You know when you’ve lived in Hungary too long…………

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  • You’ve accepted that Sour Cream isn’t just for Nachos.
  • You’ve one pub or bar that you always seem to find your self in.
  • You eat pancakes (palacsinta) as a dessert and not just on pancake day.
  • You’ve given up converting Forint into your home currency because your head just cannot deal with that many numbers.
  • The novelty of seeing 100,000 in your bank has worn off.
  • You don’t find jokes or references to “being hungry” funny anymore.
  • Lake Balaton actually seems like an ocean because it’s been so long since you saw a real beach.
  • Drinking soda water in wine is normal.
  • You know the names of at least 3 different types of fröccs.
  • You realise Hungarian wine is actually very good, and wonder why it isn’t more widely available else where.
  • That it doesn’t matter how much you try to learn Hungarian, your pronunciation (as an English native speaker) of the rolled R will never be correct.
  • When walking around Budapest your visiting friends and relatives tell you you walk to fast.
  • When friends and family cant believe how cheap it is here, you respond “vat is 27%! How is that cheap?”
  • The same friends or family suggest a bar or restaurant they’ve read about in a guide book, your only response is “expensive” or “full of tourists.”
  • Just seeing the word “Fidesz” or an image or Viktor Orban’s face riles you.
  • You can type on a Hungarian keyboard without having to change the imput to “English”
  • You consider a pint of beer costing more than 450Huf is a rip off.
  • You’ve learn’t to say no to a shot of Palinka.

I would just like to add that this list is based on my own experiences and stories other expats have told me. If you have others that you think should be added to the list, add them in a comment or send them through the contact form.

drink-pálinka-and

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All Saints Day 2014 (Halottak Napja)

All saints day (Halottak Napja) which translates as “the day of the dead” or “the day of remembrance.”

All Saints’ Day is a celebration of all Christian saints, particularly those who have no special feast days of their own, in many Roman Catholic, Anglican and Protestant churches. In many western churches it is annually held November 1 and in many eastern churches it is celebrated on the first Sunday after Pentecost. It is also known as All Hallows Tide, All-Hallomas, or All Hallows’ Day.

“Catholics pray and hold to the conviction that through prayer and self-denial the faithful can hasten the deliverance of souls from purgatory and into heaven. The Catholic doctrine teaches that some Catholics still have a kind of purification process that they must undergo after dying before they reach heaven. The prayers of living Catholics are believed to lighten the way for those living in purgatory.”

Quote from http://www.hunglish.org/articles/holiday-hungary-all-souls-day

Celebrated on the 1st November every year in Hungary as an official holiday. It is also celebrated in many central and eastern European countries.

All though this day is close to Halloween they are no were near similar. You will not see people dressed up and glorifying the world of the dead. Instead families visit the graves of relatives and friends that have passed. Although a national holiday nothing really happens until the sun has gone down and the dark has descended upon the country.

Candles-burn-on-graves-to-005

On this eve you will see families leaving their homes with candles and bright yellow chrysanthemums. Everyone is heading to the cemetery to remember those that have passed and decorate the graves with candles and flowers.

It really is an amazing site to see. Last year when I went with my boyfriends family I felt uneasy about the experience to begin with. I had never meet the people whos graves I was visiting, but once you step into the cemetery and see all the people, candles and the flowers it truly is a beautiful site to behold. Every time I light a candle I would think of people that had sadly left my life also, but I had a feeling of happiness for them rather than sadness. It was like being there made me understand that they are at rest.

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Even if you don’t have a Hungarian relative or boyfriend I would really recommend going to a cemetery on this day. Not just to see how beautiful it is but to remember your passed loved ones. I’ve noticed as I’ve got older that fewer of my relatives including myself visit the graves of deceased and quite often even miss the anniversary of their death. i think even if i was to move from Hungary I would continue to celebrate this day in my own way not matter where in the world I may be.

