Oct
12
2008

Culture Map

Chris and I have been getting to know a few of the other art residents at the media lab. Today we spent time with them wandering around in the Buda Hills as they are known. For those not familiar with Budapest, the city was actually once two cities: Buda and Pest. Most still refer to places within the city as being on the Buda Side or the Pest Side. Buda has rolling hills and would probably be characterized as “sleepy” or “residential”. Pest is the more urban side, where the cool bars and fancy shops reside. We are living on the Pest side right now and will probably find an apartment on this side as well.

The Buda Hills: A quiet little town with a big secret....

The Buda Hills: A quiet little town with a big secret....

The residential area of Buda. It looks like Germany to me from this far away.

The residential area of Buda. It looks like Germany to me from this far away.

While I know that I will learn how to get around Budapest fairly quickly, especially with my handy pocket map, I wonder if I can go to a bookstore and buy a Cultural Map. The culture, I believe, is going to be a much harder thing to navigate.While I am in no way an expert on this, considering I’ve only been in Hungary for three days, there does seem to be a general “way about” the people here. My understanding of the culture will most definitely deepen over time, but this is my perception at this point: Hungarians are lovely people. They seem reserved when you first meet them, but those I have met are extremely helpful and willing to answer even the most annoying of my questions.

Real live Hungarians. Except for John the Englishman looking at the camera and Maria the Costa Rican/French woman. But the others are Hungarian, I swear.

Real live Hungarians. Except for John the Englishman looking at the camera and Maria the Costa Rican/French woman with the blue backpack. But the others are Hungarian, I swear.

In some ways, I feel a bit like them. I know I have the tendency to hold back when I first meet someone, but I really am pretty nice and willing to share once you get to know me…

Back to the Culture Map idea. What if you could buy a map for every country in the world that gave you a “direction” in which to go in certain social situations? The problem with something like this is that people are not like roads and buildings. Unlike them, people move and change and are altered slightly by every situation in which they find themselves. So as soon as a culture map was sent to the printers, it would be out of date. I guess I have to trudge through this new culture the old-fashioned way: trip up and make a fool of myself until I figure it out.

Lost in the Buda Hills

Lost in the Buda Hills

Written by Laura in: Culture |

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