Saturday, January 29, 2011

Szolnok, the Elephant, and Babylon Disco

"volleyball and rock-n-roll, rock-n-roll and volleyball" - Joe: The day didn't officially begin until after lunch at Holsten's. We left Bekescsaba around 3:45 to head to Adam's hometown, Szolnok to watch the local pro basketball team play. The drive was fairly short, but managed to teach me many Hungarian phrases. Unfortunately none are quite appropriate for a blog; however, I can tell you that Adam does NOT like driving through fog. Especially if he gets stuck behind someone going about 35 kpm. He doesn't have much driving patience. Finally at the gym, we bought our tickets and headed in to find our seats. This place was packed with die-hard fans. Adam had told me that this team won both the Hungarian cup and Hungarian championship in the 2006-2007 season, and has had large amounts of followers since he was a young boy. Over 500 people would travel to away games alongside the team. Talk about fan-commitment. The match was really intense, with the crowd constantly engaged in heckling and cheering. The first half went back and forth, with neither team really taking much of a lead, but Adam assured me this would not be the case for the 2nd half. The Szolnok team proved his point. At one point, an American player on the visiting team got a technical, causing the local fans to erupt in heckling--a cup of beer was actually thrown onto the court causing a 10 minute time out for cleaning up the spill. Rounds of "f*** you, Bell!!!" erupted from the stands. The guys who threw the beer onto the court were escorted out of the gym prior to play resuming. The Szolnok team won, allowing us to leave the gym with a very happy Adam.
On the drive home, Niki called Barbi to check on our plans for the evening: surprise party for Kisci at the Elephant bar before we would head to the Babylon disco.

We stopped by the Elephant to say hi before we drove to Speed Pizza for some dinner. There would be no drinking on an empty stomach. Niki and Adam dropped me off at the hostel so we could all change. I rushed upstairs to Barbi's room to borrow some party clothes, as I still had not found any to call my own. Dressed and ready, we called a cab and headed over to pick up Niki on the way to the Elephant. After enjoying some cake and hanging out with the birthday girl, Tonsci, Barbi, Niki, and I were ready to shake our booties all night long. Babylon disco, here we comeee!!

Friday, January 28, 2011

There just aren't enough days in the weekend...

It's Friday, and we have no know what that means? we're going shopping!!! After eating lunch at everyone's favorite place, Holsten's, Niki and I headed over to the Csaba Center for some much needed shopping. Coming to Hungary, I had no idea of what to expect besides a frozen tundra, so I only brought street clothes and athletic wear, but no "party clothes". Niki seemed shocked at this, asking me "what? you don't think we party here?" Obviously that was not the case. I'd like to note that before leaving my home, I laid out all of my warm clothes on my bed as my parents helped pack them in my suitcases. It wasn't until after I arrived in Hungary that I actually saw what it was that I had packed. So, we hit up the different clothing and shoe stores on each of the floors in desperate search for some way to revitalize my fashion sense. With no real plans of what to buy, we wandered in and out of each shop, waiting for something to catch our eyes. The search took us to every floor, trying on different clothing items here and there before moving on to the next shop. Walking on the top floor, I heard someone call me name...uhhh, is this real life or am I hallucinating? We look over to see Joe, one of the older American men who has lived locally for about 15 years. He called us into the restaurant to introduce us to his friend Gary, also American, before asking about our matches. We chatted for a while before getting back on track. As we walked out, Niki says "ooooh, Meghan, you are soooo fancy!! Did I use that right?" Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am introducing my friends here to American-English slang. Finally at the end of our options, we headed back downstairs to one of the first stores, and decided on a pair of boots.

Nothing too spectacular, but still, its a start. Tonight we would go to a handball match, so it was off to our respective residences so we could rest up. Shopping is a very exhausting activity. The handball match was pretty exciting, but as Niki and I don't really understand the rules that well, we were easily sidetracked by each other's conversation. We exchanged words in English and Hungarian, attempting to further our language knowledge. After I overheard some of the fans sitting behind us shout "basd meg!", I calmly turn to Niki and asked her what it meant. She laughed and told me "f*** off". My inquiring mind could not be stopped there, leading me into more questions about the vast amounts of swear words that can be found in the Hungarian language. Of course, I couldn't let her be the only informant, so I threw out some of our American vulgarities. We're such ladies. Our handball team ended up winning, and we headed home for the night.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Wait, can you say that again?

