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In case of a prolonged homestay – since in case of a pandemic social distancing is the best way to slow the spread of the virus and protect others – you don’t necessarily have to give up your friends or entertainment. Here are some tips you may find useful during long days and weeks of homestay.
Social distancing only means physical distancing, but you can still see and talk to your beloved ones via countless forms of video chat and messaging. Turn on your camera and start an evening talk with multiple people from your living room to discuss your day or even share a drink. You can also cook together: the masters of the kitchen can give step by step guidance to the less experienced and at the end of the day, you can taste the same dinner, it almost feels like sharing the food.
Don’t forget to play!
Online card and board games can also be enjoyed in the company of distant friends, from Monopoly and Uno to chess. With a few minutes of googling, you can easily find the games you love the most, and it is even more fun if you have kids running around!
Enjoy good food and drinks!
Restaurants cannot send their staff to home office – but despite the closures, they can still operate their kitchens and deliver food to the local community. Check the Facebook page of the nearby restaurants to see their offers and at the same time, support one the industries most deeply hit by the pandemic.
Hungarian wineries also offer delivery of their products – and #borozzotthon (enjoy a wine at home) is also spreading.
Take a virtual tour!
The Hungarian National Gallery – along with other great museums around the globe – is just physically closed, you can go and take a virtual tour among their precious paintings by Hungarian and international artists, with expert explanation. Just click here.
Train your brain!
Online courses are available year-round, but now, many institutes offer huge discounts for those who need more skills or have special interests. And learning a new language is also easy, with the help of dozens of apps one can pick up some valuable knowledge (ok, this might not be true of Hungarian, but by the end of the closures you might at least be able to order a drink in a Budapest pub).
If you’re a fan of trivia, you can also find hundreds of websites and applications to play against the computer or another participant. And when it’s time to relax, check out the apps that help you meditate and forget the world.
Great reads are available through different platforms and online stores. Besides the huge retailers, Openculture.com offers 800 free e-books in various formats, but if you’re interested in Hungarian literature, you can find many famous novels translated to English – even though most of them are only available in hard copy, but you can still order them online. Check out our recommendation here,
Stay fit and healthy!
People locked inside the house for weeks can easily put on weight, due to a lack of exercise and movement. You can avoid this by reducing the portions of food, eating more vegetables (and springtime is probably the best season to do this!), avoiding heavy comfort food and snacks, and by doing some at-home exercise – preferably daily. Thousands of fitness videos are available online and there are almost countless applications to help you with your workout, for beginners and athletes alike, with or without equipment – in the comfort of your living room.
Watch the big screen!
Sure, major streaming services can be your best friend during the times of homestay, but you can also enjoy great Hungarian movies without going to the cinema via other platforms.
Easterneuropeanmovies.com offers a great selection of films made in the region with English (and sometimes other language) subtitles, categorised by country. In the Hungarian section you may find Oscar-winner Son of Saul, Oscar-nominee Of Body and Soul, Nimród Antal’s Kontrol, the must-see The Sons of Paul Street or Liza the Fox-Fairy on the comedy side. If you want to spend a really, really long night in front of your home screen, check out Satantango, Béla Tarr’s iconic 7 and half hour black and white movie – you will either love it or hate it, but won’t know unless you give it a try.
Listen to music or watch a play!
As big (and small) gigs have been cancelled around the globe, musicians may not stop playing. Many bands, artists and orchestras stream their live performances, or publish full-length concert videos, and we’re pretty sure that your favourites are among them – check their official websites or social media channels.
Hungarian orchestras also offer live-streamed performances – for example, Budapest Festival Orchestra announced its “Quarantine Soirees” with a different concert every night. Theatres are also shuttered but performances can be watched at the dedicated streaming channels or directly at the institutions’ websites. MüPa (Palace of Arts) opened its media library for everyone, here you can browse from pop concerts through jazz till ballet. And you can find great operas (including Hungarian performances) at operavision.eu.