Below you will find a list of cemetaries in Budapest if you would like to join in on this national holiday:

  • Angeli Street Cemetery
  • Budafoki Cemetery
  • Cinkotai Cemetery
  • Csepeli Cemetery
  • Csörsz Street Cemetery (Orthodox Jewish cemetery, out of use since 1961)
  • Farkasréti Cemetery
  • Gránátos Street Cemetery (Orthodox Jewish cemetery)
  • Kerepesi Cemetery (Kerepesi temető; official name: Fiumei úti sírkert)
  • Kispesti Cemetery
  • Kozma Street Cemetery (the biggest Jewish cemetery in Hungary, with the monument of 600,000 Jewish martyrs, famous for its art nouveau memorials)
  • New Public Cemetery, Budapest (Új köztemető; Rákoskeresztúri sírkert)
  • Óbudai Cemetery
  • Pestszenterzsébeti Cemetery
  • Pestszentlőrinci Cemetery
  • Rákospalotai Cemetery
  • Tamás Street Urn Cemetery
  • Újpest, Megyeri Cemetery

Viktor Orbán is not only illiterate when it comes to computers. What about diplomacy?

Hungarian Spectrum

As you know, I was contemplating writing something about the internet tax, but I felt I had to deal with the further reverberations of Hungary’s shaky relations with the U.S. Now, it seems, the two topics have converged with M. André Goodfriend’s appearance at the demonstration last night.

So, let’s start with the demonstration itself. I considered the crowd very large, especially in comparison to similar gatherings when the issues were purely political. Abstract concepts don’t move crowds in Hungary. The reason might be the low level of political culture and sophistication, the lack of a sustained democratic past, and perhaps even the sinking living standards that force people to concentrate on sheer survival.

I watched the entire demonstration and was impressed with Balázs Gulyás, the organizer and speaker. Although he tried to keep the focus on a single issue, the internet tax, it was clear from the first moment…

View original post 1,028 more words

1 Year in the City

Budapest-hotels

It never ceases to amaze me how quickly time flies. The one year anniversary of living in Budapest has been and gone!

Not only have I been looking back over the last year of my life, but also how I feel this blog has become half a help guide to expats half an online diary or maybe even a rant.

I’ve learnt so much about myself in the last year, there are many things I would do differently and things I wouldn’t change.

My patience has grown a little, although I still have my days where I let the bureaucracy get me down.

I do not give up so easily, but there is room for improvement. As far as I’m concerned I’ve managed to live here a year so that is proof enough.

So if you are just moving to Budapest or Hungary in General here is my advise to making your way though your first year.

Getting to know the city!

Buy a pass and use the overground public transport as much as possible.

Walk around the city get to know its streets.

Download the bkv app. Absolute life saver when your lost, it has a map which uses gps only, shows you the closest stops and full timetable of all available public transport!

metromap

Get out and meet people!

Join all the Facebook and other expat communities listed on my “online friending” post.

Learn Hungarian!!

A little goes a long way. When your more settled take classes. I can only recommend Babilon nyleviskola as it the only one I have attended, but there are many in and around the city.

http://www.babilon-nyelvstudio.hu/page.php?id=305

https://www.facebook.com/BabilonNyelviskola

Be patient!

Don’t let the bureaucracy get you down. Although at some times slow, the system does work in its own weird and wonderful way! To live here you have to learn to be laid back if your not already.

I wish you the best of luck! Contact me any time if you need help or advise!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Learning Hungarian

Hello, szia!

Just a short update. I decided to start taking classes to learn Hungarian as I was getting no where fast!

So Many different language schools in Budapest it was hard to choose. In the end I came across a great website

http://www.babilon-nyelvstudio.hu/page.php?id=english

 

I’ve been having lessons for about 5 weeks now and they are pretty fun! I’m starting to build up quite a big vocabulary now and fighting my way through the ending/suffixes. I’m just not very good at putting things into sentences currently.

 

The next hurdle I hope to cross in the next couple of weeks is going to a Hungarians meet up and actually start talking to people!

 

So if any native speakers find this blog please contact me! 🙂

 

You know you’re Hungarian…..

You Know You’re Hungarian…

1. When you use sour cream more than ketchup.

2. When your parents come to visit for 3 weeks and you all stay in a one
bedroom apartment.

3. When feeding your guests is your main priority even if they claim
they’re not hungry and in which case you get slightly offended/upset that
they don’t want your hospitality.

4. When someone says that Hungarian “is like Russian and all those other
Slavic languages,” and then you have to go into great detail about the
origins of Hungarian with a scolding history lesson.

