Strange enough I studied Hungarian at the university. I say "strange" because I don't think many people - who don't have any relatives, friends or lovers in Hungary- decide to dedicate efforts, energy and time to such a complicated language!
Anyway, I started to study Hungarian at the age of 19.
The first time I went to Hungary was in 1995: at that time Hungary was very "Hungarian", an interesting mix of Eastern cultures, communism (yes, still), trabants (the fascinating car produced in Eastern Germany)and smells of "paprika" in the air.
I ended up at the Nyari Egyetem (summer university) in Debrecen, the 2° Hungarian town close to the Romanian border.
I remember hot summer evenings spent in the only cukraszda(confectionary)of the town, watching the few cars going by in the streets and getting bored.
Despite the heat (35°C as average) and long hours spent in class with other weird/eclectic students in trouble just like me with the Hungarian grammar, I fell in love with the country and with the fascinating Hungarian people.
Since 1995 I have been back to Hungary many times (honestly never again to Debrecen).
But, but, but...I would have NEVER EVER thought to end up buying a cosy, little apartment in the 5th District...something which actually happened this year, on the 3rd of February 2011.
Here is the image of the building.