I was reflecting today on some of the funny and not so funny things that have occurred since we’ve arrived here in Hungary. Below are some of the funny/scary things that I’ve come across as a result of living in this unique cross-cultural life situation.
1) Pay or I call the police. No need to rehash this one- just go here to hear all about it. Definitely a scary moment.
2) There was also that time that I thought that my transportation pass expired the next day when in fact it had expired the day before. I had convinced myself that I still had another day, and was planning to purchase a new one after my morning lesson. However, on the way to my lesson I got busted. I confidently whipped out my pass to show the man. And, he confidently pointed out the error of my way. I could NOT BELIEVE my stupidity. I could not explain to him what had happened. I just handed him the 6,000 forints and gave myself a good talking to all the way to my lesson. I gave myself SUCH a good talking to that I missed my stopped and had to walk back an extra kilometer.
3) Two weeks ago my student asked me if I could explain a word to her that she’d heard on many TV shows and movies. I said, “Sure! That’s what I’m here for!” She then said, “What’s ‘douche’ mean?” “Uh… well… ” Awkward 11 year old giggle “Well…etc. etc. etc.” As you can imagine, I did NOT see that one coming!
4) When I first arrived, I hadn’t mastered the art of saying in Hungarian, “I don’t speak Hungarian.” So, for the first week or so, I’d feel out a situation when someone was speaking to me, and either say “no” or “yes”. It was working for awhile until a homeless woman came up to me and said something. I said “no” because I didn’t have any money to share. She then started yelling at me and stormed off. I was so confused. I saw her about ten minutes later, and tried to ask her what she needed. She pointed to my watch and I realized that she asked for the time! “Hey, can you tell me the time?” “No!”
5) A few weeks ago I was buying some produce at a local market. I always go to the same stand, and the salesman always tries to teach me Hungarian. After we exchanged pleasantries and I inquired about buying a pumpkin, I paid and was leaving. I didn’t quite know how to say “have a good day” so I guessed. I said, “Jo ma” which is literally “Good today”. I thought it was a brilliant guess, but he laughed OUT LOUD, not a little chuckle but a roar, in my face. He then taught me “szep napot” and I’ve never forgotten it since.
Unfortunately, I’m sure that there are many more to come!