I have decided that it would be a good idea to start news reports, filming myself and my teammates during my Hungarian adventures, as to allow my friends and family back at home a better "feel" for my life abroad. Upon filming, I would introduce myself and tell everyone where we are. This has proven to be difficult for two reasons: a) I had no real idea of where that is usually, and b) I am typically unable to pronounce the name of the city. Unfortunately, these are just some of the limitations to my broadcasting skills. I am not a perfect person, and tend to butcher the pronunciations of city names, or names in's really any word that has "gy", "ny", "ty", or one of the many "o" or "u" vowels. It's fair to say that the majority of Hungarian words are outside of my speaking capabilities. Regardless, the team finds it important for me to constantly repeat these words for them, usually resulting in rounds of laughter, thus diminishing my self-esteem to an all-time low.

Exhibit A: A recent match took our team to a northwest corner of Hungary. Upon filming, I introduced myself and, as I went to inform my captive viewing audience of our whereabouts, it dawned on me that I had no idea where that was. My quick thinking got me out of that pickle, as I turned the camera on Barbi, asking her to tell everyone where we are. "Nyíregyháza". "Near-in-haza? Can you say it again...slower this time". She stated this so matter-of-factly. There would never be any remote possibility that I could correctly say that word. Good thing I won't be traveling back there anytime soon.

Exhibit B: the Hungarian word "csodálatos", meaning "wonderful". This word is far from wonderful. Pronounced cho-dal-i-tosh. According to Niki, Americans have a higher tendency to use vocal inflection while speaking than Hungarians, which is the reason behind my inability to somewhat correctly say this word. Ágó finds this to be especially humorous.

Exhibit C: "Úristen", a phrase commonly used by many of my teammates which means "oh my God". Kicsi first introduced me to saying this word, and the only way I can truly pronounce it correctly is to mimic her. It should be noted that when she says this word, it is in a high-pitched, cartoon-like manner, in which case I will parrot it back to her. Once again, cue rounds of laughter.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Day of Hungarian Weddings

After winning our match in 3 on Friday against Nyíregyházi Főiskola SE (25-8, 25-21, 25-9), we were given Saturday off from training. I slept in that morning, resting up from the previous night's match and festivities. Adam, Niki, and I met at the college to go to lunch at, you guessed it, Holsten's. On the weekends, they have a sit-down restaurant-style dining, which is different from the typical cafeteria self-serve that can be found there during the week. The menu listed újházy tyúkhúsleves (hen soup), which is apparently a traditional Hungarian wedding dish. We ordered natúr csirkemellfilé sajtos-sonkás mártással, burgonyakrokettel (natural chicken covered in ham and cheese sauce with potato croquettes) as our main dish and a round of mineral waters. We sat there chatting as we waited for the food to arrive. The waiter came bearing our first course, the traditional wedding soup. Eager to begin my meal, I grabbed for my spoon, looked at my dish and, to my horror, found what appeared to be a foot floating in my soup. Upon further examination, I noticed that this was, in fact, a whole chicken talon. As you could imagine, a look of sheer terror and confusion came across my face. Niki began laughing and just as she was about to comment on my shocked facial expression, Adam began to beg "Meghan, please, oh please can I have that?"

I was more than happy to hand over the claw. Apparently, the chicken talon floating in the soup is a very big deal, and that I gave it away for free was somewhat unheard of in the Hungarian culture. You are supposed to nibble on the foot skin and suck the toes to get the "full experience". Niki had the almost equally as high honor of the chicken neck or, as my family likes to call it, the acrobatic wiener--a little Thanksgiving inside joke. The rest of the meal was less than adventurous, yet still satisfying.
I returned to the hostel, and rested up a little more, still exhausted from the day before. Upon awakening from my almost 2 hour nap, I contacted Timi (one of the middles on the team) and asked what her plans were for later that evening. After some facebook chatting, we decided that we, along with Barbi, would head over to the Csaba Center to hang out at the mall. Walking into the mall, we were overwhelmed by white dresses and tuxedos.

