Weekend Bits & Bobs: Budapest

About a week and a half ago, a couple of my friends and I took a day trip into Budapest, and I’m finally getting a moment to share some pictures from that trip! Budapest – which is technically the two cities of Buda and Pest separated by the Danube River – is absolutely stunning with its Old World architecture around every corner. But then, that’s Europe for you, right? That’s part of why I love Europe – history (in everything) is alive and well and ready for the taking for visitors with a penchant for that stuff (me!). This was more of an exploratory trip for us, to help us figure out the metro system, the general atmosphere of the city, and what it had to offer. I’d call it a success, and I can’t wait to get back.

These pictures were taken with an iPhone camera, so the contrasts and exposures aren’t the best, but I’m planning on taking my big camera with me on a proper visit to Budapest soon (once I learn how to better use it, of course). Continue reading

Weekend Bits & Bobs

This past weekend, I happened to be in the city center to do a bit of grocery shopping (bread, anyone?). My friend and I were leaving the store when we happened upon a rather interesting cultural gathering in the town square. We’re still not sure what was going on, but it was still fun to photograph as much as our phones could hold! Below are some pictures from the event, and from the weekend in general.

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European Med Life

It’s Labor Day for all my American friends and family, and usually I join in enjoying the day off with copious amounts of food, sleep, and HGTV. But today’s the first time I’ve actually put “laboring” into Labor Day, because it was the first day of classes over here at the University of Pécs Faculty of Medicine.

Yes, that’s right – I’ve officially began my journey as a European med student!

I know, I’ve been MIA from writing these past two weeks as I’ve gotten settled in (shout out to those whom I promised pictures and updates…they will come gradually). But bear with me; I’m a med student now (eek! I get to say that!).

Recently – as in, about two weeks ago – my Dad and I took all my packed bags (which was only 2 suitcases, surprisingly) and headed off on the long journey from Dallas to Pécs (rhymes with “h”), in beautiful southwestern Hungary. Med school is already a crazy ordeal; but to embark on that life change in a new country? Where I don’t speak the official language? Does that sound crazy? Yes? Well, sign me up! I’ve loved travelling since…forever. I’ve also loved medicine (and music and writing, but that’s a different story for another time) for practically my whole life, so in thinking of med schools, I wanted to go to an international school that would seamlessly blend these two passions of mine. And wow, the UP delivered. In my class group (about 15-20 of us), there are students from Jordan, Iran, Israel, Spain, Germany, Norway, Cyprus, Nepal, India, Canada, Argentina, and Nigeria. It’s the norm for students here to be multilingual; if you want motivation to learn a new language, just come here and make some friends. On my first Monday at the school, I met a 3rd year student who spoke nine languages. NINE. And he wasn’t kidding, because he broke out speaking those languages with various other students and patrons who passed by. I was, and am, in heaven just listening to the massive accomplishments of the other students in my med school class. Continue reading

The Art of Describing Yourself

In the midst of med school apps a couple weeks ago, I ran across these essays in the NY Times last week. They were a part of this main article that discussed a “new” type of college essays that are emerging, ones where the writers take huge risks in relation to what one usually thinks of concerning typical admissions essays. It got me thinking about my own applications, since the all important personal statement is a large part of the process. Reading the four essays, they were certainly different from what I’d seen before. Sometimes I found myself going, “What are they even talking about?” while reading the essays. But in the end, the essays were fantastic, and they ultimately painted a unique picture of each applicant’s personality and style.

A few days ago, I was reading and came across an artist named Leonid Afremov mentioned in the book. I (naturally) looked him up because the book mentioned his paintings of Paris vignettes; it turns out he’s a Russian-Israeli modern impressionist. He likes to paint things that allow the viewer to see the subject through his point of view. His style reminded me of neo-Impressionism (aka, Pointillism, which is my favorite art period) a bit, so I was instantly drawn to his works. The reason I was so drawn to his paintings isn’t just because they are so colorful. Mainly, I love that the colors, though not necessarily blended, come together to paint a complex picture of Paris: the light radiating off of the Eiffel Tower at night or off of Notre Dame in the afternoon, or reflecting in the cafe windows in early morning aren’t just a spectacular yellow-orange color. The light also returns to the eye as blues, greens, and reds as it works to highlight the rest of the surrounding scenery in each painting – the deep blue skies, the well-manicured trees, the autumn leaves and blaring shop signs.

And I was drawn to his paintings because this is exactly how I want to come across while writing all those answers in the med school secondaries I’m now doing: I want to paint a picture of myself, with specific descriptions and attributes, yet I want all of those values to come together and make a beautiful picture, subtly reflecting and highlighting other areas of my life in the undertones.

Guess I better get to work.

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*All photos attributed to leonidafremov.deviantart.com and redbubble.com

Pardon My French

Houston weather often “forgets” that there are seasons, especially when it comes to fall and winter, so the recent chilly days over here have been true breaths of fresh air. It actually feels like fall today. It’s definitely putting me in a Paris state of mind (I’m always partly in a Paris state of mind, though) because coupled with the amazing, breezy, fall weather, I’ve been getting into Garance Doré’s fairly recent “Pardon my French” videos about her time at Paris’ Fashion Week this fall (fall in Paris is what I wish on Houston everyday..). Her site is a treat: a visual diary of her weekend inspirations, things she likes at the moment, interviews she conducts with fashion greats.

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