Monika’s Musings

miscellaneous tidbits on marketing, advertising, and life in general

Trial and error

October29

I got me another one of those silly-language related situations. One thing I cannot drink is sparkling water. Hate it. Guess if I bought myself a six-pack… From now on, I am resorting to Italian water – Acqua minerale naturale – nice and simple.

It is really funny – there is this lady who works in the store next-door. I am there every day, and every day she insists on speaking to me in Hungarian. Not a hi-thank you-buy conversation, she’s got more to say. And I’m staring at her, thinking Lady, I was here yesterday. And the day before. I didn’t speak Hungarian then, and despite the fact that I might look quite intelligent, I did not learn it overnight. Lovely chatting with you, though.

One of the things that always makes me laugh is when one person is talking to another and the latter does not know the language, the first person always (and I do that, too) starts speaking veeeeery slooooooowly. Yeah, that doesn’t cut it … I cannot wait to start my classes though; perhaps the supermarket lady has got something fascinating to say. Will definitely let you know if that’s the case.

And here it is, your random fact of the day. Bet you didn’t know that in numbers in English the very first time you have the letter “a” is in … one thousand. Funny, huh?

First glances at Budapest

October20

Unfortunately, it has been raining since I got here a week ago. However, I still managed to steal some time to check out my new home for the coming half a year.

Here are a few first impressions:

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An abundance of pretty buildings. More to come

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8 meters tall, this is the world’s largest sand clock. It rolls out in one calendar year (and also has adjustments for leap years)

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The Budapest Metro Line 1 is considered to be the oldest metro in Europe (For some reason they still don’t count London in Europe, theirs is actually older).  Line 1 was declared a World Heritage Site in 2002. It is – for lack of a better description – very cute. Feels like something out of a Dickens movie.

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Last, but not least: Hungarian food is DIVINE.

Stay tuned for more.

Oh, and here’s a tip: if you are in a foreign city on a low budget, one of the best ways to check it out is to ride on a bus. Maria and I used to do it all the time in Paris – and I tried it here already. You just hop on the bus from a familiar place and ride it till the last stop and back. Pretty damn cool.

Szia!

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Dirty-long

October19

Every once in a while – just when I begin to feel really comfortable – life throws the same challenge at me – I go to live abroad, all by myself. I was barely 16 when I went to NY for a semester, then 18 when I got on a plane to Paris and now, when after 4 years life in Bulgaria became all-too-comfortable, I came to Budapest. I will be working here for 6 months.

Ah, the joy of living in a language you don’t understand… Hungarians are not famous for their knowledge of foreign languages, and add to that: Hungarian is almost in a group of its own. Bottom line: I understand absolutely nothing. Some times it is annoying (for example in the metro they say something – and you have no idea whether for example your stop is closed for the day…) but most of times some pretty humorous situations arise.

When I got here last Saturday, I had to go to the supermarket (conveniently located next-door) to get some food. One of the things I needed was salt. Now picture this: identical packages containing white powdery stuff: salt, flour, powdered sugar, baking soda, God knows what else. And me sitting in front of the shelf, looking totally helpless. I asked just about everyone I saw, no one spoke English. So I just started laughing out loud, in the middle of the supermarket. Again, not a soul felt sorry for me, but luckily, with supreme powers of deduction I managed to pinpoint the salt.

Oh yeah, I have no idea what Dirty-long is. It is a Google Translate made-up word for something in my bathroom – the website of the place I am staying at did not have an English version at the time, so I had to translate it online :)

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