Eger trip

Today I went to Eger, a city of rich religious history and a wine tasting.
The city was in the northeast of Hungary.
The train took about 2 hours to get there, so I studied Chinese/slept on the train
while everyone else was sleeping. The Hungarian views are pretty nice.
Right now the cities are covered with snow. It reminds me of the time
I went to a high school in Connecticut called Kent (I went there for one year).
A lady from our language program was our tour guide and she knew a lot about
the Hungarian history and the place we went to.
She told us that Eger was a place most Hungarian children dream to visit.
On the map, it says Eger Bervaros. “Bel” means center, and “Varos” (pronounced like
“Varosh” in English) means city. So, it is a city center.
We first went to see Basilica church. It was beautiful from outside
, but unfortunately we did not get to see the inside.
Then we visited a university there. I couldn’t believe
it is a university. It looks more like a palace to me (see the pictures attached).
The university was built by an order of an archbishop.
The place got destroyed by the Calvins, the Turkish
in religious wars and other wars. I would really like to read more about
this before I would say anything about Hungarian history.

The underground was great too. In the past, the wines were kept there.
But due to moistures and other safety reasons (which I don’t know of),
they removed all the wines. So we only saw the bottles and
other artifacts.

During lunch at 2 pm, we had a wonderful 3-course Hungarian meal
at Ettérem.
The tables were long and the room looked somewhat like a king room.
The first was appetizer (fruit soup—yes, fruit soup, not fruit sauce).
The second was meat and pickles. And the third was dessert.
The waiters were asked to introduce themselves, and
they said they were interning there before going to a school of culinary.
It was a paid job of about $300 per month.

I opted to go to the modern art gallery instead of the castle due to the time limit.
The art gallery was amazing. This month the gallery is officially open yet, but we had some privilege to get in there. Artist Kepes was a Hungarian origin who was
invited to teach at UChicago and MIT. He used many interesting photo techniques,
one of which is to use magnet as an element in the picture in a dark room.
Many visual art techniques such as projecting lights on a bunch of sticks to illustrate aliasing effects (my flatmate Christ says so).

Finally, we went to a wine tasting place.
I usually don’t drink wine, but this time it was just a tasting.
We tried five different kinds of wines, starting with white wine.
They also had a competition where they poured wine into someone’s mouth
and he or she would try to continuously drink from that as long as possible.
Our Slovak friend got about 40 seconds (by counting, so it might not be accurate).
But someone beat him. The winners got some wines as prizes. I weren’t brave enough
to try this.

Then the trip back was pretty peaceful. Good day!


The purposes of this blog are manifold. Here are a few.
– to keep you updated and let you be part of my journey
– to practice writing, and, well, in English
– to reflect myself. I believe one way to know more about myself is to expose myself to another culture–to see myself as a part of a totally new environment.
– to dig deeper into any real-life issues that come up. Whenever I write something here, I will try to research some more too.
– just an advertisement, I will try to open an online art gallery, and online music gallery. Well, I don’t want this to be public yet, so I will need to ask you to use a log-in system, which is available by request.

I really want you to participate in this blog. For this first week, I haven’t yet had time to develop a feedback system. So, I will create a survey to ask your interests in the next blog post.




Learning Chinese

I think to learn Chinese (or any language in general), it is important to learn outside the textbook also. During the academic time, it is often the case (at least for me) that there is not enough time to look at something else apart from what is already there in the textbook. This is a break time, so I think it is a golden opportunity to do this. I read Prof. Tao’s blog (in which I plan to read everything), and someone translated the page into Chinese. So, I will put it here and learn all the vocabulary in there!



Sample words: 解题 (Jie3 Ti2): problem-solving

方面: side, aspects

未解決 (Wei4 Jie3 Jue2): unresolved

生涯 (Sheng1 Ya2): Career

知识 (Zhi1 Shi4): Knowledge

耐心 (Nai4 Xin1): Patient

勤奋 (Qin2 Fen4): Diligent

阶段 (Jie Duan4): Stage

竞赛 (Jing4 Sai4): Competition

成型 (Cheng2 Xing2): Forming

技巧 (Ji4 Qiao3): Tecnique

尤为 (You2 Wei2): Particularly

发现 (Fa1 Jian4): Find

比如 (Bi3 Ru2): Such as

前提条件 (Qian2 Ti2 Tiao2 Jian4): Hypothesis

强 (Qiang2): Strength

短期 (Duan3 Qi2): Short-Term

目标 (Mu4 Biao1): Goal

长远 (Chang2 Yuan3): Long Term

An Exciting Moment

I am so exited to start writing this blog. I see a lot of opportunities to improve my writing, my thoughts, and in the end I can share this to anyone I would like to. I get inspired after reading a blog written by Terence Tao. I think at this point it is very interesting to keep updating what is going on in my unofficial research and so people can join me if they are interested. I hope to write many posts during my Winter break. I am still deciding the scope of this blog, whether it be just about mathematics-related topics or about my life in general. I have yet to think about this, but I can foresee that it is going to be fun!!!

PS. Testing the LaTeX code: x^4 + 4 = (x^2+2)^2 - 4x^2 = (x^2 + 2x + 2)(x^2 - 2x + 2).

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