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


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.




Jane@Hawaii 10 Nov 2021

Hi Josh, Good luck on your new journey!


Jimbo 10 Nov 2021

Jet-lag certainly didn't do me any favours while competing in China this year. I arrived 4 days before the competition in an attempt to let my body and brain adjust to the time difference but when you are getting up just at the time when you would normally be going to sleep (the time difference is +8 hours between the UK and China) it is not the best conditions to try to memorise - not for me anyhow and my performance suffered.

Josh Cohen

Josh Cohen 10 Nov 2021

Thanks -- I've been wondering about that.

I just crossed 10 time zones, and even on day 6 I'm having trouble adjusting. I hope the next WMC is in Europe. :)


Aviran 10 Nov 2021

Hi Josh, while you`re in Europe, why not taking a quick tour into Israel, and seriously, I never had any issue with timezone adjusting, I just withdraw the sleep and adjust over one night.

Have a nice visit there.

Josh Cohen

Josh Cohen 10 Nov 2021

Thanks... I will be there in February for a travel conference.

The Past Year’s Journey and My Memory Training — Mnemotechnics.org 10 Nov 2021

[...] the next three months, there were a few trips to Budapest, a travel industry conference in Jerusalem, flying to San Francisco and the USA Memory Championship [...]

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