Hungarian Language With a Small Rant.

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I felt like my last post was a little scattered to me so lets see if I can get back into this blogging thing.

So last Sunday, after church, I spent time with a girl I went to orientation with. She’s in a town outside of the city at this more “American” school. We’re both here for a year. She’s here for a year because of the contract she has with the school in New York and I’m just staying for a year because, as of right now, that’s all I’m called to do. So we were talking. Her school makes her take language lessons so she learns Hungarian. Mine doesn’t. She was saying how she doesn’t really want to take these lessons because she’s going to be here for just a year. What’s the point? She mentioned that she can get along with just pointing. It’s been working just fine for her. I then started thinking.

She sounded so condescending. Like the Hungarian language wasn’t worth her time. She came to Hungary for a year. Obviously something was worth it in the country. Trying to communicate in the native language is not only polite but it’s so arrogant sounding. I feel, and whether I have succeeded or not is still to be determined, that I should try to fit in as much as possible. Now I’m teaching Hungarian students and not all her students are Hungarian. It’s different for me. She’s kind of in an American bubble. I’m not. I kind of need to learn some Hungarian. It helps me earn respect from my students. High schoolers are a hard group to impress, no matter where you are in the world. Some things don’t change. I get that Hungarian is a hard language so by the time we would get the hang of it we would leave. (there are 4 categories of language. 4 being the hardest to learn and that’s like Chinese. Hungarian is a 3 so it’s a hard language.) I just have a hard time seeing this like she does. We’re here with a Christian organization. They kind of like us to try to interact. The schools that we’re at don’t have to have us. I mean in my case, they need a native speaker so yeah they need me, but ultimately, they didn’t need to say yes when our company asked them to take us. To learn Hungarian, to me and at least a little, is a sign of respect and honor. I guess she’s not with Hungarians like I am so it’s completely different. Isn’t it? Or am I totally overreacting to this? I mean that’s happened before. I think that it’s happened at least a couple of times on this blog where I overreacted. So again, it’s possible that I’m overreacting.

So I didn’t even touch bilingual church did I? Oy. So. First time I went we were late and they were singing in Hungarian so I was like okay. Cool. I was like they have Hungarians lead worship. Then the worship leader starts praying in English without a Hungarian accent. Like it’s pretty American. What? Way to throw me off. Like I’m not thrown off with life to begin with. Then you turn out to be not Hungarian when I thought you were. Distrust……. Yeah, that’s a lie. I trust this place even though they throw me off.

I have also been taking an insane amount of naps here. First it was because of the jet lag. Now just because I got into the habit of taking naps. Especially on Sunday afternoons. The girl across the hall, also American we are the only 2 Americans at our school, looked at me last weekend and goes, “You really like your Sunday naps, don’t you?” Yes. I am turning into my one or both of my parents.

Good thing: I have a three-day weekend. Bad thing: Hungarians make it up on Saturday. Ugh. Well, at least I’ll get at least one day off next weekend right? Updates to come.

I’m a Bad Blogger.

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No. Seriously. I’m a bad blogger. I haven’t blogged since I first got to Hungary. Can you guys forgive me. How about forgiving me after I remind you that I’m in a new country, a new joy that is NOT EASY and I deal with a crap load of teenagers on an almost daily basis? I’ve wanted to, if that counts.

So here’s what’s going on in my life. I’m teaching high school. I’m teaching English as a second language in a Technical high school in the 21st district of Budapest Hungary. It’s October. I have about 8 months left until I go home. Now here’s the thing about going home. I haven’t hit homesickness yet. I’ve hit numbness. I had 4 people of varying importantness die in the first 2 weeks I was here, 1 since then, so a total of 5. I haven’t cried over it. I haven’t cried over not being home and seeing the kids all the time. I haven’t cried at all over anything. I’ve been a version of happy and a version of sad since I’ve been here but nothing extreme. It’ll hit me by the time I leave. Probably around the holidays. But I’m going to make it because I’m strong and I’m determined to get through this triumphantly. I’m too stubborn to give up. I’m determined to make it through this year and have a good time about it.

I have had some good times. Some of the kids are great. I have some not so great ones, but most of them are great. I’ve had kids speculate that I hate the sun because I am pale, I had a kid tell me he wants to be Batman one day because the kid next to him is named Robin. I pushed a kid off his chair today and he dramatically fell. The class applauded when I did it. So. Not all bad on the teaching front. It’s just that I’m not a trained teacher and I’ve always known it was a tough job but it’s tough. I’ve gone to Margaret Island, Fisherman’s Warf and I toured the third biggest synagogue. I live by the Danube and since my school is a technical school and I live in a property owned by the school, there are planes and helicopters in my yard. It’s interesting to be sure. I also have plans to go to Germany and Austria. I was going to Bratislava next weekend if I didn’t have to teach on SATURDAY. They have meetings on Monday so the kids have to make up the day of school on Saturday. Lame Hungary. Lame. OH and I went to a beer festival and I went to some kind of festival last weekend and had hot wine. I’ve done a lot more drinking here than I planned to. It’s not because I’m in depression. It’s because alcohol is everywhere. You can get it at the supermarket for like a dollar.

