Usually I was writing my blog in russian. It’s easier, faster anf of course I’m too lazy to write in english:) But this time I want to make exception. Because of one reason: last post about EVS. I want it to be special. And for sure emotional! Ok, let’s back to the topic. Actually after project I feel comfortable to express myself in english and also I think the story of EVS has to be written in english)
So how everything started?
From idea. Just an idea that I want to change my life. To be honest I hadn’t ever think about working with kids or elder people. I iwsh I could do it but my character is different, I’m not suitable for this job. That’s why I was searching something special. And I found it. EVS project at the radio. Good challenge, isn’t it?
I will not describe HOW I came to the project. It’s enough that 4 crazy days, nights at the train stations and lack of possibility to sleep. When I came to Nyiregyhaza I was feeling lost. I remember how I was tired, destroyed and mentally lost. My thoughts was like mosaic: my family, friends, ordinary life. What will be the next? I came exactly at the weekend, so I had time to rest little bit and restart my energy. On monday I was ready to go to the job. But universe decided to start my work day in another way:) Heater boiler was broken. It was totally waterfall in my bathroom (Hm, that moment it was really my bathroom, because I came first to that flat for volunteers). For 4 hours I was trying to save bathroom. Unsuccessfully… Our neighbours were very «happy» when water started to drop from their ceiling. Fortunately this problem was fixed and I went with my mentor to the radio. It was really strange to feel a lot of emotions inside and didn’t expect anything. I was just simply curious about my job and colleagues because it will be part of my life for 1 year! City was small, especially for me after my big russian city, it was unusual to see small houses in the street. We cross several streets, 10 minutes and we are going inside the office. 10 minutes from home? Really?! We went inside the office. I was so nerveous when I saw guys… It wasn’t first time when I met people from another countries but I felt that this is different: I have to work with them. I was shy to speak English thinking that it’s awful (hm, compare to some people it was not so bad:) Everybody introduce each other so confidently that my phrase «Hi, I’m Alina from Russia» was so quite. At that day my new life had started…
In the beginning everything was interesting. Weather was strange (for me February has to be with -20 temperature, snow and wind. But when I saw green grass, little bit of snow and +1 degree my reaction was like: «are you kidding me?!»).
Comment: No, really, THIS is winter?! Please, come to Siberia and you will see real winter:))
Flat. I think our flat deserve one big post because I love it) It’s big, with a lot of space, huge kitchen (where I have cooked too much sometimes)), amazaing living room and my favourite place — balcony! It’s small, open and for other people doesn’t mean anything. But for me it is special secret place). You can’t imagine HOW many stories had been told there, how many secrets had been shared in the night, what private talks we had and what topics we had discussed;) I remember how I was freezing in spring there under the rain, how I was speaking so loud that my friend came down ant told me to shut up (hm, obviously nobody will be happy if somebody staying under your window and speaking very loud), how I was sitting under the first sun streams at summer time. I think the most interesting talks were at this balcony in any kind of weather)) But I need to stop it, this post not about our balcony)
City. It’s small. No, it’s really small for those who used to live in big cities. After several months you can say that you know almost half of citizens and all interesting places in the city. For sure for experience it’s not a big problem, but for a long time it’s different. There are two lakes (maybe more?): one in the city, another outside. The lake in the city nice but small. I was there several times reading book and having some sport. Another one — Sóstó lake. It’s better and bigger but you can get there only by bus or car. There are some pubs and clubs which are typically hungarian (with «Soproni» beer and rock music). I have different memories about this places: excellent, good and not perfect, but for sure theese memories are unforgettable and almost always crazy, especially some of them)).
Cultural exchange. How many stereotypes are in our mind! Especially about other countries. Almost every time when I met someone I was answering to their questions like this:
- «Yes, I came by train. Yes, 3 days I spent in the train. Yes, there is no internet in our trains»
- «No, there is no bears in the street in Russia»
- «Yes, I know this famous russian drink vodka»
- «No, we are not leaving with temperature -30» Hm, actually yes, but only in the winter so it’s not counting:)
- «Yes, I know Putin». «No, I’m not interested in politics.
