Published: February 8th 2012February 8th 2012
Beautiful Day Out
Our day out in Balaton. This is one of my favorite pictures from my trip. Somehow it seems to encompass so much. The colors are beautiful and bright. This was one of my favorite experiences, our day out at Balaton.
When I think about my experience in Hungary and the things I learned or the opportunities I had one person always comes to mind first. He was the first person I met coming off the plane and one of the last people I saw before I left the country I had called home for five months. Janos truly was the beginning, middle and end of my trip and it couldn’t have happened without him. I’ve written before about my first few days in Budapest but because I didn’t have internet access I don’t think I ever wrote about when I first walked out of the airport and into my adventure.
Having never been to Hungary, and only knowing how to say “hello”, “no” and “I love you, many kisses!” in Hungarian I was more than slightly intimidated about what exactly I was going to do after being spit out of the airport on my own. My dearest Aggie had arranged for her cousin Janos to pick me up. I wasn’t sure if I would even recognize him when I walked out but there he was waiting for me. I can’t say how exactly I knew it was him, perhaps
Janos & Julsci
As far as brothers and sisters go these two are quite a pair. It was always a blast when Julsci came out with us. Isn't she beautiful?
it was the blinding aura of kindness or the knight in shining armor appeal but there he was waiting. After greeting me with a big hug (which EVERYONE could use after spending that amount of time on a plane) Janos helped me maneuver my massive amount of luggage into his brothers car. During the drive into Budapest Janos informed me of the most important things I needed to know about living in Hungary. His number one rule was “people will drive you over with their cars. Stay out of the street”. This probably saved my life. As he drove Janos told me about the city and its history. He pointed out buildings and places of interest. Somehow over the course of the drive he helped ease my fears about being alone. He told me that if I ever needed anything at all he was a phone call away. He told me that we could hang out together and he would take me to local places to get the experience from a native’s perspective. When he left me at the hotel where my study abroad group was staying I didn’t want him to leave. He was my lifeline in a foreign
Everyone quick, say "Sajt"
Over the course of my stay I enjoyed hanging out with Janos on multiple occasions. One night he took me and my roommates out to a local German pub then out to a club. On the way home Paige, Stacey and I fought over who got to marry him. I figured since Aggie and I were best friends and Janos was Aggie’s cousin that meant I got priority. And I saw him first so I had dibs. Stacey and Paige wouldn’t give in that easy. Janos took us to a small jazz concert one night. On another occasion he took us out to Lake Balaton, he took us to a palace and out on a hike. I will never forget the sandwiches me made for us as he took us around that day. Individual packed sandwiches for each of us. He put up with our crazy American humor and simply laughed when we made stupid mistakes (like jumping off a moving train). He was always happy to take pictures of us doing silly things and even posed for them when we asked.
When my mom came to visit Janos invited us both to his house one night
Never one to turn down an opportunity, Janos hums away on Staceys emergency kazoo.
for dinner. We felt so welcomed by Janos and his family that night, it was an experience my mother and I will never forget. As my time in Hungary drew to a close Janos was there to say goodbye. He took me out to eat at a McDonalds that was built into an old train station. Throughout my time in Europe I took pictures in McDonalds where ever I saw them with the thought I could put together a bog post about the differences. This McDonalds Janos took me to was by far the nicest, most elaborate one I saw. It was decorated up with Christmas trees and white lights. Christmas was just around the corner and the streets were all decorated up for the festivities. Janos and I sat and talked about my experience and the things I had done. We talked about the future and his plans. He hoped to go to San Francisco within the next couple years and I promised him if he made it I’d take him out for a beer or twelve.
I could never repay the kindness Janos showed me over the course of my trip. He truly was one of
Out at the jazz club. No such thing as too many photos.
the kindest most honest people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. While Stacey, Paige and I all headed back to the US there was talk of coming back to steal him away. Someone like Janos deserved the best life could offer and the saddest part is nothing in life is ever going to be worthy of him (Although rumor has it he found himself a wife who was). I think back on my time in Budapest often, it was the most life changing experience I ever had. Janos always comes to mind with these thoughts, how he took time out to pick me up from the airport, when he took me out to visit the house Aggie grew up in, walking up the stairs towards that house her father had built and talking about how Ester (Aggie’s mother) must have been superwoman to carry two kids up those stairs. I think back on our tour around Balaton and those amazing sandwiches. How he bought me my first Korte Palinka. How he laughed till we cried over “high five” versus “give me paw” and other language barriers I encountered. While I never had the pleasure of seeing Janos again
I would probably never have been able to order the things Janos got for us. At the German pub he got us these huge pork legs. They were delicious.
I do believe someday I will. His presence in my life has changed me for the better and I am just one person. If everyone took a page from his book the world would be a much more loving and safe place. I can only imagine the impact Janos had on those close to him and if I could reach through this screen and give you a hug I would. Because those close to him know Janos could give a mean hug. In closing I would like to say thank you, and Happy Birthday, to one person who honestly made the world a brighter place. I’m sure the out pouring of love has reached even the farthest corners of the world and touched it, the way he touched all of us.
To Janos’ friends and family,
I cannot even begin to imagine the pain this loss has caused you. I hold you close to my heart as you grieve for the loss of an amazing man. I know Janos touched the lives of many people throughout his life and his goodness and spirit lives on in all of us. Any friend of Janos is a friend
Janos was always up for our bizarre photos. There can never be enough pictures taken. This has got to be another favorite.
of mine, and I am so thankful I got to meet him and spend as much time with him as I did. If there is anything I can do to help please let me know.
There are more photos below