29 October, 2010

BREAKING NEWS - CEU Library Lifts Ban on Water Consumption

In a rare announcement the CEU Library indicated it has lifted its blanket ban on the consumption of water within its borders.  The change in policy represents a dramatic shift in the regime's stance on allowing anything substantial to occur within the library walls.   The announcement, released earlier today via the GroupWise communication system, indicates that water may be transported in "bottles," defined as plastic, sealable, non-breakable containers, across the threshold of the Library in recognition of the "need of Library users to remain hydrated."

Few individuals have access to the Library's mysterious ruling elite and such communications are rare.  Speculations of a coup have arisen and the move may be a sign of internal power struggles, according to sources familiar with the matter.

For a regime that requires that all readers be stamped indicating personal ownership, separate forms for each personal item entering the premises, and a blanket ban on all jackets, liquids, foods, or any other source of personal comfort, experts wonder what the lift of the water embargo could mean next.  The announcement makes it clear that alcoholic drinks will remain prohibited, but students wonder if they might soon be free to wear jackets.

Observers fear the announcement will incite a backlash of student emails over GroupWise, both praising the decision and also exhibiting concern for water conservation practices.  The excess consumption of water under the new rules may lead to the depletion of the Danube River as a water source and discrimination against Keanu Reeves.  Experts believe the debaters will inevitably compare one another to Hitler.

06 October, 2010

Lamp Fixing.

I was quietly reading away in my dorm room when a knock came upon my door.  Not expecting anyone, and having heard Hungarian spoken behind the door, I assumed it was dormitory maintenance or housekeeping and removed my plant from the forbidden windowsill, upon which nothing may be placed, for fear of it hurtling through the glass on its own accord to the injury of unsuspecting passers-by.

I answered the door, and two gentlemen stood there.  One said, "lamp fixing!"  I looked at him quizzically, as my lamp was fine and required no fixing.  The other seemed to want to offer clarification, and said, "lamp fixing!  Bathroom!"  Realizing I was going to get no further information from them, I stood back and invited them in.

I turned on the light to the bathroom, expecting them to see the fully functioning light fixture and determine they must have had the wrong room.  Instead, they looked up at the fully functioning light fixture and seemed to conclude it required fixing.  I didn't want to question, so I simply went back to my reading as they began 'fixing' the lamp on the ceiling.

They finished their job and left, each politely saying 'goodbye' to me.  I said "Köszönöm," to thank them for fixing my lamp, which neither was broken, nor operates any differently than prior to their handiwork.

02 October, 2010

Here, in Budapest.

I must apologize for not having posted in ages, specifically for having created a blog to which I have precious little time to actually post.  However, I will do my best to write amusing little anecdotes from time to time.

Allow me to introduce Budapest and Central European University.  It is a beautiful city and a wonderful university.  The CEU building itself was built, most likely, by the very same architects as Hogwarts.  It is comprised of what used to be several buildings, all remodeled to create one interconnected maze.  Spiraling staircases abound, and, I am convinced, they do in fact move.  One particularly narrow one ends as it progresses into the ceiling.  Presumably, there is no purpose to continue a staircase into a ceiling, so one must conclude that this was not the original design, and the ceiling was added later.  One cannot deduce, however, why this is the case.

There are plenty of nooks in the interconnected buildings that comprise the campus that surprise you when you find them, and that you may very well never find again.  For example, we just came across a small passage off a hallway.  Immediately, the small passage turns right, and then immediately proceeds through a small archway.  On the other side of the archway is a chair.  That is all.  There is approximately 2 square meters of space inside the whole of the passage way and chair space combined.  Presumably, it is there so one may sit, if they are tired, inside of a hole.  If you do so, however, passers-by who happen to see you will surely mentally note that you are a creep, if they don't outright scream at the eerie sight of a man sitting upright, in the dark, in a not particularly comfortable chair, under an arch, at the end of a short, meaningless passage.

A sign close to the entrance indicates the hours of a cafe in the basement.  It fails, however, to indicate you must pass through catacombs of dungeonesque brick archways to arrive there.  Thankfully, if you are lost in the basement, you need only follow the sound of the loud, awful club music to find the cafe.

Peppered throughout the buildings, one can't help but notice small, stone recesses in the walls.  I would assume they used to be fireplaces that have since been plastered over, but it seems odd to have put them in hallways, in staircases, and other random places.  I would not be surprised to learn they used to be passages for elves.

That's all I have time to write for now.  If I find other strange rooms, I'll be sure to let you know, that is, unless I am eaten by a three-headed dog in the process of attempting to escape.

02 July, 2010


Ginger is my dad and step-mother's dog.  I'm not sure if they named her Ginger because of the reddish tint of her tan hair, or in honor of his five red-headed children and fondness of South Park.  I like to think the latter.

Regardless of the source of her name, beyond her hair, there is nothing "gingerly" about her.  She is part Rhodesian Ridgeback.  My first thought when I heard this, was that they had actually found a dragon from Harry Potter.  Rather, it turns out she is something that is also known as an African Lion Hound.  This is because they were bred in South Africa to hunt lions.  Let me repeat that.

They were bred.
In South Africa.
To hunt lions.  

26 April, 2010

The News and The Blog

As many of you know by now, Central European University has accepted my application to study there with a Partial Fellowship.  I will be studying International Relations and European Studies with a focus in Political Economy.  The program starts in September and I will likely leave the United States in August of this year.  Check back on The Plan page for the most up to date schedule of my departure and my summer plans.

CEU is located in Budapest, Hungary, and I will spend about one year there starting this fall to obtain my masters.  This news is obviously what has inspired me to create this blog and certainly with the theme it has.  I had considered other titles, like HungaryForMore and BillsStudyOfTheEffectOfTheApplicationOfReductionistScienceOnTheImplementationOfInternationalDevelopmentPolicy.  The second one was, of course, already taken. So I was down to HungaryForMore or Billa the Hun.

I decided to go with Billa the Hun as an obvious throwback to Attila the Hun, the 5th century leader of the Huns who raided all of Europe including the Roman empire and as far east as modern day Spain and became known as the Scourge of God.  I chose the theme because of the clever ability to use "Billa" and because of the cool old-school map of Attila's Empire pictured above.  That, and my continued disdain for the international policies of the late Roman Empire.

As I type this, I'm amused by the Google Ad to the left that shows "Actress Videos, Photos, and Clips" as sponsored links.  A friend informs me that when clicked, they take you to sites of ill-repute, so be warned.

24 April, 2010

Old German Posts

My previous foray into blogging notwithstanding, I intend to actually update this one.  My old blog was on LiveJournal, the Friendster of blogging websites.  LiveJournal probably still exists, but nobody has gone through the trouble of finding out.  It's that age old question:  If a website is on a server, but nobody has accessed it in 5 years, is it really still there?  I like to think not, but usually I am proved wrong when someone finally finds an old website or journal of mine and embarrasses me with it, reminding me that information online, even if ignored for a length I thought would suffice, does not in fact disappear.

For the convenience of not having to link to a website that philosophically may not exist, I have reposted the German entries from LiveJournal below.  You will easily note which posts are from Germany or Hungary by looking at the date.  As you might have guessed, I was in Germany in 2005.  You will also note that I followed the convention of titling the posts in German.  This will likely not continue in Hungarian.

I hope you enjoy the posts.  They are quite old and reminisce of being 20 and leaving the country for the first time.  Hopefully the adventures will continue.