May 3rd, 2012

Welcome to Hungary!!!

Tough. 14 hours by train with 5 people sleeping with you in the same coupe. Hard, but cheap. On the way to Budapest I passed Salzburg, Innsbruck, and even Vienna by train. But I did not see all these cities because it was dark and I tried to sleep. The last wasn't so easy because of an old noisy Hungarian train I took. Finally, I arrived at 13.00 instead of at 11.00 (there was a suicide on the railway, as usually). Tried to meet Sam. He did not come to our meeting point. Idiot. But OK, I expected that. Then I took a wrong bus, then I took a correct bus, so not bothering you I arrived to the conference meeting point in time and even earlier, so that I got to know couple of people from Hungary and Austria. Then most of the other participants came, and we entered a bus bringing us to Matrahaza – a village in the forest in the middle of nowhere.

There are no shops or bars or even currency exchangers in Matrahaza. Just a forest and a couple of hotels with SPA, wellness, and all incl. Food. In one of these hitels we do live now.

I have never expected that it is so nice to meet some people you know! Here it is my first conference WHERE I do feel like at home. I know every second person since a while and they are all extremely friendly with me. Even that Hungarians trying to have fun with each girl in Freiburg! I felt a little bit lonely in Berlin where I knew only Florian, Maxim and several other people. Here it is different. There are only 30-40 participants, and at least 10 of them said to me: "Ah, Anastasiia, hello! How are you doing? It is so nice to meet you here!" Furthermore, we had some beer and just a lot of fun. Today, at 9 we also managed to go to the sauna together! That was a very relaxing and a very friendly evening.

I don't feel like this is where I am doing work. Just some thought of holidays. PhD is sometimes nice. Very happy to be in a good surrounding and with kind people (old friends?).