2023-24, Sam outbound to Hungary Nov 27, 2023

Nov 27, 2023

It’s easy to forget where you are. I still appreciate the autumn and all the countless beautiful things here. I spend a lot of my time looking out windows. It’s all routine now. There is so much perfection that I’m doubting my ability to appreciate it. I wish I could experience this as I will remember it because I will miss it dearly. I try to listen to the same songs and save things so I can remember later. So far it’s just a pile of chestnuts and some flyers. Hungary has a particular feeling to it. Everything is old and full of detail. I saw Budapest last weekend. I’ve never been to any big city before, much less a capital. The scale of it all is too much to take in. In my town alone there’s plenty to see but I’ve barely explored. I’m very stressed for someone who has almost no responsibilities.

My host father took me on a hike through Kőszeg with his friends one weekend. It’s probably my favorite place here. We followed a trail on the mountains that ran through the forest and towns. Walking through the woods in Hungary is surreal. A lot of things here are. I really can’t describe it but it’s as beautiful as anything can be. We ended our hike in a town that was overlooked by a church on a nearby mountain. There were people outside selling things, mainly roasted chestnuts. I was looking at a large door with elaborate handles and candles around it. One of our friends told me the house once belonged to a famous Hungarian actor. They were trying to turn it into a museum. Me and another friend watched a man roast chestnuts for so long we lost the group. We walked for a while and listened to a Hungarian band that played Irish pub music until he got a call from the group who never left town. When we got back, the house’s door was now open and our group was in the backyard roasting chestnuts and drinking. We stayed there until dark. It was a memorable day.

My language learning has been going better but I worry that it has come too late. I have a clear idea of what needs to be done but progress is frustratingly slow. Not knowing what I’m doing for the entirety of my learning has definitely cost me. It’s hard to let the time pass. I’ve surrounded myself with way too much English and become unfocused. I need to get some work done and turn this around.

I’m in a fitting mood for winter. There may not be snow, but there was ice this morning. And a lot of wind. It’s all greatly appreciated until I wake up in the morning knowing I’ll have to bike through it. One part of me won’t shut up about how much he loves it while the other refuses to go outside. Wearing a coat and a scarf is appreciated though.

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