January 13, 2011


Tomorrow, my friend Sarah arrives to Hungary! Yet another excuse for me to spend more time in Budapest. We'll spend Friday-Tuesday there, then travel back to Debrecen together where Sarah will stay with me until Saturday the 22nd.

Sarah and I met back in 2005 when we both studied abroad in Strasbourg, France, for six months. Sarah's originally from Pennsylvania and also attended a small, private Christian University. We had an immediate connection when we met and our common interests seem to be endless. We did some traveling together with another friend to the south of France (Nice and Marseilles) and then on to Barcelona, Spain, where we spent one week.

Have you ever met a person with whom you've only shared a brief time period in your life, yet this person leaves a lasting impact upon you that never fades? For me, my friend Sarah is one of those people. Though we've gone for lengthy periods of time without contact, we've never truly fallen out of touch. She's also one of those people with whom I can not see for years and then once we're reunited again, we pick up our friendship right where we left off.

One day I will share with you photos and stories of some of the adventures Sarah and I had together. You see, I have future plans for this blog, besides just using it for updates during my travels abroad. I have been very fortunate to have traveled a lot in my life, so in the future {when I'm back in the US}, I plan on sharing more about my past adventures with you. I have some really, really good stories, too. I'll also share other things--thoughts, passions, and my sources of inspiration. I've discovered that I really love to blog, even if I don't have too many readers. {thank you to those of you who DO read!}

On another note, I've gathered a few more insights on Hungarian life to share with you:

~It is a widespread trend among middle-aged Hungarian women to have short, dyed-red hair. But not just normal red...we're talking Kool-Aid-red. It's quite a sight. I'll try to sneak a photo to share with you.
~When Hungarians begin eating, they normally say "jó étvágyat" to one another, literally meaning "good appetite" but more generally meaning "enjoy." This is the polite thing to do, and if one comes across another acquaintance in the middle of eating say, a sandwich for example, it is polite to say this phrase to him/her.
~Hungarians are quite predjudiced against the gypsy population. I have many times been with other Hungarians who will suddenly say, "Look! Gypsies!" or "Did you see those gypsies?" Overall, my impression has been that Hungarians view gypsies as a menace to their society, making it dirtier and uglier in all manners. True, the gypsy population here tends to be near to or in poverty levels, and they stand out because their physical appearance sets them apart {darker skin and dark hair}, but honestly, I find the attitude towards these people quite sad. It's similar to the attitude many Americans have towards Mexicans.
~Hungarians, like most others, celebrate birthdays, but they also have "Name Days." Each calendar day of the year is assigned one or two different Hungarian names. The Name Day is celebrated just as much as one's birthday. Gifts, parties, cake, and wishes of a "Happy Name Day!" are all appropriate for this occasion. Unfortunately, there's no "Deanne" name day on the Hungarian calendar!
~What I have observed is that when there's a certain fashion trend, nearly everyone conforms, from teenagers to middle-aged women. If I had 200 HUF {about $1) for every purse in this one exact same style (just varying colors} I've seen, I'd go on a shopping spree. And boots...any girl who's anyone has boots--worn with tights, leggings, or over jeans. Then there's the puffy winter coats with fur-lined hoods and ladies-style bomber jackets. Lastly, the tighter your jeans, the better. I often find myself wondering how some girls have managed to squeeze themselves into these jeans that almost look painted-on.
~Every now and then, even in Debrecen {2nd largest city in Hungary}, you'll see an old person riding in a horse-driven cart. I saw one today--I'm always delighted! It seems like a momentary glimpse back to "the way things were..."

Off to Budapest tomorrow!

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