I cannot believe I have been in BP for 3 weeks already, it’s gone so quickly. One more week and I’ll be a proper English Language teacher. Well, hopefully, unless I fail the course!
What have I been up to I hear you ask? Well, this week I was teaching vocab and grammar, which was better than expected because I hate grammar. I was teaching the difference between future continuous and present continuous tenses (difficult because the difference is really subtle and most native speakers don’t even know it so I don’t see the point!). Other than that I’ve been working hard doing assignments and trying to stay awake in input sessions. Luckily I’ve passed all my assignments so far but still got two more to go.
I also learnt some phonemic script this week, that’s the funny phonetics you see in dictionaries next to words. /ju:wraɪtlaɪkθɪs/ (that says ‘you write like this’) and lots of students understand it because they learn it at beginners level to help them with pronunciation as its international. The symbols represent sounds you make with your mouth, either voice or unvoiced. It is very interesting actually, even if it doesn’t seem it. It’s a really useful tool for getting students to pronounce sounds like W and V and Th correctly.
This weekend’s been great. Last night we went round to Andrea’s house, she’s Hungarian and lives in Budapest. 12 of us went and she cooked paprikáskrumpli which is like a peppery potato stew.
It was really great to have everyone together outside of school, we cooked, ate, drank, sang and then went out to another awesome underground club place. It was in what looked like an old bomb shelter. I planned to get the last tram home at 12.00 but ended up getting the first bus home at 05.00. Suffice to say I am exhausted today! The nightlife here is so different to back home, if you just walked around you wouldn’t find any clubs/pubs, they’re all in courtyards and underground or in alleys and you can’t even tell what they are from outside.
This evening we went to a chocolate festival in Buda Castle, it was like a German Christmas Market, lots of little wooden stalls and delicious food. On the way we walked through the Castle District which is like the Buda Old Town,we visited the fisherman’s bastion and St Matthews Church which are some of the most popular tourist sites here.
The views of the city from here are breathtaking and the architecture is beautiful. That’s the thing I love about Budapest, you think you’ve seen everything, then boom, there’s a whole other amazing thing you haven’t seen yet just hiding behind some inconspicuous wall. These buildings are a five minute walk behind my school and I didn’t even realise.
There was a band at this chocolate thing, they were such a great live act! I have no idea what they were saying or singing about (despite Akos trying to simultaneously translate the lyrics for me whilst the guy was singing!) but they were really entertaining and energetic. It was like a mix of jazz, funk, reggae, blues and Hungarian folk. Plus the lead singer had a mowhawk and bright blue baggy trousers which were incredible!
I have some other photos which I will upload tomorrow. I’ve planned a full on historical/cultural tourist day involving communist statues, synagogues, kosher restaurants and petting zoos. So I’ll post again tomorrow!
Until then I’ll leave you with this sign I saw at a stall tonight
“Money can’t buy you happiness but it can buy you ice cream and that’s kind of the same thing”.
A comment on the transiency of happiness? or the simplicity of it? or an example of the monetary attachment and material craving of our society? or maybe just a funny poster at an ice cream shop!