Catching up.

Naming each blog post feels the same as writing a topic sentence for an essay which has always been my least favorite part about writing. I draw a blank every time I have to pick either of these things. I’d rather watch paint dry than name a blog post or write a topic sentence. I don’t really know why I think these are so awful but they really are. But as it’s been almost two weeks since my last post, I think there’s a bit of catching up to do. My internet has been almost nonexistent at my house the past two weeks so that’s half the reason it’s been a while. I also tried a few times to sit down and write a post when I did have internet but just found myself staring at the white page with everything to say but nothing at all. Last week was extremely overwhelming and I really thought about leaving. It was very hard not to have any internet as I still haven’t been able to finish my teaching certificate, I wasn’t able to look anything up to teach, I couldn’t talk to my mom, and not to mention it was extremely boring and lonely at my house with nothing to do but read my lesson books. There’s only so many times I can read Apples are red, zebras are black and white before a certain level of crazy hits. Most definitely, last week was my hardest week here. This week has been much better and I finally feel like this year will be good.

The “wifi man” as my coworkers call him, has been at my house twice and hopefully this means my internet is here to stay. hopefully. I have also received my residency permit which should mean that I get paid next week (thank God and the Hungarian gov’t) which is a relief. Both my hot water heater and my electric kettle stopped working this week. My hot water was fixed within an hour or two after I told Judit but I have yet to replace my electric kettle which I really treasure (it makes coffee and tea so quickly!). Really, I can’t understand why I didn’t have an electric kettle at home. I ordered a crockpot this week after asking many Hungarians where I could find one. Each one I asked thought I was a crazy person. Crockpots are not popular here. But mine should be here by Tuesday so I’m looking forward to not eating school food anymore. I have also managed to get a gym membership and have been going most weekdays which is helpful for me to get a lot of stress out. Sometimes that’s hard too though as one day I’m pretty sure I did something that made another gym goer made and he became even more angry when he couldn’t tell me to knock it off. Kind of his problem though, right? speaking of angry people, I have answers about the mean lady who yelled about me about the dog pictures. It’s apparently very common here for cute dogs or dogs worth a lot of money to be stolen here. I don’t really know where she thought I would put her dog though. Oh well, at least it makes more sense now. She looks at me very angrily every time she sees me and I think about using American sign language to tell her I don’t like her either but I don’t think she would know what it means anyway.

Last weekend, I went with another CETP teacher, Laura, to Tokaj which is the famous region here for sweet wine. I tried I don’t know how many different kinds of wine. Some were okay but I couldn’t find any I wanted a bottle of to take home. I also tried a very special sweet wine. Not much is bottled of this one and so it’s very expensive, about $200 a bottle. I just had a taste of it and it was almost like maple syrup consistent. I felt like I took a shot of one of those flavored syrups for snow cones or something. Here’s a link about what makes Tokaj wine so special.  Tokaj was also extremely beautiful. Laura and I saw places that were built in the 1600s. We had a wine tasting at one of the family wineries and the woman showed us the cellar where they make the wine. it was very impressive. We also went into the side of the hill/road and down in the ground to drink wine at a few places. So cool, literally and figuratively. Laura read about this trail that was really impressive to do and had a nice view. In order to get to the trail, you have to walk up through this cemetery which was absolutely beautiful. So we did. It was a very rainy weekend and there wasn’t much of a trail so after 30 minutes we regretted the choices and headed back down the hill. Unfortunately, we came back down to a funeral. Yep, we pretty much crashed a funeral. We managed to wind our way out of the funeral: we ran down a hill that wasn’t meant to be taken to avoid offending anyone.

IMG_7086.JPGthe funeral we almost crashedIMG_7081.JPGcemetary views

the very expensive, syrupy wineIMG_7130

Sunday, we took the train back to Nyiregyhaza and found that there was a festival going on. Laura had some good looking stuffed langos with plum and the other with paprika and potatoes. I had a langos with sour cream and cheese. Delicious, huge, and about $1.