I’ve done some reading here, gotten involved with a book club, I’ve been writing with MJ. I’m actually expecting a package from her and I’ve also gotten several letters from back home. But. I will post more regularly. I promise. I’m in a beautiful city and I have an amazing opportunity. I’ll have a great amount to post from now on, if I sit down and actually right.

Guess Where I Am.

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So I’m in Budapest. Let’s recount that journey because that’s what we all want right?

Thursday night I saw a cousin. That was fun except I was going into leaving mode so I was shutting down. Poor guy had to carry on the conversation all by himself practically.

So Friday morning, I go over to my brother and sister-in-law’s to say goodbye to the kids and the sister-in-law. Yeah, that’s easy. That’s when the tears started. It’s not like I wanted to cry, but it was kind of hard not to. Especially when you know you won’t see people in 10 months. So the kids went to school and I went back over to the house. Got all my stuff together, said goodbye to the brother, got a side hug, and we (my parents and I) pack up the car and go. I cried all the way to my hometown which is about 17 miles. Then I pull myself together and stop crying for the next 50 to Bismarck. The tears were mainly for leaving the farm at that time. I was totally scared that I was going to get to the airport, get through security and start bawling my eyes out the last time I saw my parents. So we get to Bismarck and dad gets some blood drawn and we go to Perkins for my last meal. Dad thought it was kind of funny that I called it my last meal. I only had some French Fries and ranch. Not really hungry. Then we went to the airport and we had to run to Walmart to get a bag to unload my to heavy bags. Good thing Bismarck airport is small and easy to get through. So I get all checked in and mom and dad walk me to security. That’s the goodbye spot. Hugged dad and mom. We’re not typically a huggy family but in occasions like this, we are. We can hug when necessary. No tears. I was kind of impressed. I was totally expecting a flood of tears.

So, get on the plane, fly to Denver. Denver is uneventful. Get on the plane to go to Frankfurt Germany. I’ve never been on such a long flight. The last 2 hours were killer. Then I was nervous they wouldn’t go through in Germany and the plane was delayed. The cleaning people in the airport in Frankfurt ride their cleaning things. It was awesome. I was so distracted by watching them that I almost got ran into by a golf cart.

So I got picked up and got to my flat. Emailed and Facebooked everyone. Sunday I got picked up by a family within my company and they took me downtown. Now, I have keys but I couldn’t get my keys to work in the gate so I had to scale the fence. That was an event. Just got to be smarter than the gate. I had to go to a meeting this morning, where I was introduced. The principal picked me up from the airport and made sure that I knew that I had to be at the school at 9. It was made very clear. The meeting was in Hungarian. He said my name and I was like “Hey, words I know! Oh, I need to stand up. Right.” Then I got keys to the office I’m in. And one of the ladies showed me around.

I’m still trying to get on a schedule. I’m failing. Horribly.

More Awkward Encounters.

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So, why do I attract awkward situations with men? Seriously? I’m starting to blame this on the men. It’s not my fault. Let me explain. There’s this guy at work that just makes life awkward. Now, to be fair, he doesn’t have sisters, I don’t know his mom, I know he hangs out with guys a lot so he doesn’t have a reason to understand women. We have spent three shifts in a row together. Friday, Saturday, Sunday. And usually at work, there’s a point of the night very early on that I get in this zone of, don’t bother me, I’m putting people to bed or I’m getting blood pressures. I get intense. So after I feed one night, I come back on the wing and he goes “If there was an intelligent race of fighter gorillas and they ruled over an intelligent race of dogs, what would their cultures be like?” I’m supposed to follow that? Really? He knows that I’m not into sci-fi. We’ve had this discussion before. Ugh. Then that night, I’m charting or putting stuff in the computer, he comes up to me and goes, “Can I ask a personal question?” My mind goes okay, what’s going on. I’m going to turn you down if you ask me out because I’m leaving, we’re really different but then I’d feel bad for turning you down because you’re awkward and someone needs to teach you how not to be awkward. So I go. “Ask and if it’s to personal, I won’t answer. I’ll dodge the question.” (B.T.W. We’ve already had that exchange already that I’ve had to wonder if he’s asking me out. He needs a different lead in.) So he asks his question and we get into this long discussion about religion.

