Early start and pounding rain, quite safe to say I did not turn up a happy bunny but, soon enough, we settled into our introductory lecture on the danube where one of our first lectures was to draw out the danube onto a map and name the countries on its path which. One would think, as someone who has applied for this course, that I would be prepared for this. Alas I was not which showed me how little general knowledge people have about a most vibrant part of europe that formed the borders between the greatest empires in history from the romans to the ottomans.
Soon after we split off into our hungarian language group and had a crack at a language I’d never heard, let alone spoken, in my life. Trying to learn a language I find terribly physically and mentally taxing. Muscles that for years have never regular use are rudely awakened as they are contorted into unfamiliar shapes to make sounds in the hungarian language that are just slightly off the english equivalent. What I found mentally taxing was trying to reteach myself that ‘s’ meant ‘sh’, ‘cs’ meant ‘ch’ and that (somehow) ‘dzs’ was a g! . All in all though as I write now in the evening of this day I find myself still thinking about that lesson, about those sounds and pronunciations I didn’t get right, about the river and the country and then I think: I want more.