Daily Archives: January 21, 2018

A Walk In the Woods

Szia! Jó napot. Hello and good day! Your report from Budapest is ready. Tomorrow, I’ll start my short series on famous Hungarians that I’ll finish at the end of the week. But first, an update from my life.

This Thursday, something magical happened. For the first time in a week, the sun appeared. It was gorgeous.

I realized that the previous week was possibly the longest time I had gone without sun before. Isn’t that odd? While it can get quite cloudy in Minneapolis, during the winter it usually is cold and clear. I don’t think it’s ever been a full week before. I honestly like the new experience of being in a cloudy city, but occasionally, ah, the sun does feel nice.

In case you don’t remember what cloudy Budapest looked like (well, and looks like again)

Yesterday, about fifteen BSM students joined Zoltan Buczolich, a professor at Eotvos Lorand University, and a number of Hungarian faculty on one of their biweekly mathematics hikes. The route Zoltan chose was a long one: a 12-mile trek along a chain of hills to visit the Budapest’s highest point. It took most of the daylight hours to make our way from outside the city limits through the forest and brush to the watchtower that marks the highest elevation in the city.

Our approximate route to the watchtower of Budapest

My roommates, Alex, from Whitman, (middle) and Sam (right). And me. At the highest point in Budapest. 

The hike was great exercise. I also found it extremely comforting. Over the past couple weeks, I’ve had to get used to the differences between Budapest and American cities—remember to weigh your vegetables before you go to the checkout counter, Nathaniel!—and it has taken some concerted effort to adjust. Out in the forest yesterday, I suddenly felt that I was back in Minnesota and I could relax. The variety of trees, the snow, and the trails felt the same. It was nice to feel at home away from home for a while.

Speaking of home, I made quite a stir at the beginning of the hike because of my Minnesotan attire. We were told that “the temperature on Saturday should be about 32 degrees at the beginning of the hike, warming up to around 40 by the afternoon.” Logically, I wore my boots, various jacket layers, and regular athletic shorts. Normal Minnesota outfit. But my fellow BSMers and the Hungarian faculty were worried for my poor bare legs. “Don’t you feel numb?” one of them asked, clearly unsettled.

Contrary to most predictions, the outfit worked fine. At one of the last stops, two female Hungarian professors approached Zoltan, talking rapidly in Hungarian and looking at me. He laughed. “They’re impressed,” he said. And then, “it’s not always easy to impress Hungarians.”

At a wine tasting event the other day with some BSMers. Szia!

Catch “Famous Hungarians Part I” tomorrow!