Tag Archives: expat

The Fundamental differences and similarity between Britian, The British,Hungary and the magyars part 1

This post has evolved out of various conversation with friends about stereotypes. I don’t want to write a piece just about stereotypes of both nationalities because, well that’s just stereotypical. It’s more of a comparison piece.

Lets start with Britain and the British as general:

Politics

Just as hopeless as every other country. Like most of Europe the far right (or not so far right) have started to win seats in the Uk and Eu parliament, but I honestly believe that The great British public are just so fed up with the 3 main parties that these are “protest votes.” This party in questions UKIP is full of as much hot air as the rest of them, and if they do get more seats in next years elections, its hardly likely they would follow through with any of their policies.

The weather

Yes it rains a lot (but not ever day) In fact since moving to Budapest the weather seems to  have improved greatly, there actually was a summer this year, kinda typical really. Yes we like to talk about the weather, but it can be so changeable, so its not like every conversation is the same.

Immigration

A sore subject for most! Common opinions include “they take all our jobs” “they use all our resources (nhs,schools ect)” and my favorite “they come here for benefits.” My opinion of immigration in the UK is quite different, I believe it has enriched the country and made it such a more dynamic place to live, but this is a subject for a different post.

The NHS

The Great British institution everybody loves and dislikes at the same time. It’s great that free health care is available, but it’s so stretched beyond it’s means. It’s near on impossible to get a drs appointment, you wait weeks or months for specialised appointments or treatments. That said we could not live without and would never be able to change to an insurance system similar to the US.

North vs South

Southerns are generally more reserved we don’t really know what to do when a stranger talks to us (unless its for directions). Our northern neighbors are far more open and will speak to anyone no matter the situation.

Queuing

The world over believe that The British like to queue. Come on know one likes to queue, but when it has to be done, why shouldn’t it be in an orderly fashion, where every gets their turn in the order they arrived.

Banking

Simple, easy and free for the general public using a basic current account.

Official administration

It’s very easy to find out anything government related online, most things can be done online or via post, no need to go to official offices.

The Royal Family

In recent years since Kate and Prince William got married the love for the royal family has returned, although I’m sure there are the usual moaners who think they are a drain on public funds.

Day to Day life

Always in a rush not enough hours in the day. This is not just in the major towns and cities, but smaller ones. Is it really necessary?

Moaning Myrtles

British people like to have a good old moan about everything. The main topics being the weather, immigration, the economy, petrol prices (it only has to go up a penny and the day is ruined)

Humor

British comedy is dry and very sarcastic. Enough said.

Customer Service

Generally very good. Companies have clear and easy to find returns policies / terms and conditions. Also the British people are very aware of their consumer rights.

What’s your opinion, experience or stereotype of Britain and the British?

Hungary and the Magyars to follow in the next post 😛

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finding My Feet

So after 6 months of a lot of up and downs I finally came to the realisation that actually with out all of these I wouldn’t be where I am now.

I finally have all the paperwork to work here! I can official say I am a resident of BUDAPEST! 🙂

I have a nice office job with normal hours…No more 12 hour shift!!!

My confidence in my self is finally returning….

I’m confident enough to go most places in the city on my own.  Previously I didn’t even feel confident enough to step out side the front door sometimes.

So its time I started looking to the future and How I can be my confident self again. As much as people speak English in the Capital I need to start learning more Hungarian. I want to be able to do things for my self and not really on other people so much.

In turn I’m hoping this will make it easier to make friends as an expat I have found it difficult to make friends with natives. Which I completely understand because they do not wish to speak in English all the time. It is easier enough to make friends with expats but most are students or just working here for a short period of time .

I have always been very independent and feel I have lost this in quite a big way since moving here…maybe this is one of the factors that has affected my confidence to.

So I am proud to say that I am finally starting to find my feet! I just need to keep pushing forward and eventually every thing will fall into place!

Reflection-the last 6 months

After being here some months I started to reflect on my time so far.

When I first arrived in Budapest I was definitely having an adrenaline high, I thought I could achieve anything, the world was my oyster. It was such a big decision to move here, leave all my friends and family behind to begin a new life in a country I had only visited twice before.

It didn’t take long for the rose tinted glasses to fall off! Once I’d unpacked my things and the final pieces of IKEA furniture had been put together reality hit me and it hit me hard.

Firstly I had to work my way around the administration system, as I’ve written in my previous posts its no mean feet and not for the faint hearted.

Secondly you start looking for jobs, this is relatively easy, with the many Facebook groups, expat sites and there are a few jobsites in English. It just amazes me how long it takes companies to reject you, if at all. Saying that 6 months later I’m still receiving emails saying “sorry you cannot be considered at this time.”