So after several months I was not even explaining anything))
Work. When I came at the project I didn’t have any idea how it’s working. Fisrt time I felt uncomforatble to speak at the microphone, every time thinking what I was saying, controlling grammar (speak in english first weeks was little bit challenging). After couple of months I realized that I can speak at any topic easily. BUT not about world politics! It was one programme at our radio which I always try to avoid just because I don’t like it. Also that year was important for Russia: war with Ukraine, sanctions against Russia, problems with Turkey and more things. And I didn’t want to speak about this in the programmes. In generall everything was fine. Some topics were interesting, some of them too much serious but we were free to express out thoughts — I appreciate this opportunity. Besides, it was a great chance for me to improve my english skills. After a while I forgot about grammar, I didn’t use any rules but I really improve my speaking skills. Come on, speaking 24 hours a day in English it’s the best practice ever. Ok, to be honest little bit less)) I had great Georgian and Azeri neighbours who could speak Russian)) Miss you girls*)
Comment: my god, it was more than a year ago! How we had changed after that time…
Trips. It’s even should be written like this: ADVENTURES! Part of volunteer’s life which everybody likes. My first trip was to Debrecen, it’s nearest city to Nyiregyhaza. If somebody told me that day which trips I will have I will not belive, I swear! So, let me introduce one the most colourful part of my life like a volunteer:
- Bratislava, Slovakia. 3 hours by bus from Budapest, beautiful and comfortable city. I think the most beautiful it’s old city center, as always) This city for me associated with something like calm and quiet trip. Hm, first and last «calm and queit»:)
- Prague, Czech Republic. Everything in this trip was little bit crazy. We arrived at midnight, went to the hostel which was located in the 6 zone (far-far-far away from the center), took wrong tram, came back and change it, found the hostel and… The owner of the hostel told us there was no reservation with our names and she didn’t have any place for us. After 1 hour speaking on strange mix of russian-czech-english she gave us room downstairs for 1 night. We were sleeping in clothers because windows were broken and outside it was cold spring. The next day we found great hostel located 15 minutes from the city center. Prague is amazaing! It’s big, beautiful and have this atmosphere of european old cities which I like. A lot of tasty food and good places where we celebrate Natia’s birthday)) «Say hello to Prague»;)
- Moscow? Yes, suddenly it was added to my list. I was thinking to come home for 3 days and it was the fastest trip I have ever done in my life! Firstly, I stayed all night in the Budapest’s airport which I hate! It’s absolutely not adapted for people! If you are staying there several hours it’s doesn’t matter BUT for all night it’s small hell. Everything is closed, no lights, no coffee, no people… I was feeling myself like in TV show. Horror TV show. I understand it’s stupid to compare this airport with Moscow but there in the night there are a lot of lights, noise, normal seats to stay (ok, not everywhere but mostly). So I stayed one night, went home and back in Hungary in 3 days. On my way back I had two different flights with just 2 hours difference between departures and it was in 2 different airports! Who was in Moscow can undersatand how many hours you need to get from 1 airport to another) It was marathon. Hopefully I didn’t miss the flight but I was so close to lost my flight.
- My lovely trip across the Europe (Budapest, Vienna, Germany, Switzerland and Italy:)) I will not describe everything because it’s truly a lot to say about that trip. My friend had organized it perfectly, we visited a lot of cities in a short period of time and saw amazing places! So, we started from Budapest. I can’t not say how it is beautiful. I had visited a lot of Eauropean cities and can say that it’s truly amazing! Magnificent architecture, especial charm of the city and for sure incredible amount of different nationalities. «Sunny Budapest» «Aristoctratic Vienna» «Brutal and strong Munich» «Cool Zurich» «Bergamo — comfortable and pretty nice»
- What was the next? You will not believe. Also me. I still didn’t belive that I was there)) So… I want to introduce you — Palermo, Sicilia.No more words. Just pictures. Just enjoy.More? Not, enough. For sure it’s incredibly beautiful nature and views. Also I’m mad of the sea, you can imagine what I was feeling when every day I can see the sea… It was like a film. By the way, on the way back we almost lost the flight because of strange system in the Rome’s airport. But hopefully we came back home. Hm, sorry, in Hungary. But wait… It really was our home for 1 year. Ok, let’s move further. After Sicilia we came back for 1 day and after we moved to Sziget Festival!
- Sziget Festival. Maybe it should be one big-big post about this becuase everything what happened there it’s… hm… absolutely crazy. In the start everything was good. Obviously a lot of people, noize, music and drinks. All day we spent really cool — great artists, good concerts, also warm weather. But at midnight like in that fairytale «Cinderella» everything totally changed. It started heavy cold rain and all people run. Festival wasn’t so good organized so there were no places even to hide from the rain! Everything was open. After half an hour we were totally wet and freezing because suddenly became really cold. Our way back from festival was awful because of waiting train in the train station and wet clothers. For sure it’s not the best end of festival but it’s unforgettable experince:)) This festival was almost my last funny trip. After this I went to Spain with my family but it’s another story)) Also in the autumn I had visited Poland for some days but it was also fast and short trip. Honestly I hope it was last time when I travelled 20 hours and changed 3 trains in the night…
On-arrival training. Like all volunteers in EVS projects we had training. It was in Budapest. We lived far away from the city center but our group was amazing and inspite of a lot tasks from our trainers we had fun, spoke a lot, played games and just had a great time all together.
Also it was more events that year which I didn’t mentioned. A lot of people, events, parties and fun. Maybe after this post you have feeling that everything was so perfect, amazing and incredible but truly no. It’s life, sometimes it’s good, sometimes a lot of probems and stress. Living in another country it’s challenging in all spheres of your life. Another mentality, different way of thinking, it’s not so easy to become part of community and feel youself comfortable. For me EVS year — year of meeting people. Some of them appeared in my life and dissappeared very fast. Another people suddenly became not just important for me but the most close to my soul, whom I believed and who will stay with me all my life.
It’s a lot of opinions about EVS as a programme, about projects and everyday life. But for me EVS was more than just a programme. It was people (not only good and nice, they were different); trips (easy or very difficult with a lot of problems like almost sleeping on the street); events (interesting ot too much crazy but really unforgettable:)). Now, after the project I miss a lot of things.
I think I didn’t even say a half from all my thoughts. But it’s paragraph of my life. Honestly it’s not easy to back to ordinary life, it’s a big difference which dissapoint you anyway. During year I was doing interesting things, travelling, improving my english skills, having great time and step by step finding myself and started to feel self-confident. After this sittinig in the office and working at boring job sounds like a hell, isn’t it? But I’m trying to save in my heart everything what was important for me, to keep in touch with MY people (who become part of my heart forever) and keep moving forward. And never give up! Life after EVS exist, you just need to try to find your own way doesn’t matter how difficult and hard it will be.