I may be in a foreign country, but I can still feel at home. Today was a well earned "lazy" day. I've been out and about for the past few weeks, and I almost forgot what it feels like to just rest.
To pass the time, I went to a few different cafes with my journal and a book. That's what made me realize I'm at home, not traveling.
Someone recognized me at each place I went. Our conversations were very, very limited, but we still communicated. My knowledge of the Hungarian language is severely low, and I didn't see much English in these people. However, as soon as they saw me, I knew they recognized me. Smiles, out of the ordinary for a stranger, would happen. They remembered what I usually ordered. They even spoke a few words of English.
My life has become an experiment. I've been too lazy to study much Hungarian, but I seem to learn more every day. I still can't say much, but I understand a fair amount when people talk to me. It's like living proof that someone can absorb a language simply by listening and living.
Perhaps I should start studying the language more, though. I can interact in stores, restaurants, and bars, but I can't have a conversation. Imagine, for a minute, what it would be like to go through your typical day if you couldn't speak to 95% of the people you see. It can be described as "really exciting" or "incredibly boring". Fortunately, I'm an optimist.
Hungarians are very good natured about their language. I don't speak it, and that doesn't surprise them. But, it's a great place to learn and I highly recommend it. When I say something wrong (which is often), they correct me. They usually chuckle, but they seem to be pleased that I'm trying. It's very different from the French who seem to believe you shouldn't come near their country without perfect fluency in their language.
In conclusion, learn Hungarian. It's a beautiful language, and there's a country full of people who will be happy to help you with it.
I'll start you off by returning to my Hungarian word of the day, here's an important one: sör (pronounced sure - not like shore, but the other way). It means beer, so you will say it a lot.