This blog is about my time as a Fulbright recipient to Hungary 2014-2015. This blog is not an official Department of State website, and that the views and information presented are my own and do not represent the Fulbright Program or the Department of State.
Saturday, October 25, 2014
One of the things that always surprises me in Hungary in the silence. I first noticed it when I visited last summer. When I was in Balatonfüred in August 2013, it was incredibly hot. It was above 40 celsius every day of my trip. Everyone opened their windows at night to cool off. As I tried to go to sleep I was surprised about how quiet it was. Nothing. Every now and then, I could hear someone cough in the distance or maybe I could hear someone's steps on a street a few blocks down. Surprisingly, it's the same here in Budapest. At night, our neighborhood is silent. There was one day when I woke up around 6 and I opened the windows. I just looked out at the street and heard nothing. It's amazing. I can't decide if it's unnerving or refreshing, maybe both. Most places in Hungary do not have air conditioning. There is no "white noise" of constant machinery or people. Back at my old apartment, there were times when I would arrive home late at night and it was never quiet. There were always sounds of air conditioners and heaters. If they weren't running, I could always hear a hum from the vehicles on the interstate. This makes me wonder how much sound is going through my ears back home. I've noticed here that I can hear one person walking down the street. One car driving down our street seems incredibly loud. Of course there are other factors at play. Dan and I have noticed the lack of animals. There are pigeons on the high traffic streets but otherwise we haven't seen any other birds, squirrels, or even bugs. I don't know that I have even heard or felt wind near our apartment. The most air movement is felt waiting in the subway. Also, all of the buildings are made of cement. I guess it is the ultimate sound-proof material or something. I'm not quite sure. I never realized how much sound I'm used to hearing until it is gone.
Posted by Megan Small at 1:05 AM
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