There was a wedding expo in the Csaba Center. I was officially being stalked by weddings. Wandering through the many dresses, party favors, and reception set ups, we found our escape at the escalators. After making a few much needed purchased at Media Markt and Spar, we left the mall for our dinner destination: McDonald's. A shaker salad and nugget meal later, and we were off, wandering back to the hostel in the freezing weather. My day of being stalked by weddings had finally come to an end. Tomorrow we would head to Nyíregyháza, beginning our second half of this round of matches. Until next time...

Friday, January 21, 2011

Life is either a great adventure or nothing..

This post has really no rhyme or reason...just a compilation of the many random happenings that I now call my everyday life. Hope you find my stories funny...if not, tough shit, I'm gonna share them all with you anyways :P

1. I have figured out the laundry machines--thanks to Barbi (libero) and Timi (one of our middles)--and do laundry quite regularly here. The machines are super tiny compared to our jumbo sized ones in the States, so I can't go my typical month or so before doing a jammed pack load. Plus, there are no driers here, and I must instead use a drying rack that was lent to me by Sani (pronounced Shawnie//one of the coaches/teachers who lives in the hostel). Adam (the director) helped me find the "best" laundry detergent, and it seems to be working well. I don't think I smell, but then again it's pretty cold here, so its possible I do and just don't notice. Feel free to send some super strong deodorant in my next care package :)

2. My Hungarian words/phrases are still severely limited to mostly numbers and a few words here and there. Last weekend after we lost our first match, we went to Zsoka's (the 43 year old middle) apartment for a team meeting to discuss our playing and how we can make changes to do better. Definitely a cool experience for me, that the team takes that stuff seriously and a good way for us to all hang out and have some "team bonding". Niki (one of our outsides) translated for me. Afterwards the girls wrote out their alphabet and challenged my pronunciations before giving me a pseudo-spelling test. I did well with the consonants, but the 14 choices I have for vowels is nearly impossible. My untrained American ear just can't quite make out which of the four o's or four u's is being used.

3. Volleyball is going well. We are 2-2, and undefeated at home *knock on wood*. We have a lot of mental learning that can be done, but physically we are pretty good. The team doesn't have a true leader, and that makes things a little difficult. The language barrier makes it hard for me to be that, as I don't know what to say to them that could help motivate them or give them confidence. We are all gradually beginning to figure out the best means of communication, and overall I think I am doing pretty well. Very little is said to me in the time outs or pre/post game talks, but any pertinent information is translated by one of the girls or Misi (pronounced Mishi, a coach/English teacher at the university). Our head coach, Attila, speaks about as much English as I do Hungarian, which always makes for a great time. Luckily I am pretty boss at catch phrase/taboo/charades so I can usually figure out what he's trying to tell me.

4. I have been taking pictures of street signs around town when I go on my random wanders, to then return home and find where it was I walked on my city map. Its nearly impossible to get lost in this town, but still nice to get a mental image of where I've been. I've also been able to visit Gyula (15 minutes away) and Sarkad (30ish minutes away), two nearby towns close to the Romanian border. We've been to Budapest twice, but only for matches so I wasn't able to go around at all. Its about a 3.5 hour drive in the bus. We head to Nyíregyháza Sunday to play a match, its about 3 or so hours away from here.

4. My interactions with the locals, besides the people I know, are few and far between. Occasionally I've gotten stopped while on a wander about the town and asked a question or two. Apparently I look like I speak the language, maybe that's just because there are so few foreigners here. Today at lunch, I was talking to Niki and a guy turns to her and asks where she's from...she shook her head and pointed to me. Well the dude now lives in Destin, and knew a bunch about Jacksonville..we ended up sitting with him and talking to him all through lunch. Long story short, I'm super popular and everyone here wants to be my friend, regardless of being able to actually communicate with me. You all should consider yourselves honored to be my friends =]

That's all for until next time, you stay classy, readers.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Holstens étterem (Holstens restaurant)

