After New Years it was just a quite week and a half more with my old host family, which at the time seemed almost an eternity, when you are waiting to move. The day finally came on the 10th of January, just a few days after my friend Sofia’s birthday. I woke early, despite the fact that I had in fact gone to sleep rather late, and finished my packing, piling my bags and large box filled with books on the bed and next to the door. I vacuumed and dusted, changed the sheets (for the next exchange student arriving the next day) and searching all corners for forgotten clothes and earrings. I amused myself by reading and searching the web, rather anxious to just be moved, the sight of all my belongings piled neatly in the corner was unnerving and unsettling to be honest.
So when my new host mother and host sister arrived about four I was relieved and excited. We (well they) all chatted for a quarter of an hour or so in the napoli, and I sat anxiously waiting. We packed the car with my stuff, my first host mother (the only one who stayed to see my off) said a stiff goodbye, and then we were off. I was a little surprised at how unemotional I was to leave that first house in the 8ths district of Budapest, but I honestly do not miss it in the least and have not had any pang of regret at having to leave the family or their home.
I now live in the 5th district of Budapest, which is the center of Pest and what I think of as the center of the entire city, I live a stones throw from Deák Fernec Tér which is the connecting points of all three metro lines. From the front door of my building I can see down the street to the famous Basilica. I really love living so close to everything now, but far, far more than that I love my new family. They are the most wonderful, and kind people I have ever me.
My host mother is well a mother to me, not cold and aloof, but loving and warm. I adore the entire family, who truly feel like a family to me, from my goofy host father who makes jokes that I never understand, to my 25 year old host brother who loves airplanes and Canadian Hockey, and who is rarely home, but when he is he and his girlfriend are very friendly and nice; and lastly my very supportive host sister who is living in England going to uni.
I have been with this family a short amount of time, but I feel more at home than ever in Hungary. Their home is very comfortable and not a living museum as some Hungarian homes, there is a touch of clutter and such a wonderful comfortable lived in feeling that one can’t help but love living here.
As for the departing friends bit of the title, several of my January to January exchanger friends have left in the past few weeks. Two Australians, and my dearest friend here Sofia from Argentina. I was saddest to see Sofia go, and when I saw her off at the airport it meant the end of the first part of my exchange. Sofia has been with me since my first day of school, my second day in Hungary. We used to walk everyday after school along the Duna, or in the Buda Castle. She has been the best friend I could have asked for in my first months here in Hungary. I have discovered so many things about this wonderful city, thanks to Sofia, that I wonder if I would have ever discovered them. She has been an inspiration in her knowledge of Hungarian, and how comfortable she was with her life here. I will definitely miss her immensely, but I know that although the first half of my exchange is over, and new year and new part of it has dawned, I hope and pray that is will be just as wonderful.
At the moment I am sitting typing this on my host brothers laptop and watching the pre-inauguration coverage on CNN. I have been home sick the past few days feeling rather miserable, with only a top ramen (thanks to my mother for sending it) with an egg to cheer me up. Now sitting here in Budapest, Hungary watching American history unfold, I am slightly amazed by how many things have happened since I have arrived here in Hungary. One of the most amazing being that the United states of America, my own country, has elected a Black man with the middle name Osama as president. I am amazed, and well I suppose still surprised. It is definitely a turning point in our nation and maybe even internationally, so I suppose all we can do is wait and see. I can say that I am excited to see what this man who has so many peoples hopes and dreams on his shoulders will do with his presidency.