“Which side?” is often the leading question when beginning any adventure in Budapest. Budapest is a city separated by the Danube river. On one side of the river is Buda, the other is Pest. Pretty easy right. (well not thattttt easy) The Buda side is more historical, residential, and quieter boasting famous thermal baths and the Buda castle. The Pest side is known to be rowdier with Jewish ruin bars (bars in WW2 ruins) and has quite the atmosphere to suit an Indiana college student. Shockingly, I live on the Pest side. I also live in a Hostel. Do not freak out. Greg who quit his accounting job to travel Europe will not be sleeping in the bed beside me. My entire study abroad program (about 40 kids) takes up the entire hostel, girls on one floor and boys on the other. It is pretty much a glorified dorm (even nicer really)It is like freshman year all over again making friends with your new roommates and floor (basically McNutt). This set up facilitates so many friendships and a true community atmosphere. There are students from all over the United States and world living in the hostel. It was an instant connection between so many of us because we all share the adventurous spirit that lead us to Budapest. While there are a lot of Indiana University students here in Budapest, my new friend group is now made up of so many different people from different schools. This was the abroad experience I was wishing for. You want to take a weekend trip to Slovenia, Slovakia, or Romania? Just shout down the hallway and in a matter of minutes you will have a group and google searches flying. While my hostel may not be in the most ideal location, have an oven, stove, or have Wifi that works more than 40% of the time, the lifelong relationships I am making is well worth the slow Netflix.
February 13, 2019