Allow me to set the scene: it is somewhere between 11:45 and 12:30, I'm sitting in my room, having just finished writing up a new blog or uploaded pictures when my phone rings. *Ring ring* "Hi, Meghan, it is Adam. Would you like to go to the Holsten's? Yes? Ah, ok, ten minutes? Ok, szia." This has become somewhat of a routine for me, anxiously awaiting the phone call that lets me know that it is time for lunch. I get my things ready and head downstairs of the hostel to meet Adam; like every day, he will drive me to the city center. The short trip consists of a few stoplights. We pass by some road construction, forcing this 4 lane road into 3. There is never any traffic. Just past the police station, we make a right hand turn and are now on the main street that will lead us to the restaurant. This area is usually packed with pedestrians and bikers, causing the cars to make frequent stops, allowing them the right of way. We find a parking spot and head inside. Here's where the fun officially begins.
We enter into Holsten's, hang up our jackets on the coat rack and wander into the food line. During the week, they serve food in an assembly line fashion, with the patrons walking up to the counter to order and receive their food before finding a seat. The menu changes daily, always including two soups, a few meat selections as the main dish, chips (french fries), rice, or another starch-type food as a side. You also can choose some variation of salad. Before ordering, Adam (or whoever I am with) must attempt to explain the different dishes, as it is always written in Hungarian and, as the menu changes daily, there is no English menu for me to use. It always makes for a great laugh. A couple times, Niki and/or Adam have prepared a "menu of the day" for me, translating the menu into English using the Google translator. Despite my usually impulsive selection, I have yet to be disappointed by the food. Everything is authentic Hungarian cuisine, and always is delicious and filling. Before each meal, I've been trying to take photos of the food, resulting in a round of laughter from whomever I am dining with. I constantly remind them that, when they come to visit me in America, they will do the exact same thing. My point has yet to be proven, but I know that it is just a matter of time.
Back to the main point: food. The meal always starts with a type of soup; húsleves is a broth/bouillon, borscs leves (something that Niki has yet to try) is a combination of vegetables and cabbage, and gombaleves is mushroom soup. Yes, I know what many of you are thinking: Meghan hates mushrooms. Well, allow me to inform you, I've been converted. Don't go expecting me to eat them raw anytime soon, but my palate is gradually growing accustomed to their spongy texture. For the main dishes, I've sampled much more than the examples I will provide, but this gives you a general idea: garlicky pork roast with french fries, fried turkey breast (rántott pulykamell) with rice (rizs), turkey breast filled with smoked cheese and mashed potatoes (burgonyapüré).

Each meal is concluded with a glass of water, a nod from Adam, and, grabbing our coats, we leave. I get dropped off at the hostel with an exchange of "szia".

Sunday, January 16, 2011

First Home Game: BRSE vs. MAV

The day began like any other: breakfast followed by some blogging and reading before meeting with Adam and Niki to go to lunch at Holsten's. The sun was bright and shiny, and there wasn't a cloud in the sky--a rare occurrence for Hungarian winter. We all deduced that this was a good sign, believing it meant that we would be victorious in tonight's match against MAV. The lunch was great, as usual. We talked about local sports teams; I told them about the previous night's NFL playoff games, having to stop and explain various rules here and there. Once we all finished our meals, we decided we would go to the Csaba Center for some coffee. There, we chatted about the different costs of iPhones and other technologies from Hungary to America; Niki really wants an iPhone, so I think I might have to work some American-magic, maybe introduce her to CraigsList and eBay. The afternoon was full of comparisons between life in America and life in Europe, more specifically Hungary. Finally, we headed back to the university campus so I could rest up before the match.
We headed to the gym around 3:00 to get our pregame massages from Kata. Everyone was really anxious to play and memories of Friday's loss lingered in our minds. We were determined to not make those same mistakes again. Once out in the gym, we danced and laughed, trying to remain relaxed. Toncsi had made a warmup CD, with mostly American songs, allowing me to share with the girls my American Idol-worthy singing and dance moves. We all became focused as the warmups began; channeling our physical energies into mental preparation. The first set we struggled, MAV's defense proving to be too much for our attackers, losing 18-25. The second set, we played much more smoothly, finding our groove towards the end. We won 25-20. The third set was similar to the previous one and we came out swinging from every angle, forcing our opponents to make changes in their defense, winning 25-17. At 20-11, we were feeling strong sense of deja vu, as the scores were eerily similar to that from Friday. MAV started a run of points on us, bringing the score closer (21-17); fortunately, we all had the same sense of urgency in the fourth set, refusing to accept defeat. With a long rally, we finally were able to end the match, securing victory with a score of 25-21. WINNER WINNER, CHICKEN DINNER!
Everyone was all smiles after the match, glad we were able to start our home matches 1-0. Post-game, we had a team meeting with Attila where he gave us the weekly statistics. Everyone had a few areas where we could improve our overall play. After a somewhat somber discussion, we had some cake for Kicsi's birthday! Talk about a picker-upper. That evening, I went upstairs to Barbi's room to play hair salon. She and I talked about the match, still excited about the turn-around from Friday. She, and the other girls in university, would be off from school for the next week or so, and were all glad for this much needed rest after their examinations. I dyed her hair while watching the Bears-Seahawks game, taking time to explain the different means of scoring. Football is such a normal part of my life, it always blows my mind when people don't know the rules, but I guess even in the States, some of my friends are uninformed. Finally the game ended, and I headed back to my room to call it a night.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

