Cultural Differences and Friendship
Trip Start Sep 28, 2011
63Trip End Nov 02, 2011
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Where I stayed
Annadin Female Hostel
Maja and I had spent the morning discussing this topic. She told me that North Americans claim friendship very quickly whereas Europeans take much longer. She said that we just jump into a friendship without knowing a person or learning whether we can even trust them
I was thinking about this and have put much thought into it since then. I will not disagree with the fact that North Americans are much more open than Europeans. I believe it is a matter of perspective, however, as to which is the better way to be. I sometimes found my European friends overly cautious and distrusting, whereas they saw my fellow countrymen/women as naive and unaware.
So after talking to a few people, mulling it over, and making many mistakes in my friendship with Istvan, I have come to my own conclusions. I believe that we are not so different after all; however, language is what causes the confusion. To give an example, I now know that in Hungarian there are different words for different types of friends. It was explained to me that there are the friends that you simply go for coffee with now and then, and you have casual conversation. Then there are the friends that you will go out with more often, and then there are your best friends...the ones that will drop everything for you if you need them.
Well I know that we have the same thing. Although we use the word friend, we use adjectives to differentiate between them. For example on our ladder of friendship, we have acquaintances, then friends, good friends, close friends and best friends. However, time is not what determines what type of friend you become. I have met people that I would call kindred spirits, those people with whom you share an instant connection. You know instinctively that they will be important to you and that you will be friends for life
Best friends take cultivation and care. However, there is a world of friendship between acquaintance and best friend that is still valuable. The beauty of friendship is that it can grow from acquaintance to best friend over time. One should never ignore any friend, as they may ultimately provide some sort of shelter, hand or lesson later in your relationship that you may be unaware of at this moment in time.
I was sitting on a bench near an old church, thinking about all of this and looking at the building and the statues around it absentmindedly. I decided to text Istvan and see what he was up to. I was hoping I would get to see him one more time before he had to leave for his new contract on the cruise ship, but I also knew that he was extremely busy getting ready to leave. I got a text almost immediately back, setting up a time for the next day.
I wanted to take more pictures of certain things, such as the Fisherman's Bastion, and revisit Vaci Uti (Vaci Street) to get some of the souvenirs I had left for the end of my trip. I walked all over taking more pictures and trying to memorize everything so that I would not forget this beautiful city that had changed me so much