5. When Paprika is just as important as salt & pepper on the table & in
food.

6. When you know what Unicum is and prefer it over Jagrmeister.

7. When you know how to open a bottle of wine with only a screw and a pair
of pliers.

8. When you tell someone that you are Hungarian, they ask “Are you hungry?”
Then you congratulate them on being the millionth person to say that to
you.

9. When you’ve heard, “If you’re hungry, why not go to Turkey?” at least
once in your life.

10. When you have a relative who’s named Attila. Or Jozsef. Or Janos. Or
Laszlo.

11. When half of your mothers friends husbands have the name Jozsef.

12. When you know that the “goulash” you see in many restaurants has in
actuality little/nothing to do with the gulyas leves we really eat.

13. When meeting another Hungarian in a country outside of Hungary is
amazing.

14. When you know the meaning of “kurva” even if you don’t know any other
Hungarian word.

15. When you love Turó Rudi but cant really explain to foreigners what the
hell that is untill they try it.

16. When your foreign friends ask you if you still believe that Santa Claus
brings the presents on the night between December 24th-25th… then you
answer somehow confused that Santa Claus brings the presents on the 6th of
December and it is actually Little Jesus who brings the presents on
Christmas, but the presents are already there on the 24th at 6PM.

17. When a pancake is extremely flat in your country and you roll it up
instead of folding it.

18. When you know what TÚRÓ is.

19. When you know the phrase “three is the Hungarian truth”.

20. When 7 is a bad number.

21. When you leave your house for longer than 2 hours, you make sure
there’s enough sandwiches, apples, bottled tap water, coffee in a thermos,
and chocolate bars packed for everyone to survive (without spending a
dime)!

22. When you do not speak with your mouth full.

23. When guys keep telling you that Hungarian girls are the cutest and
prettiest and hope that you just believe it and they get laid.

24. When they wanna show off by saying that they know your capital:
Bucharest and no, they are not joking!

25. When you go into a Chinese restaurant and order your Sechuan chicken
with french fries, cucumber salad and ask for a few slices of bread as
well.

26. When you have a funny accent in every other language you speak.

27. When you love Mákos Guba and you can’t explain what MÁK is, neither
GUBA to anyone.. and if you finallly can, everyone will think you’re some
kind of weirdo for eating that.

28. When you go into a Posta when every single old person in Budapest wants
to, and they keep letting their mates into the line.

29. When catching a bus an old lady with lots of heavy bags runs by you and
reaches the bus first, then sits down panting and complaining how old she
is and how the stuff is heavy and young people are not well educated, etc.

30. When you start counting on your hand with one being the thumb.

31. When you can swear for 5 minutes straight, with one breath, not using
the same word, ever.

32. When you know what ‘lángos’ is.

33. When you wish you would get 5 bucks everytime somebody says “I know a
hungarian word… b@zdmeg… *laugh*…”

34. When you can show off your engagement ring, worn on the opposite hand.

35. When you know why the bells of every church ring every day at noon.

36. When you have difficulty pronouncing words started with “W” in English,
but you’re capable of creating long and meaningful sentences using only “E”
vowels in you mother tongue.

37. When you would rather stand up in a tram/trolley when there are plenty
of seats available.

38. When you have more excuses for the kontrollers than you have tickets.

39. When the train hasn’t even left the station, but you are already eating
your home made sandwiches (usually with half a paprika or tomato in it).

40. When you tell everybody that Hungarian people always criticize
everything.

41. When the home-made sandwiches on the train include Wienerschnitzel.

42. When you call a 79 km long lake (the Balaton) the Hungarian Sea. And
you are able to swim across it!

43. When you have to pay in a wedding if you want to dance with the bride.

44. When you can eat ANYTHING deep fried (with breadcrumbs on it) and can
make spirits (pálinka) of (almost) EVERYTHING, including paprika of course!

45. When you go “up” to Budapest and “down” to the countryside.

46. When you NEVER leave home with wet hair because you can get a cold and
you ALWAYS bring your hair dryer when going abroad, and are astonished when
people do not have one in their own homes!

47. When you sit always on the same place and chair, even when the
(class)room is empty and “your” place is in the end of the room.

48. When you know that “piros pöttyös túró rudi” is possibly the most
delicious thing in the world and you feel sorry for the non-Hungarian part
of mankind who don’t even know what it is.