First Match in Budapest: BRSE v. UTE

Our travels started 26 minutes behind schedule, as Barbi had a final exam that started at 10:00am. As we loaded the bus waiting for her to finish, I whipped out my English-Hungarian phrase book and introduced the team to my terrible American pronunciations of their language. After a few laughs, Barbi ran by the gym towards the hostel to get her game day gear. I would sit in the front of the bus, next to Toncsi for the ride into Budapest. Zsoka informed me that, as this is my first match, afterwards I have to buy her a drink. When I asked if it was just a round for her, or if the whole team would need one, the girls all instantly perked up, only to get knocked down by Tibi saying "no, they want an American cake". Guess I'll have to import funfetti cake mix. As the drive began, Attila put in what appeared to be the South Africa World Cup CD, playing it on the loudspeaker; we all put in our headphones. The drive would take about 3.5 hours. Due to traffic we arrived around 3:00pm. Everyone began to get antsy aboard the bus, eager to start the match. Attila told us that, if we win tonight, he will buy some beer for on the ride home. How's that for incentive?

Pregame in the locker room consisted of Red Bull, grape sugar, and some crunk mix playlist, as per team request. When I was offered the chance to pick our jersey color for the match, I opted out by asking around which one those present in the locker room preferred. The white jersey + black spandex combo won in a unanimous decision. We were all getting focused for the match. Attila gave us a pep talk, and we headed out to play.
The first set, we fell short due to inconsistent passing and high amount of errors, losing 18-25. The second set was much tighter, with both teams serving aggressively; we would clench the victory 27-25 on my ace in the deep corner of zone one. Thanks, Jeffy :) We took control of set 3 early on, allowing the other team to score only 11 points total. We were on a high going into the 4th set, shaking off the few errors we made. With a 22-14 lead, we began to be overly confident, shown in our many hitting errors. The other team was making a comeback and we could not manage to side out, getting blocked at every attack. The game would eventually be lost 24-26. The 5th and final set, we had the advantage 8-6 at the switch. Back and forth, we chipped at the score, finding ourselves in the lead at 13-12. Unfortunately our youth would fail us against this much more experienced team, as they claimed the victory 14-16.
Overall, our team showed moments of greatness, however the lack of consistent mental toughness was highly evident across the players. Hopefully Sunday we will be able to come out on top, proving ourselves at our first home match of the year.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Not-So-Official Official Rules of Handball

Preface: After attending a local women's handball match, it was brought to my attention that my sports knowledge is not as well-rounded as I had thought. As an American, I have limited exposure to sports occurring outside of my country, and therefore at a disadvantage. Luckily for me, I am a relatively quick-learner, so within a short amount of time, I was able to figure out the rules of the game. After receiving the seal of approval from Adam--the papers were just sent out to get stamped--it is my pleasure to share with everyone (all two people who actually read this blog) the Not-So-Official Official Rules of Handball. (Note: the Rules are in order of my observations, not according to importance)
  1. No kicking of the ball with your feet, unless you are the goalkeeper
  2. When attempting to shoot at the goal, you must be behind what looks like a 3-point line in basketball
  3. Goals are worth one point
  4. If you bear hug another player who is in possession of the ball, the play is dead, indicated by a referee waving his arms and blowing a whistle
  5. You are allowed to turn a bear hug into an MMA style choke out
  6. There are 6 players from each team on the court, plus one goalkeeper each
  7. Substitutions are made similar to hockey change-ups, where you just run in from the sideline
  8. Stripping someone of their jersey is allowed (Note: tops only, pantsing someone is frowned upon as just plain dirty)
  9. Body checking, shoving, and tripping other players is allowed, but only as individual actions. If any are combined, you get carded
  10. Carding results in a one-on-one game of "dodgeball" where the fouled player gets a chance to pelt the ball as hard as they can at the goalkeeper from behind a small line on the court
  11. Never, under any circumstances, can you hair pull. That's a bitch move and will get you beaten up
  12. Constant shoving and poking of the player you are guarding is strongly advised, as the pure annoyance is enough to make them lose mental focus
  13. There are two 30-minute rounds, in which time counts up, stopping only during 50-second timeouts
The combination of basketball, soccer, wrestling, and football found in this sport is enough to spark the interest of any sport-fanatic. I truly hope that the rules outlined above provide insight in what is sure to become the next-big-thing in the American sporting world.

