Tag Archives: budapest

The fundamental differences and similarities between Britian, The British, Hungary and the Magyars Part2

Part 2 Hungary and the Magyars

Politics-Hungarian politics is laughable, but similar to the UK in that a lot of people either protest voted for Jobbik this time around or just had no idea who to vote for. Mszp at the end of their last term was found to be corrupt and sadly Fidesz is no better!

The number system-
Sadly Hungarian’s don’t know how to queue. So in most officials buildings, the bank and the post you have to take a number. When a number system is not available it becomes a chaos of people all thinking they have the right to be first even if they arrived last.

Banking

For every small things you do you get charged whether it be, transferring money to another account, paying by card or withdrawal cash, it all costs money. These charges come from very high taxes the government has out on the banks and thus passing onto the consumer banker.  Unlike the UK the banks are making money form the general population rather than from business accounts.

Day to day life

Hungarian’s are generally very laid back people, but some that you encounter on the street can seem a little rude. For example when walking down the street, there maybe a group of 3-4 people taking up the entire path, for some reason they do not feel the need to move slightly behind each other or to the side just for that brief second you are passing. I’m pretty sure regardless of the country this would be considered rude, especially if you did this to the older generations.

Drinking

Hungarian’s can drink just like the British but maybe even more. Never say no to Hazi Palinka.  Always look the person in the eye that you are cheersing with.

Customer Service

It pretty much doesn’t exist here and is very bad in most places. Most restaurants I have been to, it has taken 15-20mins to order a drink and the food takes forever to come out from the kitchen. You have to make up BS stories if you want to return something just because you changed your mind.

Official administration

Referring to my earlier post https://britgirlbudapest.wordpress.com/2014/04/04/bureaucracy-is-no-ones-friend-in-hungary/.

Hungarian official administration is a mind field for any Hungarian let alone a foreigner.

Aliens

There is is this curious notion that some Hungarian’s believe they are descendant from Aliens. Do a google search and you will find some intriguing articles about this.

I’m In the Press!

This week I was luckily enough to be interviewed by Lisa Weil @ the Budapest Zeitung. This is a German Language newspaper based here in Budapest.  The article is entitled mien Budapest (My Budapest) So the Articles in German, so as soon as i have a translation I’ll add here. But the article basically about my last year in Budapest, How I’ve found living here, what I do in my spare time. And of course I had to plug the blog!

Check out the papers website http://www.budapester.hu/ or the sister paper in English http://budapesttimes.hu/

 

mein budapest.jpeg-page-036 mein budapest.jpeg-page-037

 

 

Bkk Fun-their fail

At the end of September I decided I wanted to buy a monthly pass from  one of the new ticket machines. BIG MISTAKE

After going through the whole process and getting to the payment screen everything seem to be going fine. Unfortunately all was not well and the ticket machine did not give any thing, no ticket no receipt.

So we go to the ticket booth and the lady working at the time said we had to go to Deak to file a report. I had to buy a single ticket to get to Deák as I was in Nyugati Metro station.

By this time I was pretty annoyed, I get to Deák customer service desk, explain the problem to the girl. I could tell my the girls face she had understood what I said but she did not know how to reply in English, she just kept saying Igen, Igen (yes). So I said to my other half, please speak to her in Hungarian this is going to be painful enough as it is.

The girls initial reaction is,well the lady at Nyugati shouldn’t have sent you here and the machine probably didn’t take your money, so you should just check it online when you get home. This is a common thing in Hungary when people can’t be bother to deal with a problem (far to often) they just give you some lame reason, so as not to actually deal with any problem. At this point I said to my boyfriend well We’ve lost 1.5hrs of our Sunday just trying to buy a monthly ticket, so lets waste bkk times.

So we said to the girl, well the online banking  won’t update until tomorrow morning, if we don’t file a report now, how can we prove we were ever even at the machine? With a rather large sigh she agrees to complete the form. The first questions is what is the machine number, I’d taken a picture, she puts it in the system. According Bkk system the machine is located at a Hev station pretty far out. The next questions is the best “are you sure this was at Nyugati?”Because I always go around taking picture of ticket machine numbers, obviously the system is wrong. Fair enough these are new machines, but surely there is some logical system to installing the machines?Form complete She tells us that bkk have 30 days to deal with the request. We buy another ticket and go on with the rest of our day.

Monday afternoon I check the bank and surprise surprise the money has been taken. By chance I check the bank a few days later and I was amazed to see the money had been refunded. Which was of course fantastic, but very surprising as thing never happen that quickly in a country slowed by reams of paper work and beauracracy.

Today I receive a phone call from bkk, telling me I cannot get a refund. I do not tell the girl on the other end of the phone that I’d already received a refund but carried on the phone call to say that the money had been taken from my account ect ect. She told me I need to send a copy bank statement by email.

It’s just very funny for me that different departments do not communicate, so I will email my bank statement to them and who knows maybe I’ll get another refund!

Hungary is moving forward especially in Budapest in terms of improving public transport and simplifying things, but they can just never ever seem to get it right first time around. 😦

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

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

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! 🙂