Thirdly I thought I should just put myself out there and start to make a few friends. At the age of 26 I wasn’t really sure how to go about this, pretty much all my friends from back home I’ve known since I was a kid or I have worked with. So this was a super Alien concept for me.  So I did a bit of Goggling as you do and came across a few different expat events.  I dragged my boyfriend along to one being held in a bar, After the 2nd drink I decided it had been a bad idea, everyone seemed to be students and very clicky. I saw one girl arrive on her own, she sat on a table of say 5-6 people and they point blank ignored her and actually turned their backs to her.  I motioned over to her and come and sit with the bf and myself. She turned out to be such a lovely girl and I was finally happy to have meet a native speaker that just wanted to hang out and not interested in getting pissed all the time.  Sadly after 3 months she had to leave, due to not being able to extend her visa.

save me

At one point I really started to struggle to understand why I’d moved here, I was super homesick, was missing everyone back home, was stressing because I wasn’t hearing back from job adverts. I think this was the lowest I’d been for a very long time and just didn’t know how to cope with all the Different emotions. Bless my boyfriend for putting up with me over this time period, but without him, I think I would have just jacked it all in and gone home.

Things could only get better from here and they did. I’ll write about this in my next post.

Samantha

 

 

 

 

Nyiregyhaza-A must see to the East

I am yet to visit many towns in Hungary, but this is one of my Favorites so far! I am a little biased as I visit at least once a month as this is where my partners family live. But it is for sure a diamond in the rough and I believe properly not well known by most foreigners. It’s more suburban feeling can be a welcome relief from the hustle and bustle of city life.

There are many things surrounding this small city to do and most recently I visited the Zoo!

zoo

The zoo currently has a feeling of being confused as to what decade it is from.  There are many communist era building mixed in with very modern glass and steel constructed buildings. In a way it is a very nostalgic place, that has an air of austerity of a more simpler time. These building are slowly being replaced for the more modern equivalent. Which is a little sad as I feel the Zoo may loose some of its charm.

However this is obviously great for the Animals. The modernization is giving them a more natural habitat feel rather than concrete and metal bars. All the animals seemed very happy and well looked after. There was still a lot of renovation going on when I visited last weekend, but I am sure they will have this finished by high season. I will indeed return at some point to see the finished article.

The zoo takes you through many parts of the world as you wonder around.

The green pyramid-A tropical wonderland of exotic plants, fury surprises and scaly creatures which look like they are from the dinosaur age.

Oceanarium- Some of the strangest and funny looking fish you will ever see up close and personal.

polarbear

Polar region- I think this was my favourite part of the zoo, polar bears, sea lions and penguins. It was obviously to early in the morning for this guy as he was still sleeping!

Tarzana trail-Enter the world of Africa. Elephants, monkeys, rhinos, zebra Giraffe. You name it and it is more than likely in this part of the zoo.

Carpathian Basin- Very interesting part of the zoo in terms or animals that originate from this area. There is a traditional Hungarian farm, and a small exhibition of old tools that were used way back when.

America-A mixture of north and south American native animals. Its not just bison and pumas. Therese also a large selection of Hugh native plants for those interested in botany.

Australia-The smallest of all the continent sections it  is populated by red-necked wallabies and emus.

camel

The funny bits!

There are a quite a few chickens that run wild in the zoo, watch out for them because they literally are every where. We found them nesting in the hay stack of the Giraffes, clucking round the wallaby’s and general annoying the entire animal population of the zoo.

You will mos likely find the giraffes over the back of their pen, leaning over the fence eating these leaves from tress on the other side.

The Turkey, we weren’t quite sure if some had escape, but 2 of them were trying to fight through a fence. I wished I’d made video because it doesn’t sound so funny in writing,

A tortoise head butting another so that it could get to the water bowl rather than just walking around it.

This chicken-a bad hair day?

funny chicken

 

funny chicken1

High lights & must sees

The sea Lions-From the end of April until Sept, they run a show which is meant to be very entertaining for adults and children alike.

The glass corridor in the oceanarium is certainly something to be hold. To have sharks and sting ray swim over your head is quite something. Although I’m not sure I would like to be in there during high season.

The white tigers-so majestic yet very playful. They were so beautiful to look at, but I would say they are more cream than white. Who knows maybe they need a wash. 🙂

The African Grey Parrots- These guys are supper funny. Although they do not speak, they make some rather strange sounds. We were playing sounds of r2d2 to them and the majority of the time they did repeat the noises.

Here is the link for the Zoo for anyone that wants more details- http://www.sostozoo.hu/

All in all it’s a great day out for Children and Adults. I personally can’t wait for my next visit!

 

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!