hello again dear readers. gawd it feels like forever since i last sat down to blog, and yet, in reality, it’s been less than a week. WOW. so much has already happened and there’s so much more to come. it feels good to get cozy in my apartment, curled up with a fluffy zebra blanket that i brought with me from the states and a hot cup of tea, and write. don’t get too excited, this one isn’t going to be some intense exploration into my psyche, instead it’s more like a brain dump because that’s exactly what i need right now. after all, this is myblog. (side note: i’ll be starting a more professional church-y blog soon that will be linked to the global ministries page, my home church’s website, and the reformed church in hungary’s english site. no worries though, everything i post on there will also be on here!)

anyway, thursday things that are running through my head, in no particular order:

i’m having an allergic reaction to the pillows here in my apartment, so that’s fun. i have crazy sensitive skin (i had the same problem when i lived in greece, actually) and need to have everything washed with approved-for-babies type detergent. i finally found some, so now it’s time to wash things and see how long it takes this rash to go away. my life haha.

public transit is amazing, especially now that i’m actually figuring out how to use it! budapest is fantastic in that when you buy a transit pass it works on pretty much everything, except for the lift that takes you up to the castle on the buda side of the river (you have to actually pay for those kinds of panoramic views). i now know what stop is closest to my apartment on the tram, bus, and metro, and i’m feeling pretty satisfied with that! it’s a huge relief to not panic every time i take transit because i’ve spontaneously forgotten where the hell i’m supposed to get off at to go home haha. that gawd for dia, my wonderful coworker, for showing me the ropes.

my job description with the reformed church in hungary is rapidly widening. as of right now it looks like i’ll be working mornings at the synod office doing english communications and website work, i’ll alternate my afternoons between working with refugees and working with the roma population, and then i’ll also do friday mornings at a local elementary school teaching english to roma kids. it’s been insanity for me trying to figure out what i’m supposed to be doing where and when and how, but i have faith that in time i’ll settle in to all my different roles. for now though i’m just feeling very overwhelmed. hoping that it will soon pass.

ooh, which brings me to exciting news! this is a long weekend for me because friday october 23rd is a national holiday here in hungary: republic day, a celebration of the 1956 uprising against the soviet union and the 1989 creation of the republic of hungary. so i’ll have plenty of time in the coming days to be an introvert and process all of this on my own while wandering aimlessly around budapest photographing and exploring my new city. oh, and blogging of course!

i’m realizing that i really love grocery shopping here in hungary. since i can only buy what i can carry back to my apartment, i’m obviously buying less than i would in the states and just making more frequent trips to the store — which i knew would be the case. what i didn’t realize is how calming i would find it. i had forgotten how relaxing it is to only have 15 types of jam to choose from, instead of 50; how much i love all of the fresh baked pastries i can casually buy, still warm from the oven no matter what time of day i stop by; how freeing it is to not understand the language, so i can just tune out and do my own thing, not getting distracted by other peoples’ conversations or comments. it’s definitely one of my new rituals in the city, one that i can’t wait to share with my mum (grocery shopping partner extraordinaire) when she comes to visit me next fall.

welp, i think that’s it for now. it’s getting late here and i want to make sure i’m up early tomorrow to wander around the city. and i promise, more blogs to come! give me a day or so to internally process everything and then i’ll have more interesting things to say. i swear.

thanks for following along on this whirlwind journey i’m on. it’s a crazy one, but i can already tell that it’s going to be oh so fulfilling. i’ve just got to let myself get swept up in it first.