Move to later that night. I pop into a store room to get a drink of water. He corners me. He asks me if I can put someone to bed that he usually does. Yeah. “You okay?” “Yup. I’m fine.” “You sure? Because sometimes women say they’re fine and they’re not fine. I don’t know how to read women. They’re hard. And I don’t deal with them very often.” (The nursing home is crawling with women and very few men. He works at a place crawling with women.) “I’m fine.” (By this time we’re okay no. I’m walking to another room to fill my water and he’s following me explaining to me that women don’t always say what they mean. And he obviously doesn’t know me well because if he did, he’d know that I’m pretty straight forward. I say what I mean.” “You sure?” he asks again. I look at him, annoyed. “See this face? It’s my I’m fine face.” “Okay.” he backs off.

Next night, he follows me into the store room and then to the water room. He comes in and I joke about him stalking me. “yup. I am…..So how you doin’? So that weather…..It keeps changing. Like how does it do that?” He jokes. Okay. That did make me laugh. We’ll give him that. He made me laugh once. ONCE! Don’t go marrying me off. And last night we got off without any awkward situations. YAY! No Awkwardness. I feel like at this point, it’s a weird, off day that I’m not having an awkward situation. Yeah, I’m that girl. Always awkward.

Book Front: I’ve been slacking but I have started and finished 2 books. Reviews to come.

I also watched the season premiere of Outlander on Starz. From my tired, after work brain, it was good. I want to watch more, not tired, to get a real opinion. Did anyone else watch that? I want to know opinions.

MJ and I are still writing our random story. I like it. I feel like it’s going to be a life saver when I leave the country…..in 2 weeks.

Yay for Posting.

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So last weekend, over the 4th holiday, (BTW, happy late Canada Day and Independence Day) we had a family reunion. My mom has 4 brothers and one of them has a lake house in Minnesota and that’s about half way for point for a lot of people so we met in Minnesota. 3 of the 4 uncles were there and almost all the cousins. I say almost all the cousins and, in my head, it sounds like that’s a lot of people but let’s break this down.

All together there was:

4 out of 5 siblings and 3 spouses.

9 out of 12 cousins

6 spouses of cousins

11 children of cousins. Actually 13 because sister is pregnant with twins. That’s right my niece/nephew count will be doubling around my birthday next year

4 dogs.

So at the most at one time, because some cousins left early, (cough sister, brother and their families, cough) 31 people in all. (that are out of the womb) It was a good time. Here’s some highlights of the weekend.

I got to drive the new pickup. That makes my life. But my dad and I changed spots after a while. There was a sign that said that there was work being done on the shoulder. Now here’s further proof I’m like my father. We both go at the same time. “I have 2 shoulders.” and we motion to our shoulders exactly the same. See proof. Also, on the way back, after stopping at implement dealers, we stopped to eat and we came up with a master plan to drive mom insane. That was fun.

My cousin and his wife, (FYI, there’s only 3 girls out of the 11 cousins and 2 of us were there, so when I say cousin, most likely it’s a guy) they adopted a little black boy. He’s only a couple months old and super cute and super black. At one point, some of us were in the kitchen getting supper ready and somehow, I procured this little bundle of joy. Not sure how this happened. But we were standing there and he was facing out and looking around and I was bouncing him around and my uncle comes around the corner and goes “Holy shit if that’s not a contrast.” Because I’m super white and this baby is super black. So he really wasn’t lying when he said we contrasted.

Another cousin has a little girl that has Downs Syndrome and she provides some entertainment. My cousin’s wife was holding her and we were talking and this little girl loves Frozen, like any little kid. And this girl started calling me Ana and she was Elsa. My brother-in-law brought up the Frozen songs on his phone and she started singing along and doing all the actions to the songs. It was so much fun to see. Then that night she was going to bed and I go “Goodnight Elsa.” And she looks at me and goes “ANA!” with this big grin on her face. Talk about melt your heart. The rest of the weekend I go “Who am I?” Ana. “Who are you?” Elsa. Pretty sure the family will be calling me Ana for the rest of my life just so they don’t have to mess up on the M names me and my siblings have.

The day after the fourth, we’re all standing down by the lake for breakfast. My sister and her husband were late getting up. An uncle comes up to us and says, “Megan’s up at the house, awake.” We all look at him and ask him to repeat himself. So he repeats it exactly how he said it the first time. I look at him and go “Hi, I made it down to the lake.” He looked at me and goes, “That was fast. But I meant the other one.”

So that was my weekend. I also went back to the nursing home this week. I just finished 4 shifts in a row and have 3 in a row starting tomorrow. For not being put on the schedule this month, I’m sure working a lot. 10 shifts in like a 2 weeks. Who knew that there would be so much work at a nursing home……I did.

So I’ve been back at home for about 2 weeks now from the Chicago area and I’m kind of missing it. Like the social part, being around people my age and similar personalities. It was like college except not.

