Monthly Archives: February 2015

I’m not Hungarian.

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One thing before I get into what I really want to talk about. Putin is in Budapest. I don’t agree with either Putin or Orban (Prime Minister of Hungary). Side note: Sometimes a student will say Orban and for a second I hear Urban. Anyway. I was just telling some of my seniors on Friday that you will never fully agree with your government. One of the girls went “oh” like it was a revolutionary comment. And coming from a post-communist country, maybe it is.

So back to the real topic. I’m not Hungarian. Far from it. I don’t look or act the part. Here’s some things that Hungarians want me to sympathize with them or act accordingly to and I don’t. I just don’t get it. I’m not Hungarian.

1. ‘It’s so cold today.’ It’s 37 degrees out. Know what it is back home? -6, before windshield. You don’t know cold. There’s been 2 decent snowfalls since I got here and neither of them stuck.

2. ‘You have a cold, or the sniffles. Why aren’t you home in bed or at the doctor?’ Hungarians stay home for the sniffles so they don’t get more sick. If they develop a cough that lasts more than a day, it’s the doctor. I have had a cold this week and I mentioned I was tired because of being sick today in my office. My colleague started telling me that I should be in bed or go to the doctor. I got sick of it and I looked at her and said kind of loudly, “I’m not Hungarian” “And Americans don’t get sick?” “NO but we don’t stay home for just a cold or the sniffles.” Then she proceeded to tell me that Hungarians don’t do work just at work and that it would take me longer to get well and that there are different viruses in Europe like they have different viruses in Africa and that I could have the flu. Right. Because at almost 27, I have no idea what having the flu feels like and have no idea how my body reacts when I’m sick with a stuffed nose a cough. You’re right. I’m just the young kid that doesn’t know anything.

3. ‘Hey do you want raw bacon?’ yeah. Gonna pass on that. I have a weird thing about bacon being cooked. And I won’t buy beef here. I rarely buy it in the states because my family has beef and I can get it from home. But beef at the store, or even a butcher sometimes, always creeps me out. I don’t know where it’s from or what it’s been fed or who butchered it. I’ll get stuff from mom and dad as long as I can. That way I know where it’s coming from. Call me crazy. Just how I am.

4. I’m typically not as negative as a Hungarian. I do have my negative moments but nothing compared to a Hungarian.

Now don’t take these things and think that I hate Hungary. I love Hungary. It has wiggled into my heart, grabbed hold and is never letting go. I’m okay with that. I just had some of those moments today where I wanted to shake a Hungarian and tell them they have no idea and they’re being dramatic. I’m at the moment where I have cultural frustrations…can you tell?

….Yeah…..No Title

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This post might jump from place to place. Just…try….to follow my nonsensical ramblings.

Saturday was Valentine’s Day. In the past, I have had rants about the day and how there’s pressure to be with someone. To me it’s not a big day. Someone on Saturday told me happy Valentine’s Day and I feel like I looked at her like she was an idiot for a good 5 seconds before I realized that it was true. It was Valentine’s Day. It’s easy to forget holidays. Just like I had one of my kids remind me last week that it was Lincoln’s Birthday. I don’t think of it when I’m in Hungary. American holidays aren’t on their calendars and I’m usually thinking about what I need to teach so holidays aren’t a big thing. MJ, the friend who I am in contact with the most since being over here, posted something love on my Facebook wall: ‘Happy “who needs a man? I am a self-sufficient kind of lady” day.’ Followed by ‘I can buy myself chocolates. Take that world.’ I love this because there was a lot of posting by non-single people saying don’t worry singles, you’ll find the right person someday. You’re a great catch, just wait. This has always irked me a little. I talk a lot about being single here but, in real life, I really don’t bring it up. I think it’s because on here, I know I won’t necessarily get a response back and in real life I will and I don’t always want others’ opinions about this. And if I do bring it up, I will say something like “Happy Single’s awareness day” for Valentine’s Day and I’ll be joking about it. Don’t tell me then that I’ll find someone. I was joking. Don’t take me serious. People should know that by now. I also have a problem with this because not everyone knows where I’m at in my life. Right now, in Hungary, by myself, struggling to be a teacher, and sometimes emotionally inept, I can’t handle a relationship. I knew that would happen so that’s why I declared this a no-date year. When I get home and have dealt with the re-entry back into my own society, I might be okay with dating. Now, it wouldn’t be fair to anyone.

Another thing that is always brought up around Valentine’s Day, concerning relationships, is how you address the person you are in a relationship with. No, there is no ‘my man’. Did ‘my man’ lose the ability to function as an adult or become my slave? Slavery is what comes to mind when someone says ‘my man’ or ‘my girl’ or ‘my boo’. It sounds like that person is your possession to me. I know that’s not how it’s meant but still. Get over it. I never do this with words like ‘boyfriend’ or ‘girlfriend’ because you are making sure that the person you are speaking to knows that the person in question is in a relationship with you….not owned. You will never hear me say ‘my man’. Because I will not refer to my significant other like that and I will never have a slave. Simple as that.

Saturday I was at a basketball tournament in another town. We tend to call this town Little America because it has the international Christian school and there’s a crap load of Americans that teach there. It’s also where everyone else in my organization is at. This tournament was very American and it was a little overwhelming at times. American food and candy at the concessions, a pep band, basketball. Granted, teams weren’t that good because it’s different when you aren’t in the states. I met some friends from Budapest there, they were there because they knew one of the coaches. I also saw and talked to some people from my organization. That was nice because I don’t get out there often because it takes me an hour and a half to do get there. So I have no community with them.

Community is one thing that I realize how important it is since I’ve been there. I’ve always thought that I was very good at being independent and being an island. You can’t do that here. There’s too much emotion that comes when you’re over in a foreign country alone. One day I’ll blog about ALL the emotions that I’ve had this year. But recently I have been angry about missing big events back home. I missed the birth of my twin nieces and have missed out on a lot of wedding and engagements. Things I can’t celebrate with these people because I’m here in Hungary. I understand that I’m doing something that needs to be done for me and there is a reason for this year but it’s hard to understand and grasp sometimes. I have found some kind of community here, though not with my own organization. The other American took me to a bible study when I first got here and have found community there, but sometimes it feels like I’m a third wheel there. I also have a group that goes out to eat after church on Sunday and that has been good for me. This year is important for knowing about community and finding my strength.

It is birthday week. I think something is being planned by the other American teacher. If it were me, I’d just hang out and go to museums this weekend. But I don’t think that will happen. The other day, it was one of the other teachers in my office’s name day and I said I don’t celebrate name days. They ask if I celebrate birthdays. Yes. And then they ask when mine is. Sunday. OH! Does anyone in Budapest know that? Like one other person. I wasn’t going to make a big deal about it. I think it’s going to be more of a deal than I wanted it to be. I’m only 27. It’s not a monumental deal. Crap, I haven’t had my birthday off from work since my junior year of college. I just work all the time. Not my problem I need money to pay for stuff like rent and food and student loans. Only bad thing about this birthday is that I’m sick. I hate teaching and being sick. You should see how much toilet paper tissues I have around me. That’s right. I’m using toilet paper because I ran out of tissues and now conditioner so I actually have to go to the store now. And I’m sick…and drinking tea….I never drink tea. Now I am because of being sick. No chances that I’ll ever like it when I’m not sick. Take that tea-loving Hungary.