From Hungary with Love Pt 2

After a great 9 days here in Eger, with a bit of downtime, there are things that I have learned or crossed my mind.  In no particular order…

  1. My European geography is terrible.  If I had a blank map and had to point to Hungary, I would be hard pressed to get it right before this trip.  Thank you Google Earth for being awesome.
  2. I have no sense of direction right now.  We came here to Eger in the dark, we went to Debrecen (neighbor town) in the dark and I do not know N-S-E-W.  Keep in mind we have had nothing but clouds, rain, snow, fog, freezing rain etc. since we arrived and that for some reason has helped to screw with my internal compass.
  3. I need the sun.  It could be -10 but as long as there is sun, it doesn’t feel that bad.  And the Damp cold just chills your bones. Crazy
  4. It is amazing that I know little of any other language. But nearly everyone here can say something in English… hello, good morning, thank you etc. Really have to learn a few terms in the last few days.
  5. On that note, Hungarian is the second hardest language to learn next to Chinese.   The closest language to it is actually Swedish.  It has no Latin background.
  6. Hungary, your food is amazing.  I will be honest; I do not get what the deal is with Schnitzel.  It is breaded chicken or pork or what ever they can hammer flat.  I would not cross the street for it.  And pickles are not salad.  But everything else has been great.  Pista really should be put on everything.  Soups are amazing.  Bean Goulash… unreal.  And I am not a desert guy but Somlói galuska and Pelenchka.  Oh my God.  That is the greatest desert I have ever had.  Yes I found the recipe.  And by the way, pickled baby watermelons are down right FANTASTIC.
  7. Every meal is huge.  Three course huge.  And heavy in starch.  If I could eat like this on a regular basis, and train 3 – 4 times a week, I would look like the beasts that play water polo here.  No wonder the men in Hungary are built like brick shit houses.
  8. I love home.  The mountains are breathtaking but when people come to visit, we show them nature.  In Hungary we see history all around us.  You can feel it.  The sense of it is everywhere.  Eger what the site of a great battle at the Castle Eger.  Most of the men were at war, and the women stayed in the castle to defend against the Turks.  In 1552, a Turkish army of 35,000-40,000 soldiers attacked the castle, which had 2,100-2,300 defenders. The siege failed as the Turks suffered heavy casualties. A total of 1,700 of the defenders survived.  They actually would put animal skins filled water and pebbles on top of them in the ground. It they noticed the pebbles shaking or falling off, it was their defense to know the Turks were trying to dig their way under the wall.  That feeling or sense of history is lacking in Western Canada.
  9. You feel as if you went 20 years back in time here.  Little old men still dress in their hats and put on shirts and ties, smoking a pipe and have no where to go.  People still carry a wooden basket to and from the market.  So cool.10. Lululemon would do terrible here.   There are no causal clothes.  Women here are all dressed up.   Even if in jeans, they have their make up and hair done.  I have not seen anyone even wearing sweats, come to think of it.
  10. Lululemon would do terrible here.   There are no causal clothes.  Women here are all dressed up.   Even if in jeans, they have their make up and hair done.  I have not seen anyone even wearing sweats, come to think of it.
  11. There is a sign at the local pool that has a pair of board shorts with a line though it.  No board shorts?  That is why everyone is rocking the speedo (turbo).  And there are some old dudes rocking the speedo.  And we are talking about some old speedos.  Gross.
  12. Fitness is not about going to the gym and hitting the weights.  The two gyms I have been to are tiny.  Our change rooms back at home are larger.  I was told that a boot camp was just starting here in Eger.  Found that so funny.  But fitness is very apparent.  Swimming is very cultural thing.  Man, there are 4 and 5 year olds lapping the 50 m pool.  It starts at a young age.  I was just shocked.  But the idea of fitness is very different from home.  Difference in “Physical Culture”.
  13. The showers here suck.  Bloody tiny, and every time I turn around my ass would either turn the water to hot, or off.  Oh, and shower curtains are supposedly a new addition.
  14. If you stand too close to the toilets when they flush, they might just suck your shirt off.  I didn’t realize the Europeans were using vortexes for waste removal.
  15. The eclectic mix of music we heard during dinner was amusing.  Brittany Spears was a little more than I could take.  But when the old dude was playing the keyboard during dinner and he ended the night with a jazzy version of “Last Post” I just about pissed my pants at the dinner table.  The whole table burst out laughing.  He did a great elevator worthy “Eye of the Tiger” by the way.
  16. I will stand by my word and say that with out a doubt, our men’s water polo team for Canada is one of, if not the fittest water polo team out there.  And we could not ask for a harder working group.  If we can keep this group together for the next four years, there is no telling how amazing we could do.  I have nothing but 100% faith in this team and their potential and I cannot emphasize how proud I am to be part of this program.

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