I’m leaving Hungary today. My last name’ll be back to Hesterberg the moment I cross the Austrian border, and the blog’s tagline (Pesto Pesten, “Adam in Pest” in food tongue and Hungarian)’ll be obsolete even a bit before that, so this is my last post.

I’m taking trains northwest through Austria and Germany, doing some sightseeing on the way, to get as close as possible to America and thereby get the shortest flight possible, since I hate flying. Two days in Vienna, two in Munich, one in Konstanz (where my dad studied abroad), two in Frankfurt/Bonn, one day on a cruise down the Rhine (which is surprisingly barely more expensive than a train), and three days in Bonn. Gosh is everything expensive—I need to break the habit of converting prices in euros in forint mentally, because it makes everything frighteningly expensive. Also, Capital One is really annoying, so, after about twelve phone calls over the four months I’ve known exactly when I’d be in Germany, including two euros in payphone fees, I gave up and decided to pay for everything in cash.

I’ll be (well, I’ll have arrived, given that I’m posting this late) in Princeton for the P-rade. Then I’ll go to Duluth for three weeks as a Nathan (three years ago, when both advisors were named Nathan, they switched their first names and their job titles), then to Mathcamp as a mentor. Yay!

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Paid my last rent today, and realized I have about $100 in forint more left than I expected, which I’ll have to convert to euros. The moneychangers’ margin is only about 3%, though.

The last NNyD practice was today, at which the team got to work together on a problem (the IOL 2011 team problem) for the first time. They’d’ve placed eighth, which is respectable for a country of Hungary’s size.

It’s sad that everything’s winding up.

Conveniently, I know two Nathans with birthdays today, which makes it hard to forget either of them.

Finishing up the list of touristy things I wanted to do before leaving, I made it to Margit-sziget (Margaret island), an approximately 2 km long park island in the Danube, for the first time, and circumambulated it (with Sucrose and Discord).

In the evening was the final Fulbright trip, a three-hour cruise on the Danube for the American soon-to-be ex-grantees and Hungarian soon-to-be grantees. In particular, the boat circumnavigated Margit-sziget, and, for good measure, I circumambulated the boat circumnavigating the just-circumambulated island.

Also, a picture of the Hungarian parliament building, as is obligatory after any cruise:

Since good restaurant meals here are so cheap, one plan of mine, to learn to cook by being forced to do so, failed. Cooking in a group (well, a set of size more than one) is more fun, though. Food cooked with Sucrose and Discord was yummy.

My last research seminar was today, at Alfre’d Re’nyi instead of CEU again. We have one thing to write up after the class ends that might possibly be worth publishing. Fingers crossed for an Erdooes number of 2.

Today was a last ditch going-through-the-list-of-touristy-things-I-want-to-do-before-I-go day with Sucrose and Discord. First a two-ish hour caving trip (in a group of 5 plus a guide). Unlike before, which was basically a walk through caves, this had real crawling through tunnels with hard hats (whew!) and headlamps. Also, the caves are a much more reasonable temperature than outside.

Then the Sze’chenyi fürdo” (baths), which, despite many recommendations, I hadn’t visited.

Finally, the opera, Madame Butterfly, with subtitles in Hungarian and singing in a language that I figured out about an hour in was Italian. (It took that long not to recognize the language from the words, but to make out more than one or two actual words. Discord and Sucrose, when they went to an opera two days ago with Hungarian singing and English subtitles, probably understood it better than the Hungarians.) Fun practice figuring out the Hungarian and the plot simultaneously. Also, the opera building is pretty: