Published: September 22nd 2006September 16th 2006
A little Lenin anyone?
After the USSR left Hungary after 'liberating' it, the government kept a few statues from that era, I guess as a reminder of how bad things really can get.
District conference in Debrecen! Overall it was a blast, met all of the exchange students in Hungary (there is about 40 of us) and there are five from Canada! Including three from Alberta! And there were about a million from Brazil and Mexico (alright maybe 15 or 20 in total but it seemed like a lot). And these guys seriously never stop singing and dancing and just partying, theyre crazy! Although we did not get to sit through the information sessions in a bikini (sigh...only Kristina is lucky enough), it was fun and they did set up a disco for us in the evening. The conference itself was held just outside of the city in this historic type site where there were remnants from the days of Stalin and their socialism/communism period. It was really neat, but then again our disco did take place in an old bomb shelter, hrmm. We also got to tour around Debrecen for a couple hours and see the sites. There was a little jazz festival going on so that was really cool to see.
So some sad news in my life of adverture, sigh, I cannot go to Greece with my class. I guess there
The 'Protestant Great Church'
A huge-great-almighty church in the middle of downtown. Its nicknamed 'the Calvinist Rome'
isnt a seat for me on the bus, and I told them that I did not need a seat but they wouldnt buy it. They said it was a ten hour drive and I needed a seat, I told them it was a whole lot further from Canada, but they were not sympathetic to my cause. But instead of that, at the last Rotary meeting they told us that they were bringing us to Serbia on the 23! I know it is no Greece, but I really dont mind! Hungary Rotary (opposed to Szeged Rotary) is bringing all of the exchange students to Italy next month! Its only for three days, but I promise to live it up!
University life is pretty cool, Im meeting lots of new people and its nice to talk to some fellow foriegners for a change. The history class is so interesting, maybe its just the lack of Canadas history that makes this so much more interesting. The language courses are slow but I am picking up Hungarian (slowly), and locals keep coming up to me to talk. Today on the bus this little old lady sits right down beside me, motions for me to
bugac horse show
As it was explained to me, these Bugac 'cowboys' are like the gangsters of the cowboy world
take my headphones off then just starts going off telling me this huge story. I let her go on for a couple minutes then when she stopped to take a breath I butted it with my most used sentence, 'sajos nem beszelek magyarul' (unfortunatly I do not speak hungarian) she just looked kind of flustered then moved seats to tell some other random her story. It was pretty funny.
Peter, one of my friends from school, is hosting a couple of Austrian exchange students who are in Hungary for a week and he planned a bunch of things to do with them. And Pete being a bang up guy, invited me a long. So yesterday we went to Bugac national park. The Austrian kids thought it was pretty lousy, but I had a great time. If I didnt tell you before I left (ten million times) Hungary has a close history with horses and they now breed some amazing horses. So at this park they put on a whole horse show where they did some trick riding and they rode (galloped around) standing up on the backs of two horses. They also did all of their trick riding bareback. It
I love hay rides!
It doesnt matter if you cant see it, we were on a hay ride (minus the hay...actually we were just sitting on a trailer pulled by horses...hay ride definatly sounds better)
was really cool. I guess I was watching the entire show with this big yearning look on my face because after the show one of the hungarian 'cowboys' (its so funny calling them cowboys when they did a whole show dressed up in these funny little costumes) came up to me and asked 'would you like to ride one of the horses?' I of course jumped on it and we galloped around for a little bit, and I was a bit rusty but I loved it all the same. After we rode up to the stable where a 'helped' him (I really just think I was there for his amusement because he could have done everything much faster without me) with the horses. So needless to say for the whole two hour drive back to Szeged the car 'stunk' like horses. I loved it.
Right now, as some of you may have heard, there is a little bit of an upheaval here politically. What this is all about is a general public discontent with the current government (socialist) and its current economic plan (quite unsocialist). This 'economic stability package' is designed to bring Hungary out of national debt. Sounds good,
The 'whips' they use are used only to make sound, they showed us this by 'whipping' some little old lady, they are quite cool though
but in order to do that the government needs more money. The people of Hungary (like any other people of any other nation) do not want to give the government money. But of course, the taxes are going to increase and university will no longer be free. It does not help that a 'secret' tape was revealed in which the Prime Minister quite passionatly talks about lieing to the people day and night and doing absolutly nothing for the people for years. That was the match to light the fire, and as a result for two or three nights there have been violent riots in Budapest. The first night the police were caught off guard and there was a lot of damage done, but they have reinforced the police and the riots are now better 'controlled'. What turned the peaceful protests into violent riots were the right wing extremists that joined in on the party. They 'livend' things up and the once peaceful protestors turned into crazy rioters. All of the rioting however has kept to Budapest, there has been protests all over the country but these have been quite peaceful.
Now to finish it off with a funny
Drinking games on horseback?
I swear Hungarians will do anything to encorporate a drinking game into everyday life
story: so the name of my school is sagvari. This is pronounced shag-vari. But me being quite ignorant in the area of the Hungarian language, would misprounounce it as sheg-vari, this looks like a big difference when you read it, but really it doesnt sound that different. So whenever people have asked me where I go to school I would answer that I go to Sagvari (sheg-vari) and some people would understand that I am just a stupid north american 'tourist' and they would say 'ooohh shaaag-vari', meanwhile I was thinking, 'well, yah that is what I said...' but others wouldnt understand so they would just nod their head and would kind of murmer to themselves. I recently learned that segg (pronounced sheg) means (excuse my language) ass, so for about three weeks I have been telling everyone that I go to the ass-castle. yahhh, nothing like a little language barrier to brighten up your day.
There are more photos below