Back in Pest (I reside now in the “Pest” side of Budapest.) we attended a short mingling of new students at the university located in an outdoor venue near my flat. This was my last night of traveling as tomorrow school officially started.
A week ago Budapest (Pre-Poland) took Jon and I and said, “Hey, idiots, remember me … the developed world and all of our options … well here you fuckers go!” At the cuisine level, we had gone from “Okay shit, where can Jon eat? And what are my options besides, kebab, pilaf and/or peroshki?” to “Am I feeling, Chinese, Indian, Mexican, Hungarian, Lebanese, McDonalds, Burger King, Subway, TGIFRIDAYS, or should I cook, but that would mean entering a supermarket and all the things available there?” Supermarkets were just stupid. It was like taking all those options and placing them in a smaller, labrynthian area then screaming at you, “Now choose!”
At night, we had escaped the following: dance club cover charges, face control, Russian-style customer service and dress codes and had been transported to the $2 pint, good beer, relaxed-dive-don’t give a fuck about dress style bar scene of Budapest. It was glorious. It would take the full 2 weeks before classes started to drink the excitement out of my system. Jon was already talking about returning next year, and I was talking graduation fears due to the really, really good time we were having.
Week one of orientation has come to an end and I’ve got lots of new usernames and passwords to do a million things between registering for classes and signing into my new Hungarian bank account online, and policy brief to write over the weekend. Fun has officially come to a close; well sort of. To cap off the first orientation week, we had an “official welcome” – which was held at the university residence center for the unfortunate students who must live in the cement edifice which contains, none other than, a bar. The place was like the fuckin’ Marriott – indoor pool, bar, restaurant (alright, really it was a cafeteria, but I really nice one). Still, I wouldn’t give up my flat in the 7th district for anything. There out in the middle of nowhere really. This means they might actually write their policy briefs, whereas my battle will be with cool shit everywhere within a one block perimeter.
Well, there it is. Jon and Nico have both left; I’m done with Peace Corps, and in graduate school. I haven’t made up my mind to keep writing about my time here. I probably won’t and just let it sit out there on the web for future PCVs to browse and consider whether to get into this mess or not.