lose, you can only gain, isn’t it? I’ve heard many times in my life the sentence: “well, you have nothing to lose”. Then, I’ve also heard “there is always something to lose”. I believe that there is always something to lose. If nothing else anymore, then the hope. However, I can honestly tell you guys from my own experience, there are situations in which it feels like there is really not much to lose, sometimes you have just very little left to lose. As sad as all this sounds, the good thing about it is that any risk you are going to take is pretty low then….
Before I came to Hungary, I didn’t really have any expectations. I mean, you always have some expectations, don’t you? But simply said, I just felt like going abroad again and even though I had never planned to go to Budapest, when, all of a sudden, the job offer landed on my lap, I took it as a new challenge and opportunity to experience something new in my life (go to What the heck am I doing in Budapest if you want to know the beginning of the story). After two and a half years, I can say….it was absolutely worth it! Moving to Budapest was one of the best decisions (after Erasmus) in my life, no matter what my life brings me in the future.
In one of the first posts I talked about the reasons why many people like Budapest and what actually makes this city so great. In this post, I’m not going to deny all that, but you know (or maybe don’t), a city seen through the eyes of a tourist is hardly ever the same as through the eyes of a resident, and only a few days long visit very often gives a different impression. As a tourist, you usually care about sights and places to see, you check popular places and best rated restaurants on the internet, you more or less walk the same tourist route and last but not least you are so busy taking photos and trying to see as much as possible that you don’t really get the chance to get to know what the real life in the city is like. As you stay and live there longer, with time you start discovering places located outside the center, meeting local people and getting to know the city deeper, and you find out and realize the things that you, as a short-term tourist, wouldn’t.
If you ask anyone who has ever visited Hungary, 99% of these people will naturally answer that they’ve been to Budapest. Budapest is, without question, a vszery nice city worth a visit and I have to acknowledge that it’s the first place you should visit when passing through Hungary. But if you happen to spend more time here, or you come to live here for some time, you may feel like seeing also something else. For such cases, let me give you some inspiration 🙂
Moving to a foreign country is always challenging, especially if you don’t know anyone there to give you a helping hand. Because of the pretty big language barrier, moving to Hungary is even more interesting. Well, all in all, it’s not only because of the language barrier. It’s very likely that before/after you move to Budapest, or later on, you’ll face similar question, you’ll encounter similar situations and deal with similar things as many people ordinarily do. To make your new adventure a bit easier, I’m going to give you a few tips. I hope you find them useful.
The Hungarian language (Magyar), along with Finnish and Estonian, is one of the few European languages that are not part of the Indo-European language family. In other words it means that if your native language is other than Hungarian, you don’t understand a damn word. As most of the people know, Hungarian belongs to the Finno-Ugric (Uralic) branch, the same group as Finnish and Estonian. However, even though you may think at least those people might understand each other a bit, the truth is that they don’t understand at all and these languages have nothing in common, as also confirmed by many Finnish people I’ve met (and vice versa). What not many people know, I suppose, is that there are two non-European languages that are closer to Hungarian language than Finnish or Estonian. It is Mansi and Khanty – two languages of western Siberia.
Budapest is ranked amongst the most touristic cities in Europe. Since, as well as about any other touristically attractive destination, the Internet is full of information about Budapest and its popular places, I’m not going to spendback my time writing here about common things that everyone can find on the map, can be advised in the first tourist office, or it takes you just 20 seconds to Google. Those are, indeed, the places worth a visit (usually), but my words wouldn’t have any added value (although they necessarily don’t have to have anyway 😀 ).