Around the World in 67 Blog Posts – Stop 13: Magyarország

Memory No. 1: Basketball took me to Hungary a few times. Their girls were always a tough team to play. I told you in a previous post that we would usually only see airports, hotels and gyms when traveling with the national team but on my first visit to Hungary (I was about 17 years old), I got to take a special trip to Budapest – a hospital in Budapest to be exact. I had to get an x-ray of my left middle-finger which looked as if I wanted to “phone home”. Except that mine had a much darker shade of purple than ET’s finger. Although I wasn’t thrilled about the reason why I got to see Budapest, I was happy to get beautiful impressions of old, majestic buildings. The hospital itself was located in such an amazing old building with the x-ray section in the basement. It looked like a museum for medical apparatuses and part of me was glad that it was just my finger that had to be taken care of. The tour of the medical museum ended with the doctor’s words (with a heavy eastern European accent) “next competition without Katja”. Great – a broken finger a week before the big tournament. Bummer. And all that drama because of our clean and friendly Hungarian hosts. They had mopped the court for us before practice and advised us to be careful –  I guess I wasn’t careful enough or maybe just too clumsy but down I went and entertained my teammates with my goofy fall. Nobody had an idea how bad I hurt my finger so the guards got mad at me when I couldn’t catch their passes. They were used to me fumbling from time to time, but not EVERY time.

Memory No. 2: This one also involves fingers… The food in Hungary was hearty and homemade but sometimes a bit too homemade for our spoiled teenage selves. But just after our coach yelled at us to stop complaining (he had a bit of an anger problem), he fished a chicken foot out of the soup, got really quiet and then looked at us and said “Tomorrow I’ll order Pizza for everyone!”

Memory No. 3: Another basketball trip, this time with the women’s team and all I can remember is the heat. I didn’t know it could get that hot in a gym. I probably sweated out five gallons and every time someone came off the floor, our athletic trainer slapped a towel that had been drenched in ice water on our necks. This shows that our staff was seriously concerned about us. Although the heat was certainly hard to deal with, it gave the game a battle character that made us all feel like sweaty, invincible warriors – Fun!

My historic knowledge: … unfortunately deserves the grade F. If I regret one thing about high school it’s not paying attention in history class but only hammering facts into my brain for the exams. We definitely spent a lot of time talking about Hungary and the role it played in shaping Europe during the first half of the 20th century. I wish I remembered at least something but there’s nothing left. I’m starting to think that it takes a certain age to appreciate history. So if you would like to know some important things about Hungary and not just my basketball memories you’re going to have to wiki or google it. But let me do some of the work for you here…

Random Facts: 

  • About 10 million people live in Hungary.
  • Only seven countries (US, USSR, UK, France, Italy, China, and Germany) have won more Summer Olympic gold medals than Hungary.
  • The official currency in Hungary is the Forint.
  • Hungarian dishes are often flavored with paprika
  • Four Hungarian cities have tram networks, and the four cities are Budapest, Debrecen, Miskolc and Szeged . The Budapest Metro is the second-oldest underground metro system in the world, and its iconic Line 1 (dating from 1896) was declared a World Heritage Site in 2002.
  • The Rubik’s cube was invented in Hungary, by Erno Rubik – an inventor and architect.


This entry was posted in Travel and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Around the World in 67 Blog Posts – Stop 13: Magyarország

  1. cool post about Hungary!

  2. Thisboysmind says:

    So, according to my count we so far have one damaged finger in Hungary, two pre-Italy injuries, one doping attempt in Poland and your celebrated broken leg in Spain.
    I’m sure you look graceful while doing your yoga in the living room, but if I was your mom I’d hide any Ming vases just to be on the safe side 😉
    Perhaps you can write a guide to Europe’s Hospitals and clinics; sort of like a Michelin guide with three band-aids being the coveted title 🙂

    Guess you got unlucky with the food, Hungary has some of the best sausages in Europe, Szeged fish soup is legendary and their pastries are fantastic.

    One of the only things I remember from History lessons is the fact Hungary was ruled by Admiral Horthy, pretty amusing considering they were a land-locked country without a navy.

    The Forint’s predecessor is also worth mentioning.
    It was called the Pengo and was involved in the worst hyperinflation in history.
    In the end it was literally swept off the streets and replaced by the Forint with an exchange rate of 400 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 to 1.

    Corn out.

    • Hello there 🙂

      long time no speak! (which is clearly my fault…)
      You inspired me btw… one of the next posts will be called “my track record” or something like that… haha
      And sorry to disappoint you, I am almost a 100% certain that i do NOT look graceful while doing my yoga.

      Thanks for you insightful and entertaining comment as always 🙂 how is your own writing going?

      • Thisboysmind says:

        Howdy, glad to hear I inspired someone to do something, must be a first for me 🙂

        As for writing and blogging.
        Thomas Mann (a German author of some renown I’m told ) said that a writer is someone who finds it difficult to write.
        So I guess that make me one heck of a writer!
        Posting comments and talk backs is definitely easier than writing an article and it’s still no easy task for me,

        I actually noticed something about WordPress.
        My first few posts all received likes from other WP members and my last few haven’t, even though they are probably just as good.
        So I guess WP promotes the first few posts of a boding blogger to build up their confidence and then abandons them to their fate.
        The first part is great and it certainly cheered me up, but the last few weeks I started thinking I’m losing my touch before realizing I never had it.

        I did have one AMAZING highlight so far which made me all giddy for a couple of days.
        When you have a two-bit blog and you write an insignificant post about a great artist and five days later that artist links to your post in his Twitter account it makes all those spam-bot comments worthwhile.

        Anyway, I decided what I need to get more views is to give the people what they want and write about popular stuff.
        Few things are more popular online than 9/11 conspiracy theories so I’m about to contribute to that substantial body of work 🙂

  3. dana says:

    Haha, Katja, i just read your post and i had to laugh out so loud! I remember the times with your broken finger and the chicken foot in Carstens Soup! Ha, funny times…
    Miss you

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s