Budapesti találkozó élménybeszámolói
We started that day at the Parliament. After the tour in the Parliament our teachers gave us the links to the forms that we had to fill out by going to the places and answering the questions. There was a really good thing about this treasure hunt and that was that we didn’t necessarly had to be with our own guests or hosts and it made us get to know with other students.
There were 6 kinds of routes, but we only had to use 5 of them. We had to go to famous places in the city that had some symbolic or just touristic attractions. The first three routes were almost the same, but they started from different directions. For example they had to go from Heroes square and go through the city while seeing places like Basilika, Jewish district, Gellért hill, Halászbástya as well as a lot of other things. They had questions like „How many statues are on Heroes square?” „Whose hand can you see in Basilika?”.
And at the end we had to take an interview with a random person on the street who lives in Budapest. We had to ask them about what they know about the European Union and what they think about it. We also asked how do they feel about the opportunities that EU gives them.
Day: 3. Visiting the Hungarian Parliament and Mark Andrews about our common future in the EU
Today’s morning everyone had to be as punctual as possible, because we went to the Hungarian Parliament. The security system to get in, was really similar to the airport system which means we had our bags checked, we couldn’t bring in really big bags, nor lots of liquid. After that we all got an in-ear piece so that we can hear our tour guide from a bigger distance as well, with no problems. Of course, it still wasn’t perfect and he had a really strong Hungarian accent, which made it more difficult to understand what he was talking about. Some of us were concentrating so hard, that the in-ear piece fell out of our ears (not because our ears were too small, no, not at all).
Our tour guide – even though it was hard to understand everything what he said – was extremely nice, funny and energetic, what made it obvious that he actually likes and enjoys what he is doing. In my opinion that was the reason why that one hour was good, filled with information and somehow still not boring.
We started with the Golden Stairs, where everything gold looking decoration was gold – except to the ones that were close to the floor, it was just painting – and there was a lot. After that we went to one of the two salons. What is special about the parliament is that it is symmetrical in every means, which means that the left and the right part are almost the same, they may have differences in size and colors, but it’s mainly the same. So, the salon what we were in had royal blue carpet, for the royals and statues of medieval professions, really comfortable red velvet seats and most importantly a TV screen so they can see what is happening in the conference room and decide if they want to go back, because is something important, or it’s boring anyways and better to stay in the beautiful salon. After that we went to see the conference room, which again was just as beautiful as anything else. And all the big Hungarian dynasties had their crests on the wall as well.
In the parliament the number 96 is really important, because 896 AD is the date of the Hungarian conquest of the Carpathian Basin. Therefore, the dome in which the Holy Crown is located is 96 meters tall, and the chandelier has 96 light bulbs as well, but only a few is turned on, because the crown needs a special protection from basically everything so that it can stay in its best condition for as long as possible.
We went to have lunch in a restaurant called Kőleves (Stone Soup), where we had Hungarian dishes and a presentation – or workshop – about Our Common Future in the EU with Mark Andrews, who is a really nice and funny brit guy. He talked about the issues in the European Union throughout his own experiences and stories. It was a bit of a history class, a bit of a conversion and a bit of a presentation baked together in a beautiful pie.
Day: 4. Interview with an MEP, EPAS and a workshop by Dániel Mikecz
Today as the 4th day in Erasmus, dr. István Ujhelyi MEP is coming to Poli and the teachers, especially Zsolt, is very agitated about everything going right. You see, Ujhelyi who is a Member of the European Parliament is going to get interviewed by us. Everyone had to be on time or you got scolded, but that was just it. Everyone was already in their seats when the two, István Ujhelyi and Balázs Bárány sat down on the stage of 25A. The interview began.
István Újhelyi is a Hungarian politician from the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP), who was MP in the National Assembly of Hungary between 2002 and 2014. He is known as MEP and vice chairman of the Committee on Transport and Tourism under chairman Michael Cramer and later Karima Delli. Since this is an Erasmus about european skepticism, we asked questions about the EU and the situation regarding Ukraine and its people.
After the interview there was a short break and 2 Hungarian Junior European Ambassadors talked about EPAS. The two talked about the EPAS schools, opportunities it gives and the experience they had. They made it interactive, by letting us, the audience guess each partner countries EPAS schools. Nobody got it right, there was just so much. Italy had 240 EPAS schools? Who would have thought?
Right after, everyone packed up and headed towards Poliház. But there was a problem. We had to get tot he 4th floor, but we couldn’t because it was blocked off cause of cosntruction work on the 3rd floor. A few students went up anyways, and the workers were NOT happy. Everyone had to use the little elevator we have. Only 5 persons could go inside at a time, so it quite some time to get all 50 of us to get to the 4th floor. But eventually we all were in the classroom, and we could start designing the logo for the Erasmus. Firstly we had to do it seperately, then we moved into bigger groups. In the end there were 4 big teams and each chose 1 or two designs. They were all really cool and unique. The Italians had it easy, they did come from an art school after all.
After lunch in the cafeteria of the school (we had fried chicken with rice or for vegetarians it was fried cheese) we had a little free time, everyone either just chilled somewhere inside school ground or went outside to look around places near the school.
For the finale of the day, Dániel Mikecz made us a workshop about euro-skepticism. We looked at statistics, and did some excercises. There were 6 international teams with a problem to discuss and find a way to have justice in the election systems.
The workshop was the last thing of the day. The teachers told us about Friday and the programme. We were good to go home, or to have fun some fun with the students. The Portuguese team went to a teahouse for example and we met with other teams inside too.
The day was one of the hardest one but an important one in the same time. Tomorrow we will have the last day sadly but we will have most of the mandatory stuff done as well. Looking forward for tomorrow.