A Year in Retrospect by Gesine Reichel

July 30, 2020

by Gesine Reichel (Mundus MAPP Candidate at the School of Public Policy) 

This year at CEU has been an amazing academic experience. However, besides the high-quality lectures, newly gained and sometimes mind-blowing insights and many interesting events, it is the people I spent this year together with that have made it very special. After moving to the Residence Center, a few colleagues began to cook together. Over time this group of people grew and developed into a small community of 12 food lovers who cooked for each other nearly every day. For each dinner another friend prepared the meal, and this is how we travelled around the world culinarily: from Pakistan to India, Vietnam, China and Korea, to the Philippines, France and Germany. We not only shared food but traditions, participated in each other’s holidays and learned about each country and its specialties and flaws. The memories of Diwali and Eid celebrations, Christmas Dinner, an Easter Egg hunt and the Chinese New Year will stay with me forever. More importantly, those people who shared happy moments and stressful, bad times have become close friends and are an incredible support especially during this pandemic. Having already gone home, I crave Desi food, Ludo and UNO game evenings as well as the deep talks over a cup of either ginger tea or Chai. We promised to visit each other and I cannot wait to receive an invitation to my first Desi wedding :D  Feeling the void in my heart since I’ve already left my Budapest Family, I would like to share the words of one of them:  

"Words mean nothing on their own, but they adopt new meanings when you share them with someone. Always tell someone that you love them, that you will be there for them, that the world without them will not be the same and even without knowing what they are going through, you can see their battles. Love saved for tomorrow is love lost. Be kind today to everyone, to anyone, who only needs your words to get by another difficult day."  

Jasir Shahbaz 

I love you, guys. Thank you for sharing this wonderful time with me.