. . . in search of understanding of myself, my neighbors, my community, and my religion.
Wonderful post! I can't believe some random guy just hit you! He didn't try to take your money or your bag or anything? As a missionary in Brazil, I was mugged (twice!), followed through the streets, propositioned, threatened by a drunk man, came within mere feet of being smashed by an out-of-control car, and had my kite cut and stolen by neighborhood kids (!). I admit it makes me a little scared to go back as a tourist. But still, I did and do love the people--the little boys playing soccer barefoot in the mud, the strangers who invite passersby in for lunch; I love the landscape--the red dirt, quickly turned to mud with every afternoon thunderstorm, and the fields of sugarcane as far as the eye could see.
Wow, your experiences make me feel lucky. In general, Hungary was pretty safe (especially since I never actually served in Budapest), which makes my bad experiences all the more surprising to me in retrospect. The guy that hit me didn't take anything from me--he mostly seemed annoyed that I was in his way. It's funny how something about the people and the landscapes you spend so much time in get into your blood--I'd love to go back again someday with my family.
Have you started writing it yet? I told Samuel about it and he said you need to write it. Have you started? How about now?