Update: Vienna and Budapest

I arrived in Europe a few days ago and spent some time in Vienna and Budapest. I’m so jetlagged that I’ve literally been passing out in the middle of conversations for the past few days and have trouble sleeping past 5:30am.

I wonder how memory athletes deal with jetlag when flying to competitions in places like China. Wikipedia says that it takes about one day to recover for each time zone crossed, and I think that is probably accurate.

Memory Training

Goulash

Goulash with Semmelknödel, Vienna

My crazy life is settling down a little bit now. It isn’t really settled, since I’m living out of a backpack, but I’m going to start my training anyway. I’ll probably schedule about two hours of training per day for now–mostly numbers and cards.

I’m also going to start a German language course, since I will need to know German for work.

I haven’t had time to write about my experiment with learning Esperanto, but I’ll try to post that soon. I’m going to try a slightly different technique for German.

Hungarian Language

I just spent a couple of nights in Budapest. I’m fascinated by the Hungarian language. It has extremely complex grammar.

I was learning a few basic phrases, and parsing the grammar seemed like a mental puzzle to be solved. I wonder if the complexity of a language can help improve intelligence in the same way that mental puzzles do. I don’t know if I would ever have the time or opportunity to learn Hungarian, but I think that learning a little bit of the grammar would be more fun than sudoku or crossword puzzles. Check out the Wikipedia page on Hungarian grammar to see what I mean about the grammar, especially these examples.

Another interesting thing about Hungarian is that it has many vowels and would probably be ideal for constructing a phonetic memory system like the Ben System.

More news soon. My daily training log will be posted here.

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