49. When zou cant tzpe on an english kezboard because y and z are mixed
up.

50. When you know the difference between s and sz. and also u and ü.

51. When you know what a pogácsa/dobos torta/kürtõs
kalács/fõzelék/túrógombóc is, and love most of them.

52. When you tend to feel sorry for yourself for no particular reason and
complain a lot.

53. When you understand cynism and sarcasm; you sometimes go
cynical/sarcastic yourself.

54. When you kind of dislike Turkish/Albanian people even tough you have
never seen one in your life – you have the strange idea that they must all
be related to Jumurdzsák and his evil lot.

55. When you have a great sense of humor, except when it comes to the
“hungry/Hungarian” jokes, which you think are the least funny in the world
and they make you feel like kicking someone’s ass.

56. When you are more creative in cheating then any other nationality.

57. When Winnie the Pooh and The Flintstones is actually much funnier
translated into your language than the original.

58. When you go abroad and joke with the people there as at home and they
just don’t understand but get possibly hurt by your funny remarks.

59. When you are snobby and think that anyone who has not read Dostoyewski
and Bulgakow is not an intelligent human being.

60. When your language has two words for love.

61. When you deeply believe that Budapest (or your hometown) is the most
beautiful city in the whole wide word and -just to make sure- you swear for
that before going up to the Eiffel tower.

62. When you know that “a copper angel whistling on a copper tree” is
actually a swear-expression!

63. When you have szaloncukor on the Christmas tree! 😀

64. When you have a nameday and no one foreign understands what that is
good for.

65. When you have a row and seat number on your cinema ticket… but you

paid the same amount like the one who sits at the best place… and usually

arrives 5 minutes after the movie started.

66. When you always have only two options to choose from and you like none of them.

Online Friending

Finding friends in a new place…..How hard can it really be?

Well, before I moved to Budapest I assumed it would be fairly easy to find some like minded people, in reality it is not as easy as it may seem. Originally I went to one of the ‘imp” (International meeting point events) found through Facebook and I did meet one very nice girl who, unfortunately only ended up staying in Budapest 3 months.

So back to the topic at hand, so you move to a new city, find a job and wounder how to stay making friends outside of work?

My first port of call was Facebook, there are many groups that arrange various activities for expats. I’ll post links to all of them at the bottom of this post.

I previously mentioned the Imp event, these are great if you’re wanting to have a few drinks, maybe a little dance, I got the impression the people that go to these events already know each other through studying or work. I meet one girl at this event who happen to sit with a group of other people, but was totally ignored, so I found it all a bit clicky for me. Great for Students who don’t have to be at work at 9am the next day, as these events are always held on a Wednesday fortnightly at Ankert.

So after this event and my exploration of Facebook, I didn’t find any particular event that I was totally into. So I started to search Google and started to find lots of expat website. Through these sites you can sign up, post if you have any questions, look through previous posts of varying really helpful info! Also you can see who the other member are in your town/city and current country of residence.

So I introduce myself to the group and started looking through the various members. I decided it would be best to look for other females around my age, in the hope we may have similar interested. So a few messages later I’ve arranged to meet 2-3 girls.

Never having done anything like this before I can imagine it’s like online dating, but looking for people that in the future may become good friends.

So since the beginning of May I’ve meet 3 girls, 1 Swedish, 1 Mexican and 1 Hungarian. Luckily for me they all speak English very well.

So socially the future looks good. Here is hoping to meet many more wonderful and interesting people!

 

Facebook groups

Hungary expats

https://www.facebook.com/groups/hungary.expats/

Expats in Hungary

https://www.facebook.com/groups/131350060240546/

Expat loop-All expats Budapest

https://www.facebook.com/groups/122772565047/

Expat info-Budapest

https://www.facebook.com/groups/59371492275/

Social events in Budapest

https://www.facebook.com/groups/196401360492850/

International Meeting point

https://www.facebook.com/groups/imp.budapest/

English Speaking Expat Goup

https://www.facebook.com/groups/BudapestEnglishFriends/

Danube events

https://www.facebook.com/groups/DanubeEventsBudapest/

Alternatives.

Expat blogs

http://www.expat-blog.com

Internations

www.internations.org

British Expats

http://britishexpats.com/forum/hungary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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