Stay tuned for more exciting news...until then, szia!! (pronounced see-ya)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Röplabda, part one

My team, Békéscsabai Röplabda Sportegyesület, finally had our first scrimmage on January 7 and 8 against a team from Budapest. The teams were on a holiday break for the past 3 weeks, with no competitions, and would start back into matches the following week. On Friday, we won 3:0, playing a friendly fourth set to allow more play. Many people from the town came out to watch this scrimmage, as everyone was eagerly anticipating my introduction to the team and city as the new setter. Everything went very well for our team the first day, serve receive and defense, and we were able to be highly successful in our play. The girls and coaches all seemed optimistic about starting back into matches and everyone was able to leave the gym that evening with a smile.
That evening, Barbi (our libero), Niki (one of our outside hitters) and I decided we would hang out in Barbi's room and watch an American film, The Express. We made bundáskenyér,or french toast, and shared childhood stories, comparing cartoons and other TV shows from our youth. The night finally came to an end, and we all headed home to catch much needed rest before our scrimmage the next morning.
Saturday morning came much too early for our team. We arrived to the gym still half-asleep and unfocused for the morning's match. Our passing and all-around play was no where near the level from the night before. Attila was less than pleased with our performances, as we fell to the visiting team 0:3. We played two more friendly sets, and were victorious in only the 4th. It was definitely a humbling experience from our success the previous day, and showed that we have a lot of mental aspects that must be improved on in order to be successful. We would have Sunday off from training, and resume back on Monday to prepare for the first set of matches that weekend.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Hungarian 101

My Hungarian lessons began with Rita, one of the players on my team, with a little help from her husband Zoli.
Rita invited me to her home for New Years Eve day lunch, where we were entertained by her son Nandi. Her husband is obsessed with American sports, and almost died when I showed him pictures of me andthe UT volleyball team on the sidelines at the Bucs/Jags preseason game. I showed them both pictures of my university and the sights around Tampa. Lunch was really good, included lots of Hungarian dishes.

As the meal wound down, Rita and I grabbed out the Hungarian/English dictionary and my Hungarian phrase book and tried to piece together sentences to further communicate to one another. This led to my first, of what I assume will be many, Hungarian lesson.

After going over the alphabet, and stuttering over the many vowels, we decided to take on some actual words. She taught me to count to 10, the days of the week, and the months. Once we started going, she explained more about how to pronounce each letter as it is written, which made for a somewhat easier time. Occasionally Zoli would shout a correction from the other room, and we would burst into laughter. Their "c" is pronounced "ts", their "s" = "sh", "sz" = "s", "cs" = "ch"; so as you can see there is a lot of discrepancy between our alphabet and theirs, let alone a doubled amount of vowels.he words are spelled as phonetically American as possible, but was still difficult for some of their letters, as we don’t have that similar of sounds in the US.

What time is is? – ha’ny o’ra
Who? – ki
What? – mi
Where? – hol
When? – mikor
Why? – mie’rt
How much? – mennyi
Where is the toilet? – hol van a ved tse

My personal favorite:
I don’t understand – nem e’rtem

I speak English – Bese’lek angolul

Happy New Year - boldog eu yevet

Thank you – kosonom
Please – ke’rem
You’re welcome – si’ veshen

I'm off to a slow start, not sure I'll actually be able to retain all that much, but it's only been 5 days, so there is still plenty of time.

"Language shapes the way we think, and determines what we can think about.” - Benjamin Lee Whorf