I always liked Paris, however the city has been way too touristic and crowded. Not to mention that the face of it has changed over the last 15 years quite dramatically, or maybe I just had a way too illusional memory of it as I always used to experience very cool things in Paris (like catacombs!) and was obsessed studying French to be able to merge with the locals (this did not work out so much).
In June 2008, I visited Budapest with my mother on our regular Gilmore Girls road trip and I fell in love with the city, partly because it resembled Paris a lot, and also, because I did not understand a single word (got amazed especially by the fact that I was not able to find an exit, luckily the pictograms had been a great help). However if you told me at that time that 5.5 years later, I would be living in Budapest, I would have laughed. I was all in all a Silesian girl coming from Moravia to live in the capital and loving it a great deal.
And yes, it is 2014 and I live in the 5th district, eat pogácsa daily and I am studying Hungarian, in order not just to be able to understand and merge with the locals (whom mostly speak some sort of English and even Slovak, so a Czech girl would not actually need to speak their language), but also to be able to expand my linguistics horizons (I must admit that studying Dutch linguistics at Charles University actually did leave a bit of feel for loving languages).
Hungarian is a Uralic language, while being an official language of the European Union, it is spoken only by around 14 million people. My biggest motivation is that this language is not a part of the Indo-European language family and that it actually is truly special to be able to speak/write/understand it. If you would like to try out the basics of Hungarian on your own, check this little online course, it should give you a little overview of how it feels.
I decided to write up some of my experience moving abroad in a blog form, partly because when I was trying to search for information about moving to Hungary, I found a lot of useful information on various blogsites that have been by the time quite outdated. Also, I want to challenge myself in writing a little account of my days in Budapest to have a memory lasting maybe eternity 🙂 As I tried when I was moving over to Prague, but that is another story.
We will see how long will these efforts last. In the meantime, I would at least feed you with a picture from my doctor’s waiting room – time certainly flies by very fast with such a view.