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Over 25 years ago, Central European University chose to make a home in Budapest, creating a Hogwarts-without-magic haven of higher education within the metropolitan, touristy location steeped in the heart of Hungary and, for all these years, CEU has attracted a milieu of students from different parts of the world, thus creating an internationally-inclined student body. Although the mindblowing campus(es) in Budapest are in themselves centres of attraction for many students, staff members and outsiders, the CEU Residence Centre located in Kerepesi út 87 poses as a comfort lair without which any commentary on CEU will not be complete.
Knowing that, very soon, there will be a complete transition to Vienna which literally means that most continuing and incoming students will miss the privilege that comes with living as part of a student community within the RC, I thought it good to stop for a bit during summer to reminisce on the moments, memories and miracles that come with living in the RC with co-CEU students. Interestingly, in my prologue, I took my mind all the way back to times before CEU. Transported to the previous student dorm I lived in - G Floor in Moremi Hall which was, in fact, a 'health floor' - I reflected on its distinct qualities, the people I encountered and what this place came to mean to me eventually.
I am not the only one looking back on what are already becoming echoes of nostalgic thoughts in a chamber, three other students have joined me to do this.
In Act One, Filip Rambousek (NATS '20) talks extensively about the joys of living with his girlfriend at the RC during the heat of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to him, he has always been fascinated by sub-urbs but the RC and its especially sub-urban environs opened itself up to him in new, unbelievably rapturous ways during the period of the lockdown plus he got to discover that he is not afraid of spending an entire lifetime being under lockdown with his girlfriend. Pretty cool, right?
Prince Addo (SPP '21) features again in this episode. This time, in Act Two, he narrows in on his former experiences at the student dorm in Ghana and how this came to influence what he thinks of the RC upon coming to live here as a student. Owura is all about tolerance, seizing the moment and having fun with 'his boys' but there are just some things he cannot stand - a dirty common kitchen, for one. Well, what does he do about it? You will find out as you listen to him.
In Act three, Sharmin Jahan (Economic Policy '20) steps in to create a nostalgic mood by giving a picturesque account of her CEU-RC experience, starting right from the first day of stepping into Budapest to the beautiful times that flew by and caught her in the midst of making memories, establishing friendships, learning new recipes from friends and eventually becoming the Mother of Semolina with a knack for making fine delicacies out of the special flour.
P.S: This is the first part of what is to be a two-part episode. Forgive me, this part is unexpectedly long because the speakers had a lot of memories to pour out; most of these memories and shared experiences splattered over me in representative, artful ways that gave me the impression that they needed to stay, to be crafted into permanence and exhibited reverently not only for this moment; but for all times.