09 December 2010

Conversations with my host father or why I am glad I have less than 2 weeks living with these people

I like this picture because it has Hungarian on it, but also because it pretty much sums up France

(this was actually written the day I after got back from hungry- I’m super behind)…
Tonight’s dinner, the first after a week and a half of freedom from awkward dinner conversation, was as annoying as it promised to be. YAY.
            Unlike the last two meals I ate with them, during which not a single question was directed towards me, they decided they would ask me some questions. (translated, except when I didn’t have to)
HF: Did you speak French much on your trip
Me: No, not much.
HF: Probably not at all.
Me.: *considers*
HF: strong stuffy accented English Not … at … all
            So, I’m annoyed, but I let it go because I think my host father is a bit of a show off and likes to show off his “amazing” English vocab once and a while. Everyone knows that “pas de tout” is nothing at all like “not at all” except that it is an EXACT translation of the two common words plus a preposition.
HF: Did you see the Berlin wall?
Me: *finishes chewing-*
HF: SSAE wall
So now I’m fairly annoyed, but I answer the question. I tell them I visited the East Side Gallery and tell them about it. My host father then informs me that they saw it on television in suh a superior way that I had to suppress a laugh. They saw it on TV- how dare I suggest that going there is cool? You can’t make this stuff up.
The meal continues.
HF: Did you know there was just an election in California?
Me: Err- DUH (more literally: “Bien sur” (of course))
HF: You know, not for president, but for other things.
Me: NO WAY! (“oui”)
HF: Really? Because there is more than one kind of election in the US.
Me: Oh, never mind! It’s not as if I’m the American here. Clearly you know the way my country works better than I do. (“Yes, I know. That’s how it works.”)
HF: They voted on the legalization of marijuana.
Me: yeah, I know.
HF: It didn’t pass
Me: …
This is not the first time, and probably won’t be the last that they have asked me questions that imply that they think Americans, or possibly just me in particular to be completely moronic. Others include “Did you know in America that North Korea is basically a closed state” and after a completely biased report on the French news about people in America who have lost everything because of the economy: “Did you know this happens in America?”
Me: *face palm*
(I have now officially posted everything I've written so far, I guess this means I have to go home and type some more :) )

Are you hungry? No, but I’m IN Hungary! And other adventures.

At the airport, Lisa and I found the saddest panda in the world, and then we played Every Word (given letters you have to find “every word”, particularly the longest word) on my kindle.
We arrived in Budapest without event and found our hostel, “The Goat Hostel”, located in a nondescript building. We buzzed up.
Me: This is a pretty nifty windy stair case.
Lisa: Your FACE is a nifty windy staircase
Me: HEY!
Lisa: Would you rather your face was a boring staircase?
Me: I suppose you have a point there
Hostel keeper at the top of the stairs: …
Then we went off in quest for food.
To our glee, everything in hungry is pretty cheap because of the 260 Forints: 1 euro exchange rate. We were so excited that we ordered food until our meal cost about 9 euros each anyway. I had chicken wrapped in bacon with broccoli and corn, a fairly strange crepe (that they called a pancake on the menu) filled with cottage cheese and apples, and a strawberry colada. Lisa had spaghetti noodles, a fruit tart, and a cocktail of some kind. Then we did math for fun. Conversion math. It was surprisingly entertaining.
Food + cocktails + math = fun
Don’t you love math?
Then we wandered around a bit and met up with Tristan and his girlfriend, Reka. And together we went to a Scotland themed bar, and then a bar in which you can get 10 beers for the equivalent of $10 (this seems extra amazing if you have only ever been to a bar in a country in which one beer costs 6 euro). They were not large beers, probably more like half pints, but still.
Then we walked around with plans of seeing the pretty things, but it turned out they were no longer lit. So we went home, it was around 2:30.
The next morning we had plans to meet Reka and Tristan at the Museum of Terror at around 11.   On the way, we walked by a billion “Antiqukonivm” (used book stores), in one of which I bought Harry Potter és a Bölcsek Köve. Which brings me glee despite the fact that I can’t really read very much of it/ any of it.
In the end we ended up splitting with Tristan and Reka, as they had some specific things they wanted to see, and we wanted to see the main things because we only had one day. We went to this gigantic park and saw some really beautiful things:

And I found my favorite bridge in all the world.
And we explored to the sound of “native American” music which was slightly confusing.
I climbed in a fountain in order to put my teddy bear in it.

Then we wandered aimlessly and saw a girl riding a pony through the awesome Hungarian park and we were extremely jealous. 

