Friday, 17 April 2009

baileys, mineral water and hungarian folk songs.

Budapest/Slovenik, Hungary (March 23-26): Now at this point Mark left and went back to St. Andrews for his studies, but Kelly, Sarah and I hopped on to EasyJet to Budapest, Hungary to stay with Kelly’s friend Mariana (she was an exchange student in Kelly’s family last year).  They greeted us with many hugs and kisses and it was just such a warm welcome to a cold place! There was definitely a language barrier between Hungarian and English; Mariana was amazing at translating. It was just really neat to see people trying to understand others through facial expressions and gestures…the head nod can’t go wrong.  It was an interesting place, a place I never thought I would ever go and I also did not know what to expect.  But it was very cold, one day we went to a castle tour and wine tasting and it was a challenge with myself to keep a positive attitude while my toes, fingers, and nose were numb.  However, the Hungarians know how to solve the problem of being cold…shots of Baileys! The first day we went over to Mariana’s grandparents house and they have a mini-golf course. Mini golf is actually considered a professional sport and they get really serious about it. Its as popular as golfing in the states is-instead of a ton of clubs they just have a ton of balls! But anyway we wanted to play but I guess we couldn’t play with out the Bailey’s so the grandparents gave us some before and then when it came to the ones during the game I actually…cant believe I’m sharing this but through the shot over my shoulder…I’m a small girl J haha. But we were only able to finish 9 holes and at the end we went on to the winners’ stance and the grandpa brought out a huge trophy that we all held up and got pictures taken like it was seriously a tournament. Then he put metals around our necks and it was so fun! Another night we went to this spa place that Mariana’s mom was vice president of so we got in for free. But it was an amazing place- there was a hot springs, so the water was mineral water, straight from the ground and it just made you feel so clean and healthy. We then went inside and got to walk around this rock thing with cold water, so it was basically a foot massage. Then we went into a sauna that was steamed with really good smelling oil. Then the best part was hopping into a hot tub with 3 seriously Hungarian men. A Hungarian man is a man with a big belly that its visibly he eats because you ate never hungry in Hungary I learned. We ate all the time, and half the time I really didn’t know what I was eating but it was good. They eat salty and buttery foods over sweet and sugary foods. For example, for breakfast we had fried dough with meat, cheese, or sour cream. When I asked to put jam on it they thought I was crazy, they never thought of putting jam on a croissant type thing. But it was good! But the dessert we did have one night was super sweet, it was spaghetti looking and tasted like chestnuts. It was good but you couldn’t eat a lot of it. The best meal we had was at the grandparents and it was what they call ‘chicken paprika’ basically a chicken noodle dish. But it was so good! At that dinner the grandma got up and sang a Hungarian folk song that secretly Kelly got recorded on her camera…it was awesome! The country was overall impoverished it seemed. The outside of houses did not look equal to how amazing they were on the inside. It also seemed like they have a lot of caution to burglary because every time we went somewhere we had to take our purses and bags with us or they covered them with a blanket. The family was amazing that we stayed with. After being in a hostel in London, being in a home in Slovenik was such a blessing. They treated us so well and they wouldn’t let us pay for anything. Both the mom and the dad had to get us souvenirs so the mom took us to a jewelry store and well I felt bad getting something big so I ended up getting two nose earrings, a foot and a diamond.  The best thing about going to Hungary was the hospitality and the kindness of the family. Other things we did was went to an amazing wine tasting, and well their wine tasting are more like have a glass of this wine to taste and five more! So needless to say it was a happy drive home. Something I learned about the capital Budapest was that Buda and Pest are separate cities divided by the river.  When we were going to the airport we stopped and ate a huge Chinese meal. We were stuffed but the grandma persisted in buying us meal for dinner, so I had to carry fried chicken and steamed vegetables till we got to our hostel in Rome…another story to reveal…

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