Holidays in Budapest?

Six months ago, when I planned to go on Erasmus, I did not expect this. I mean… this. Before leaving, I was stressed out about having too much work, to be overwhelmed and to not have enough time for me. Well, actually, quite the opposite happens. While in Belgium I used to have seven or eight classes per week. Here, I only have three. It means only four and a half an hour per week.

At first, this very light program was perfect for me, these five months promised to be real holidays: I could get up late, plan my days as I wanted to, visit something each day and not be too tired at the end of it.  But after two months, and after receiving a visit from my friends and family, my days were more complicated to fill. After seeing the castle of Buda 4 or 5 times, walking to the citadel, testing the famous baths, making a boat trip on the Danube, I wonder what’s else left for me to do. Who would have thought that I would have trouble filling my days in Budapest? Of course, there is always something to do, an exhibition to see, a party to go to. Temptations are great in Budapest to spend my money, and in this way, the end of the month without having anything in my wallet arrives quickly.


So now, after nearly 3 months here, I have discovered the joys of living day to day. When I wake up, I do not necessarily know what to do. I look at the weather, and, depending on my mood, I decide how to plan my day. If I want to sleep the whole day, I do. If the next day I want to travel to another country, I do. If I want to spend my day in a mall, or relax in a café, I can do it too. What happens with this situation is that sometimes I get to the end of the day, telling myself that I did not do anything interesting, and I feel guilty, until the next day. Also, I rediscovered the joys to go out during the week, not just the weekend. Even if this is a bad habit, how good does it feels! What a luxury to have so much freedom during a few months! Somehow, the five months I imagined to be  the most stressful of my year, proved to be the most relaxing ones. If I could live my life like that, it would be a dream. Unfortunately, I know that in a few weeks, that dream will end abruptly, and it might be more difficult than expected! My life will change in a routine, and Budapest will be a distant – but outstanding – memory.

Mathilde Raes


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