Aside

Weapon Upgrade — Attack Bonus +2

Enough is enough. After yet another sleepless night because of the mosquitoes, I was at my wits end. The rest of the Calvin students went out to a pub, but seeing that I didn’t want to be out until 3:30AM (which they were) and I didn’t want to be around extremely loud music (which it was), I stayed behind. And thus the war began.

*Intermission: Please do remember that we are old enough to drink over here. I don’t, but the others are free to. We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.*

Now that everyone in the dorm was gone aside from me and one other girl, silence reigned supreme. I grabbed a red flyswatter and marched back into my room, closing the door. There was no escape.

In the silence, my hyperacusis-induced superhuman hearing finally came in handy. I stood perfectly still, listening to the high-pitched buzz that no one else can hear, tracking it around the room. Hungarian mosquitoes are much quieter than their American counterparts, much faster, and nearly impossible to kill. Literally, just because you smack them doesn’t mean they’re dead. You have to grind them up.

SMACK! Crunch. Massage the swatter into the wall until nothing is left but a smear. Mosquito down.

In my ignorance, I mistakenly assumed that I’d taken care of the problem. I sat back down and continued what I was doing, but the silence only amplified the zingy sound of more humming wings. For the next two hours I stalked silently around the room, hunting those little cretins. With the swatter I was much more effective than bare-handed. Attack bonus for me.

About an hour and fifteen minutes into the battle, I looked out my window to see a lady in the next building staring at me. I looked at her, her hands paused halfway between whatever she had been doing. She looked at me, hunched over with a swatter in my hand, creeping around. There was a silent agreement between her and I at that moment — we shall never speak of this again.

When the dust settled, nine mosquitoes had fallen to my iron smack. Yes — in a room small enough that I can jump from one wall to the other were nine mosquitoes. And you wonder why I was being eaten alive at night. If they’re not biting you, they’re trying to burrow into your ears. Not kidding.

Not that it makes any difference — more have hitchhiked into our room today. But I’m glad that at least for a little while I had the upper hand. Now that people are back in the dorm, I’m having a harder time hearing those little buggers so that I can kill them. But being the only person here with hyperacute hearing, I’m the best bet for killing these menaces because I can find them before I can see them.

*****

Today, Kelly and I headed out to Gellérthegy (Gellert Hill), home to Budapest’s Statue of Liberty and one of the biggest rocky hills in the city. The climb was a little tiring — 771 feet to the top up very steep steps and slopes — but the view was well worth it.

The Statue of Liberty herself was originally a communist monument, but the citizens of Budapest rededicated her as a symbol of freedom. She is visible from almost anywhere in the city. Can you see her?

How about now?

And then,  when we finally got to the top —

Victory!

So, while on Gellert Hill, we also stopped by to see the Cave Chapel. Sacred Destinations describes the Cave Chapel this way —

“This cave on Gellert Hill was originally home to Saint Istvan, a hermit monk who cured the sick with thermal waters that sprung in front of the cave. The Cave Church was founded in 1926 by expanding the hermit’s cave. The church was further enlarged in the 1930s by the Archbishop of Kalocsa to hold more worshippers, using the grotto at Lourdes as a model. In 1951, the Communist secret police arrested the entire order of Pauline monks. The superior Ferenc Vezer was condemned to death, while the others received 5- to 10-year prison sentences. The chapel was blocked up with a 2.25m thick concrete wall, behind which it stood silent for nearly 40 years. After the fall of Communism in 1989, the Cave Church was returned to the Paulite order and immediately reopened.”

It was a really cool place full of impressive works carved right into the cavern walls.

*****

In other news, it appears that we will not actually be registering for our classes tomorrow. Ugh. Classes start on Monday. So, apparently, we are just to assume that whatever classes we want to get into we actually can get into.

I don’t like this plan. But what choice do I have? Roll with the punches.

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