Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Hungarian Highlights (with an attempted medical student focus) by blogger of the monthTalie Lewis

Hoping to accomplish a similar goal as Sarah did with her latest post, I am going to try to extract the experiences that seem the most directly relevant to medical students, in addition to a haikummary (a haiku summary), which highlights many of the daily activities that comprised our Budapest adventure. It can be found at the end.  

There are certain universal sights, symbols and sounds that one might expect to see and be familiar with in most European countries; extravagant places of worship, Starbucks, Addidas, local music artists covering U2 songs...and we saw all of these things. One surprise that we came across however, was when we saw a pair of medical students studying from a textbook we know quite well called "Microbiology Made Ridiculously Simple" (a book, which also made my mother a bit skeptical of my studying practices when she saw it on my desk...don't worry though, it is used by most, as a supplementary resource). Now, this seemed like an excellent opportunity to engage with some Hungarian medical students. However, as I started conversation with these two young men, it turned out one was Israeli and the other was Norwegian. Finding an Israeli medical student in Budapest was not a total surprise because most of us knew there is a program for Israeli students to study medicine in Hungary, but it was still quite exciting to find someone able to offer us advice about what to do in Budapest and Tel Aviv.

While we did not get to talk to Hungarian medical students on that occasion we had another opportunity. On Friday night, most of us went to the apartment of three twenty something Hungarians. The apartment is part of an organization called the Moishe House, which (according to their website) "is an international organization providing meaningful Jewish experiences to young adults in their twenties." There happened to be one of these in Budapest that one of our MSIH classmates got us in touch with. We went for a Friday night prayer service, which turned out to be pretty traditional in terms of the prayers, but extremely spirited, musical and modern in the way it was carried out.  There were probably between 30-40 locals there and thanks to some post-service mingling and soup eating time, we got the chance to talk with some of them. I found this experience to be pretty cool for a bunch of reasons, but the specific reason I'm bringing it up is because one of the three Moishe house tenants is in her fifth year of medical school (the program is 6 years long). Therefore we had the opportunity to learn a bit about how they do things.

And now, what I’m sure
you’ve been waiting some time for
the Haikummary

Day 1:
Self guided tour through
The part of Budapest near
Our hotel and dinner

Day 2:
Found a castle and
Church, got lost in a labyrinth for free,
And a biker’s bar

Day 3: 
Got bathed and massaged
Harikrishna meal in Pest
Played SET in Buda 

Day 4:
Toured the parliament
Ethnographized, strudelized
Opera-ized, cheaply 

Day 5:
Learned about Hungary’s
Past and present Jewish life,
And met some natives

Day 6
Thought provoking art
Vegan Hungarian food
And we departed

Main lessons learn-ed
Budapest is beautiful
And affordable 
- blogger of the month, Talie Lewis