Two months ago I went to a tiny town called Mohács to scare away winter. With May just around the corner, my winter coat has finally been put away. Maybe I was too occupied with being scared of the Busó to properly scare away a season. As one can obviously guess, spring has finally sprung in Budapest, de túl meleg van (but it’s too hot). Let me elaborate: 30s/snow to 70s/sun. I realize that I write about the weather a lot, but knowing the temperature at any given moment has been one of my obsessions for a while now. My Hungarian class is further fueling the fire: we are currently covering weather/seasonal/temperature terms. Now I can communicate my preoccupation with the weather in three languages – English, Spanish (let’s just say that I am an advanced beginner…), and Hungarian! All is right in the world.
Although I live in Budapest, I do not live in the heart of the city. Using public transportation, it takes me about 45 minutes to get to Deák Ferenc tér, one of the major transport junctions in Budapest. Unlike many other of my fellow English teachers, I do not have to commute that length of time to go to work – my commute is 8-10 minutes by bus and 18-22 minutes by foot. My situation is best for me. Instead of being surrounded by people, cars, large buildings, etc. I live by a forest! One of my favorite places in Budapest, Farkas-erdő (Wolf Forest/Woods), is only a few feet from my flat.
Public transportation here in Europe has allowed me to experience a freedom that was impossible in my days in America. The ease in combination with the low cost has allowed me to travel freely from one place to another – whether the two places are located in the same district, town, country, or even continent. I am saddened by the fact that public transportation, bicycle riding, and walking have negative connotations in many areas in the United States. Instead of being perceived as positive (low cost, more environmentally friendly, etc.), these modes of transportation mostly represent “the ugliness of poverty.” Looking back, I am actually quite alarmed at how little people actually walk in America. Cars are the chariots that take us from one area to the next – even if the next area is a couple of stores down the way. I took myself on a walk yesterday and was pleased to see hundreds of people doing the same. After walking around for two hours, I ended up on Margit-sziget (Margaret Island). The city at night is a sight to be seen.
The current craze here in Hungary is Para Park: “The rules are simple: once you’re inside you’ll have 60 minutes to get out.” I will refrain from giving you any details, but just know that Para Park was one of the most fun experiences I have had here. I definitely recommend trying it out (note: 2-5 people make up a team).
As for work, things are still going really well. I had to work yesterday (Saturday) because my 5th graders were taking the Cambridge English: Flyers/Young English Learners: Flyers Exam. I was in charge of “chaperoning” them. Why is chaperoning in quotation marks? Well, the last time I had to chaperone students was during a running day at my school. I ended up drifting off with my students onto a playground to ride on a razor scooter (still incredibly popular here). My students and I ended up frolicking in the fields outside my school picking flowers. My job is so rough sometimes.
Current Temperature = Clear. 54 degrees Fahrenheit/12 degrees Celsius (but feels like 51 degrees Fahrenheit/11 degrees Celsius). Humidity: 66%. Precipitation: 0%. Wind: ENE at 9MPH/14KMH.
A lesson from Miss Jennifer: Weather, Politics, Religion. Stick to weather.