Have you ever heard the joke people on tv shows make, something like If no one travels back in time from the future to stop you, how bad of a decision can it be? I feel like my motto is if no one yells at you in a different language for doing it, it’s probably fine. Only one person yelled at me since my last post and I think she was upset that I wanted to walk out of Tesco at where I thought was the exit but apparently is not if you haven’t made a purchase. It’s been five days and I’m still trying to figure out how I was supposed to know it was a purchase-only exit. Oh well. The rest of my week was yelling free and probably fine.
I’ve gotten a lot of questions this week as people I’m not as close with start to realize that this is longer than my normal trips and begin to ask me what I’m doing and how I’ve been in Europe so long. I really do live here. Yes, for real. Yes, I’m still in shock too. Yes, I can’t believe it’s my life either. But, I’m really doing the damn thing(even though it still doesn’t seem real), so please, bring me your questions. So you want to move abroad, so you want to do what I’m doing, so you think this is so cool, yep, me too to all of the above. And I’d talk to you about those and more and help you find resources to make your move any day of the week. Bring me your Europe, teaching certificate, how to find a job questions, anything else questions. To everyone who has already asked me and everyone that’s thinking about asking me: I’d be happy to try and help you as you consider taking that scary first step.
I have so much to write at this point it seems almost as impossible a feat as leaving $1 bottles of wine on the shelf is. I’m sure I’ll leave a lot out but I’ll do my best not to. This week has been very busy. Some of my coworkers caught my sickness from last week and were out this week so I spent some of my free periods covering or had the whole class instead of just my half for my lessons. Absolutely tons of fun there. I also went to the health insurance office which I believe ends visiting offices and officially means I’m just waiting on all of my cards to come in. Not really sure how many things will be coming to me so I’m trusting Judit to make sure everything is right. She’s on top of things and has a cute little folder for all of my stuff so I’m sure everything will come in fine. I really hope my health insurance card comes in quickly as I haven’t felt good since last week and it would be nice to have that in hand just in case I need another doctors trip.
This week I have felt like going home…. a lot. It’s really hard and some days I just want to scream WHAT THE HECK AM I DOING HERE and hope that the sky thunders and lightnings and opens up and gives me an awe-inspiring answer. Other days I’m not nearly as dramatic and simply go to work tired like I did at home. A few really good things happened this week. The CETP teacher who lived here last year found me on Facebook to offer his help. He’s been extremely nice and has already gone above and beyond to help someone he’s never met. It’s hard to put into words how nice it is to have someone a message away that has been in literally my same position. Sam is full of good advice and understanding and chose a perfect time to offer help in a week that made me want to put my head down on my kitchen table and cry. He also introduced me to someone he made friends with while he was here. I met up with Viktor and his friends last night for drinks and it was overwhelming nice to be around people my age who spoke English. I feel like I haven’t seen people my age for ages, even though it’s only been two weeks since I spent time with friends in Budapest. This week ended much better than it started and I felt like I might fit in here for the first time. I’ve used the bus by myself three times this week and haven’t gotten lost at all. My teeth grind the whole time as something about public transport pulls up the anxiety I didn’t think I had anymore. I expect with practice that a ten minute bus ride won’t rattle me anymore.
I still don’t know what I’m doing in the classroom. My less than stellar wifi has prevented me from doing the practical portion of my teaching certificate so I’m still flying blind. Some of the kids love me and we spend class getting distracted from my tentative lesson plan for them. They have a blast telling me how I’m supposed to eat the school lunches. According to the kids, at home they don’t have soup with every meal and their moms make most of the food way better than the cafeteria does. Some things are international. I didn’t tell them that I had guessed the second part of that and pretended to be surprised. Some classes I can’t get to speak to me if I offered them the rest of the year off. They think I’m terribly boring and don’t care at all about what I’ve got to say. So we are plugging away at their even more terribly boring textbook. Other classes I can’t get to stop talking. Unfortunately, these are the younger kids and it’s been complete chaos. I’ve left school most days this week with migraines giving me the ability to see sounds and drained of the energy to do much else. I’m also starting to hate that my house is across from the kindergarten and I get back to my house just to listen to the screams of children across the street.
Tomorrow I plan to go to the zoo which is supposed to be really impressive. I usually think the zoo is pretty boring but after seeing a few pictures today I’m finding myself really excited about it. This week as I was walking to school, I saw a small lizard crawling down the sidewalk. My thought was how strange that someone’s pet got out. Then I saw two more. Apparently, Hungary has lizards although I’m not sure how they survive the winters. I don’t know but I’m pretty excited about this and won’t feel like I lived in Hungary properly until I catch one. Anyone who knows me will understand that need. Tonight as I ate my gyro in the pavilion in my backyard, the stray dog who I see most afternoons invite herself into my space. I’m so excited and spent most of the evening playing with her. I want to keep her and she wants very badly to be an inside dog, but I plan to do too much traveling to make that feasible. I plan to leave water out for her though.
I spent some time today looking at planning a couple trips. I think I’ll go to Vienna next month to see Maria, the Ukraine and Slovakia for festivals, and Romania between now and the beginning of November. Time to worrying about being afraid of public transport and being lost and accepting that work will never make sense and do what I came to Europe for.
$1 bottles of wine, “my dog”, friends, figuring out the bus, travel plans for next weekend (bring on Tokaj and sweet wine), a girl my age wants me to help her with English
things I miss from home:
my car. so. darn. much. taking clothes out of the drier and feeling the warmth. knowing where things are at the grocery store. good wifi. crockpots. ovens. always getting bags at the store when I’m shopping. good makeup brands.
my Hungarian is not coming along, I always am tired, I always feel sick, I cannot find a crockpot
Hungarians like automatic likes. like reaaaallly like them. it was weird to be in the hostel the first week and have the lights go out mid shower. The lights at school are almost never on. I’ve never seen any hallway lights on. sometimes I turn on the lights in the classrooms when I’m teaching but other than that, 0 lights at school. Sometimes I turn on music and sing just to listen to myself talk and make sure my voice is still there.
The pictures did not want to cooperate with me this post so included are pictures of Nyiregyhaza (pronounced: Nearchaza) and my two most common classrooms.
Hungarian word of the post: edgy pillanot (edge peelanot) – (hold on) one minute. I recognized this one the other day while someone is talking and I typed it from memory. Win