This has been a week to get reacquainted with Szeged. I’ve been spending time with friends like Réka and Robi, Agi, Daniel, Zoltan, Thomas, Emma. I have also been revisiting favorite spots around town, such as the lovely Dugonics square, the market at Mars square (it’s strawberry season!), the Water Tower and Szent Isztvan Square, the riverfront walk, and of course that gem of Art Nouveau, Reok Palace. And the Moricz House, my dream apartment building. And let’s not forget the Deutsch Palace, with its cool folk art tulip motifs. I also discovered the Guild Building, which has wonderful statues of workers on top. My place is a block from another favorite, the Synagogue, which is sheathed in scaffolding, as it is undergoing a complete exterior renovation. Not so nice to see now, but it should be glorious when it’s done (I hope for next summer’s study abroad). Its earlier version is looking good, though!
I have also been working with Agi and Anett to plan out the schedule for my study abroad next summer. I think we have a fabulous study trip developed, for which I must give most credit to Anett. Today I went with Agi to see the Panzio (think pension) where the students stay for the summer program–very nice place. I really think the students will love this trip! In addition I have been discussing with Zoltan the study abroad/exchange program we are trying to set up with Szeged. In other words, I have been hard at work (at least for a couple days). I also went with Zoltan to the dedication of the walkway behind the Arts Building to Goncz Arpad, a former revolutionary of 1956, a professor at Szeged, a translator, and a politician. The anti-Stalinist revolution began here at U-Szeged when students met and drew up a list of demands. I knew there was a reason I liked this place, haha!
In addition to friends, there are the rewards that Szeged’s cafes and beer gardens offer. I have been revisiting favorite haunts such as the pizza place on Klauzal square, and the gelateria nearby. I had some gulyasleves at Regi Hid and a palacsinta (Hungarian crepe) at the market, and I tried the famous cold sour cherry soup (refreshing although cold soup is just not soup in my book), as well as a fantastic croisssant at a place cutely named Suti nem Suti. And of course the pogacsas, savory little (or not so little) biscuits, which are one of my favorites. I even learned how to make them from my friend Agi. Not to mention beer or gelato on Dugonics ter with the dancing girls of the Ungar-Mayer House looking on. And then there are, of course, the tasty Hungarian craft beers and delicious burgers at the garden at Malata Bar and the new place on Szechenyi square run by the same owners, Napfeny Muterem.
Aside from a downpour that left me soaked to the skin (the one day I didn’t carry my raincoat, naturally), the weather has been glorious–60s and 70s and mostly sunny. Perfect walking weather for the perfect walking town. Have I mentioned the roses are already in full bloom? I feel so lucky to have been able to return here, and am glad that I made such a good choice in applying for my Fulbright. I feel that this town will truly become a second home for me. Indeed, I will be returning in November for a conference here at the university, and again next summer with a study abroad group, if all goes as planned.