Tag Archives: Bureaucracy

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.

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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. 😦

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bureaucracy is no one’s friend in Hungary

I would say it is difficult for foreigners in general to go to any Government Office in Hungary, but even Hungarians tell me they struggle. No matter who you speak to, there is no logic to the red tape and paper work,no one understand the system. Funnily enough I always get the impression not even the government employees really know what is going on.

Over the last 6 months I’ve visited many offices and the story is always the same.

You get your number, you wait ages, you get to the counter and they either claim you are in the wrong place, you do not have the right paper work or you’re not in the system.

I always get the impression they don’t want to help you or in reality they don’t know what the real answer is (because no one understands the system) so they tell you anything, like you need another paper, just to get rid of you so they don’t have to deal with it!

More often than not you go back for the 2nd or 3rd time with the requested paper work, you speak to a different person and they tell you it’s not required and amazingly they can deal with your request.

The below blog by mia some ups the immigration office very well and I had a similar experience.

http://miaworld.blogspot.hu/2006/08/i-hate-hungarian-bureaucracy.html

I can laugh about these experiences now, but at the time it is very frustrating and time consuming.

The moral of the story is!

If you do ever have to deal with these offices, take every physical piece of official paper work you own (original and copies) some one who speaks Hungarian and don’t forget your mothers maiden name!