Wednesday, March 23, 2011


My last day in Cyprus was very relaxing with a big family dinner at the end. I had a blast and I will have to be sure to come back some day soon.

My trip to Hungary was annoying as the flight was from 4:15 am and arrived at 6:15am, three hours before my hostel opened. I went to my friend, Andrea's, house and chilled there for a while (eating delicious omelets provided by David, Andrea's boyfriend) until my hostel opened.

Since then, we have been walking around the city and chilling. Budapest is really such a beautiful place. Its full of elaborate architecture and picturesque European squares.

I didn't think of this before, but its been almost exactly ten years since I was last on the European continent (this makes me sound very old and worldly, doesn't it?). And I had really forgotten what it was like. Since I came here, I have experienced something close to reverse culture shock - like when you come back to the states from a long period abroad. But here I was coming back to Europe after a long period in the States and abroad.

I was walking through the grocery store thinking, I remember this. Everything was familiar but far removed. The Kinder eggs, the Haribo candy, the fresh European bread, the large cheese selection. All of it brought me back to when I lived in Germany. It was all so comfortable and familiar I forgot sometimes that I wasn't home already.

And seeing Andrea again just served to confuse things. There was a point on the first day when I was sitting with her in a cafe and, just for a second, I thought we were in D.C. Andrea and I went out a lot to coffee shops and things and since nothing around me felt foreign it just followed that I was in America. Of course, the spell quickly passed, but the rest of the day was a little surreal. I had a hard time believing I was in a foreign country.

This aside, my first impressions of Budapest are very positive and I can't wait to explore the city more as the days go by. I am so happy to finally be here after literally years of planning to come. David knows a lot about the history of Budapest and I am very interested to hear more as I didn't bother to buy a guide book. If he doesn't know something, I will have to learn stuff the old fashion way - the internets.

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