Getting Across the World

My trek to Budapest was not void of complications and adventure. It all started in the Kansas City airport. I’m checking in and the attendant at the desk asked me how long I would be staying in Hungary. I looked at him and replied ,”Forever!” He asked if I was serious. I said, “Yes. I will live there until my husband moves me somewhere else.” He then asked if he was in the military. I stated that, “No, he is not in the military. He is an Ottoman historian” which of course explained everything! He then asked if I had a return ticket. “Well, no, I don’t know when I’m coming back.” He then shocked my planner-natured socks off by saying, “Well, according to the Hungarian embassy, anyone staying longer than 90 days needs a long-term visa or you need to have a ticket to leave the country.”

I had researched such matters a million times before getting to the airport, and I had never discovered that! How embarrassing! How disappointing! The attendant kindly made some calls, but as it was I could not get on that plane unless I had a ticket somewhere else. Maureen, Chris, Holly, Kendall and I were scrambling to figure something out, and in the end we got me a ticket to go to Germany in November, with a conveniently long layover in Milan, Italy! All these complications took over an hour, and the people pressured me to get through security and onto the plane. We rushed through our goodbyes, and I was on my way!

I had, or was supposed to have, a plane transfer in Chicago. However, my plane hung out on the tarmac for a good forty five minutes- leaving me 15 minutes to get to another terminal, getting my boarding passes, and get on that plane. Impossible. By the time I got to the other terminal it was basically shut down, but I did tell them of my plight and they gave me a ticket for the next day. I had to go to another airline to get accommodations for the night.

Across, around, up, down and I finally found someone who could help me. However, she didn’t want to. I had to logically articulate why United should put me up for the night. After all, it wasn’t I who decided to hang out on the tarmac for almost an hour. In the end, she gave me the room and a meal. And, boy oh boy do they put you up in luxury. No wonder you have to fight to get them to give you a room! Look at my room after a night of great sleep 🙂 I enjoyed not having to make my bed for once.

Due to my new flight schedule, I had an eight hour layover in Warsaw, Poland. I took the opportunity to see some of the sights. Unfortunately, the museum that I really wanted to see was closed, but I got to walk around Old Town which was really great.

I was quite proud of myself. For lunch I had a hard core Polish meal- a soup that had fish-like caterpillars in it. I ate the whole bowl, but it was hard to get past the thought of what I was eating. So, to reward myself I caved in and went to Starbucks. There, I had the opportunity to people watch, and amazingly enough, the mullet is a big hit in Poland- for women!

Once I got to Budapest I was elated. My luggage was some of the first bags out, there were free carts to lug my stuff around, and I walked out and saw Scott. It was one of the happiest moments of my life! Being apart for 8 days was awful.

We went to get a taxi to take us to our short term rental apartment, and the taxi company decided to give us a ride in a LIMO as a promotional deal. We were not about to argue.

Since being here, there have been tons of highs and lows. Yesterday was a national holiday, and it was awesome. We went to visit a church, and there was a large service going on. Since not everyone in town could fit into the church people crowded the streets all around. Everyone was singing the songs, and then we all marched in a parade!! Wish I would’ve had my camera. Then, last night, we went to a fireworks show on the Danube. It was incredible! Hungarians really know how to throw a national party.

Here are a few of the sights.

A parade we saw today protesting for something in China.

Yes, we are so mature. Weiner is a person from Vienna. Who knew? If you move here, you too could live on Leo the Weiner street!!

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3 Comments

Filed under Culture, European Travel

3 responses to “Getting Across the World

  1. Cile Borders

    Melissa, It was GREAT to meet you and Scott today at First Med. I wish I was going to be in town to show you all the neat places in Budapest and help you through some of the phases of adjustment. Been there, done that! I’ll give you a call when we return to Hungary at the beginning of February so that we can get together.

    Sent your’ photo to Trey tonight but haven’t heard back from him yet. I’m still having trouble grasping that Scott knows my son-in-law!

    Nice blog! I’ll enjoy reading about your new experiences while I’m in the States but am afraid it will make me homesick for Hungary! Keep in touch, and I hope you grow to love living in Budapest like we do!

  2. Maureen

    Okay!! Now, when do we get pix of your new apartment?

  3. Pingback: Help Us Make a House a Home | Our RANK Adventure

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