Teaching is getting a little better. The third and fourth grades were horrible this week and after telling their head teacher AGAIN, they finally got in a lot of trouble and have been very quiet and behaved for me. Teaching is almost okay when the kids are quiet. I’d like to take this time to apologize to any teacher I was ever not paying attention to or loud in class for. You did not deserve the disrespect. The older classes I have been reading the story of Theseus and the Minotaur with just because why not. When we came across the word “palace” I asked the kids if they knew what it meant. they told me “oh yes teacher, and Nyirpazony has one.” I told them it did not and they didn’t know what it meant. They were very adamant that yes it did have one. So Thursday for class, with the school’s approval, we took a walk to see this palace. It was more of a big mansion and it was very run down. Some walls are missing and no one’s allowed to go in it for safety reasons. I asked the kids if it would be taken down and they told me no because it’s a landmark. After showing me the building, they caught some lizards in the field and we went to one of the kids houses who lives next door because he asked his mom to make crepes for us. They were excellent and he also brought out his chameleon. So I can now say that I have held a chameleon in Hungary. crossing things off the bucket list that were never on there to begin with. But overall, that was the best day of teaching I have had so far.

The kids love to try and teach me Hungarian. They think it’s hilarious that I don’t know any of the words. the 6th graders always tell me how I was supposed to each my lunch and I am glad they think it’s funny because there’s so many lunches that confuse me, like yesterdays baked noodles with jam. The kids say that was a really good lunch but I didn’t like it at all. I did like the other lunch of potatoes, hard boiled eggs, and sausage or hot dogs, but just found it really odd.

IMG_7135.JPGimg_7147.jpg

Sometimes, I just don’t understand or I’m just not understood and this is so frustrating. examples: I thought I finally understood grading. After giving kids grades this week, a coteacher came to tell me I’m not doing it right at all. The grading scale is so different from home. The grades are 1-5 for everything. 1 is the worst and 5 is the best. But I can’t really grade homework I guess. I don’t really understand and everytime I think I do, someone tells me something different. With hoping to get paid next week, I tried logging into my OTP bank account (my Hungarian one) to make sure I will be able to pay my credit card bill. Well, I tried to many times and locked up my account. I told Judit this as I would have to go to the bank to unlock it and we had to go to the health insurance office anyway so I asked if we could make a stop. we weren’t able to,  and she asked me why I wanted to log in online because I can check my balance at the atm and such. I told her to pay bills and she thought it was to pay for my school lunch next month. I couldn’t get her to understand why I would need to login so she just thought I was being very strange and difficult. Sigh. but I went to the bank on my own and got it figured out. So now I can see the money in my account which at the moment is exactly 0 forint. Here’s hoping that I am getting paid next week. Almost all the other new teachers won’t get paid till November it sounds like from our Facebook page just because of how long some schools are letting the paperwork take.

I’m currently looking at what I want to do this summer. There’s so many English camps out there and I saw one in Croatia that would be amazing. I want to decide about summer camps soon as I can imagine that they’re competitive to work at. Some go all summer and some are only a couple weeks. Last week if you would have asked me, I would have told you no way would I stay in Hungary for another year. I didn’t even want to stay at my school for another week. This week, I would be much more open to staying here again so it depends on what I decide I will do next year as well. (sorry dad, I don’t think it’smoving home) But I would also like to go home at some point in the summer as well so I’m trying to tentatively look at what I might do next year. I’m also applying to teaching/tutoring places online as well. Many people earn a lot of money teaching English online and it would be nice to have the extra money as long as more things to do. I like to be busy- see last semester of college where I worked two jobs, had an internship, and five classes. The more free time here has been a big adjustment for me and it helps me not to procrastinate to be busy. It would be better if I had a car and could drive and do more things but that isn’t in the foreseeable future.

This weekend, I was planning to go to the train station after school and just pick a train to somewhere and have a spontaneous trip, but there’s a small party in Budapest for Laura and another CETP teacher who both recently had birthdays so I’m going there instead. While I’m getting more comfortable with public transport, I don’t like it any better. At least it’s only three hours and I know what I’m doing now.

Hungarian word of the post – tessek (teshek) – this has lots of meanings. here you go (when giving someone something like a paper), please, tell me/I’m listening, help yourself. I hear it all the time and usually know what someone means when they say it to me or around me.

 

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