So remember me talking about friendish/acquaintance at church? I still don’t know what to call him. Sure, let’s go for it. We’re friends. So today, he walks into church with this girl and he comes over to me and gives me a hug. ugh hugs. I am not a hugger but I deal with it. So he introduces the girl, who I think is his girlfriend, but I don’t know because he didn’t say she was his girlfriend just told me her name. Ok, here’s my deal. If it was his girlfriend, he should not have hugged me, even if it is in his personality go be a hugger. Right? Anyone agree with me?

I went to the doctor this past week, waste of my TIME! and I swung by Barnes and Noble and picked me up Book 8 of the Outlander series. Only a month and a half after it came out. Megan for the win. I am just starting it and love it. YAY!

OH! MJ and I are having a girls trip in like a week and a half. We’re going to Fargo! No jokes please. It’s the first time we’ll have actually seen each other in like 3 years. This is going to be EPIC! And maybe a yearly tradition.

10 Liters of Maple Syrup.

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I’m home now. So I’m going to tell you about my last week of not being home and coming home because both are adventures.

So the last week I was gone was all about the company that I’m working with to go to Budapest. It was interesting. Friday they moved my roommate and I out of the campus apartments and into a dorm room. Ugh small room for 2 girls, communal showers and toilets. I’m not a fan. Give me my own bed and a bathroom I can dominate. I got home early Sunday morning and rejoiced greatly of the bed and the shower. I really did. There’s a Facebook post about it. But this past week, really month but week in general, has been draining emotionally. Lots of questioning has gone on but it’s what I’m meant to be doing and where I need to be so it’ll all be good in the end. So during this orientation, we had a breakout session about how to deal going to a foreign country and being single. We had a woman from Arkansas and a guy from Ontario leading our group. They were talking about taking things that were comforting overseas. The guy from Ontario, (which is in Canada, for those of you geographically challenged) was talking about this and how his second year to Black Forest Academy (BFA) in Germany, he had an extra suitcase. He filled this suitcase with 10 liters of Maple Syrup. That’s right. No lie, no typo. 10 liters of Maple Syrup. We all laugh at him and this one girl just loses it. She cannot get over that he took 10 liters of maple syrup and adamantly stated that she didn’t understand Canadians. This also happened on Friday when we were all lacking sleep. But then I was like don’t you complain people, there are only 4 of us that were here for a month. You have no idea how tired we are. But we pushed through and people were sympathetic to us. So that was a highlight of the week. That and being asked if I was going to join a Hungarian choir. That’s a different story all together.

I’m so glad I went through this month-long journey but I’m so relieved to be home. I saw the kids yesterday and I got a hug from both of them and they both told me that they missed me. Even the nephew. He was more connected more to me than usual too, so he missed me. but it was mutual. This month, I learned a lot, I got to prepare myself. I think I grew some as well. I met some great people and am ready to start this journey. I also met my future roommate. That was fun. I’m also glad that I have my own space right now. Living in the dorm is not what I want to do.

So I flew out on Saturday. I left the college at 11:30 and had a 2:30 boarding and 3:20 departure from O’Hare. I sat on the plane for 2 hours. There was a layover in Minneapolis and there was storm. No one was getting in or out. I didn’t leave Chicago until almost 8. I was hypothetically supposed to be in the air at 8 to be in NoDak at 8:15. So, changed my ticket to a different town and time. So we landed in Minneapolis, (B.T.W. Like the Minneapolis airport better than O’Hare) and I booked it across the airport because I had 20 minutes to catch my plane and it’s delayed. My phone magically broke and then fixed itself so I did have a phone to call home and tell them I wasn’t getting into Bismarck and not Dickinson at 12:30 a.m. My parents were already coming into town. So they went to Perkins and a movie. I provided a date night for my parents. But the nice thing about sitting and waiting to go to Bismarck, most of us were all from NoDak and from the same area so we all knew similar people. But I didn’t pee or eat all day on the first day of moodiness. I should get an award for that.

On the way to Minneapolis, I was stressed already with the situation, and they get on the intercom and tell us that we were going to go through turbulence. I wasn’t worried because it wasn’t going to be that bad. But the plane dropped majorly. And that didn’t help my nerves. I grabbed on to my belt and gripped until there was no more life in that seat belt. Not that it would have saved me if we crashed but it did make me feel better. I’m a nervous traveler. I like the flying, just the connecting from plane to plane stresses me out. Going overseas is going to treat me well, isn’t it?

Other Notes: MJ and I started another story. It’s the story of 2 of the characters in the original book. We miss our original characters though. They made life better. Family reunion over the 4th of July weekend. So I’m not even home that long. Yay! I also have visa stuff to work on. Double Yay! Stress is only going up from here.