Okay, I will admit it. I didn’t take a photograph today as I promised. I am a LOOO-ZAR; that’s how it is pronounced in Hungarian. Anyway, here’s how our final day went down:
I must have slept wrong, as the right side of my neck has been pretty tight today. It is still sore but has definitely loosened up, so no big deal. Our classes today were basically the same as on other days except that the lunch room was closed. Why? It’s Saturday, of course. Apparently hotel guests don’t need to eat lunch on Saturdays. It was for the best, though, because five of us went back to the gyro stand and enjoyed more Türök (Turkish) goodness. It is great to just hang around and make connections and just chat with all these new friends who are taking the same adventure as us. I’m sure we will see each other every so often, maybe when we travel on weekends to see the various festivals throughout the country. Festivals geared toward local foods seem to be popular here and I know many people go to festivals that are clear across the country. Coming soon to Kaposvár: Honey festival, September 9-10.
Side note: the “spicy” chili hot sauce put on the gyros gets a 0 on the scale of 1-10 for hotness. But I have heard there is some paprika that is intensely hot… probably more than I can handle.
After our final class today, we all took public trans into downtown for a group dinner at Bagolyvar, which was definitely the fanciest and most expensive place we have been to (this meal was the treat of the CETP directors, but alcohol isn’t included). Kellie and I were toward the back of the group, not much, but we sort of had to find open seats. We sat at different tables but it was good because we could interact with “new” people who we maybe hadn’t gone out to lunch with, or chatted with in class. I spent an enjoyable (3 hours?) chatting with Emily, Chelsea, Kelli, Scarlett, and Jesse about lots of different topics, including our placement cities, visiting each others’ cities, wine tours, our USA homes, the food at the restaurant, etc. The most fun part, probably, is when we decided to order a round of palinka, a Hungarian alcohol that is basically a clear, fruit-infused brandy. It comes in a shot-sized stemmed glass and you can sip it or drink it like a shot. We all got plum palinka, from the list of plum, pear, raspberry, or quince.
It was definitely a fun experience and probably something I wouldn’t have done except that it was fun being part of the group…you know how that is.
First impression of palinka: from a foot away, you smell the fruit. Put your nose just above the glass and it smells like lighter fluid, I think (sort of serious, sort of not). And drinking it burns like vodka. Oh yeah, it is 50-60% alcohol. The five of us joked about the experience, and it probably made things more fun in the way alcohol can do that. We five calculated our bill, actually Kelli figured out everyone’s share including service charge and the 2 shots that we offered our hosts as a thank you gesture. We had our money on the table and shortly thereafter ,David, another CETP teacher sitting down at the table bought another round for everyone. So I tried the plum, then the pear. The pear was definitely stronger, apparently. Kellie happened to be looking in my direction (probably because lots of photos were being taken of the palinka drinkers, hence flashes going off) and she says I wiped away tears after I finished the pear shot.
The meal sort of wound up, and small groups filtered out. Some of us found our way back via metro and tram, and here I sit, about to head upstairs and pack my bag. Tomorrow we get a new home!
I will try to get back online as soon as I can but it may be be a couple days…love you all!