We became peckish (word just automatically corrected this to be “puckish”. What does that word even mean?!)  and tried to wander out of the park to somewhere that might have food. Tristan called us and asked us if we wanted to meet for Mexican food. Did we ever?!
It took us about 45 minutes to get there as we had walked quite far away, but the quesadilla was totally worth it.
After that, I had to convert more money and Lisa discovered that her money had mysteriously multiplied- I was jealous.
Then we headed over to Buda Castle. On our way we stopped for coffee because we were pretty tired (or at least I was). We had been walking/ standing for basically 6 hours, so when we reached the hill we took the tramy (/funicular) thing to the top for 800 Ft = $4 each. It was totally worth it.
We admired the most beautiful, epic parliament in the world. FACT not opinion. 
I am a bad photographer

That’s when viola man attacked.
VM: *is suspiciously eager* I take picture for you.
Us: Err, no thank you.
VM: Here, I take camera and take picture of you.
Us: No, thanks
VM: It be very nice. Pretty view. Largest parliament in the world.
Us: No, we’re good. Thanks
VM: Okay, you hold my viola and I take funny picture. *shoves viola at us*
Us: No, thank you
VM: It will be really funny!
Us: NO, I think we are okay.
VM: AMERICAN IDIOTE. *undecipherable yelling* You don’t even know what No, thank you means!
Us: *OMG, we made crazy man angry*
VM: *walks away to find next victim*
It took us like 15 minutes to recover.
Everything was beautiful. We admired and talked of wubbles and got more coffee.
Then we tried to get over to the hill to see “the sky worshipper.” We asked some threatening looking police officers. Unfortunately, their directions required us to walk through a gate in front of which stood scary viola man. DUN DUN DUN.
We waited for Viola man to be distracted by harassing others, and we ran for it. Seriously.
The directions turned out not to go where we wanted to go. So we walked down the hill via the sketchy path.
Once we reached the bottom, we sat on a wall above the street and talked. Every once in a while the cars would slow down as if they expected us to jump down.
Eventually, our feet stopped actively hating us and we walked to the other hill and climbed the badly lit path in the dark. As we got closer to the top, I tried to remember the four steps of self defense on the off chance we got attacked.
Step 1: Figure out what’s going on/ get in fighting stance
Step 2: Blow smoke, ie distract attacker by making loud noises or causing physical injury.
Step 3: get out
Step 4: run away/ prepare for a second attack
Only I couldn’t remember all of them then, so we probably would have been screwed if we had been attacked. *solemn nod*
Really my experience in Budapest can be summed up in one word: beautiful.
We walked down a different badly lit path with aching feet and empty stomachs. So we found a restraint in which to spend some time. We settled on an Italian place, and Lisa had pizza while I ordered of the Hungarian menu – ordering a meal of paprika chicken with dumplings. I was a little nervous because my whole life I’d thought I hated dumplings based on a vague early childhood memory. It’s weird how you can live by decisions you made more than a decade ago and NEVER question them. I liked the dumplings.
By this time it was getting late, and we were both exhausted (or at least I was). In one day we had managed to see all the main sites of Budapest. My flight left at 6 am the next morning, and my taxi was coming at around 2 am. Therefore, I had vaguely planed on staying up all night to enjoy the city and the company. Additionally we had vague plans of meeting up with Tristan and Reka again.
In the meantime, Lisa and I went back to the hostel and played Every Word on my kindle (by this time, we were getting pretty decent).
We decided that we wouldn’t meet up, after all. The commute was kind of ridiculous, and AWAY from the airport for them. So at 11:30, I decided to give up the staying up all night plan.
Lisa and I said a tearful goodbye and an eager desire for it to be time to go to Istanbul together. And then I went to sleep for a meager 2 hours.
At the airport my suitcase was completely unpacked by the security guy. I kept thinking he would stop, but then he’d keep going. I stood there and thought “Seriously?  You better repack that” – he didn’t.
So I know what you are thinking- you’re on your flight now in this story, how could possibly have more to say You have no idea.
So you know how leg room is a problem on REGULAR airlines? Try flying budget. Furthermore, try flying budget with a total douche canoe sitting in front of you. I think we have established that by this time I was VERY TIRED, therefore I was attempting to sleep on my tray table. Even at the beginning of the flight, it was necessary to lie sort of diagonally – unfortunately this guy was determined to make it WORSE. Every ten minutes or so he would recline his chair MORE to my significant displeasure. The more he leaned back, the more diagonally I had to lie which resulted in me falling off the tray every time I fell asleep. By the end, folding over had become completely impossible and I had added another person to my list of people I will murder if all else fails and decide to pursue the rewarding career of serial killer.
Then we arrived in England. As we got off our plane they had all male persons show their passport and walked by a military person with a scary looking gun. Then we had to go through passport control which had the longest line I have waited in at an airport on these trips by FAR. Luckily, in this case, being a non-EU member worked to our advantage, and we got to cut everyone. MU HA HA.
Then we had to walk back into the airport to check in, which was annoying. Only when we got there the guy was like: “Dude, here in England we tots don’t even pretend that we don’t do racial profiling. You are both white Americans, you didn’t have to come here to show your passports.” Only he sounded more british.
We pooled our money (my pounds and euros, and Tristan’s euros) and got starbucks for breakfast.
On our next flight, we once again had lamesauce people in front of us. This time they were climbing on the seat and leering out the window (I’m not sure if it is actually possible to “leer out a window,” but that is the best way to describe this guy’s behavior). They were both in their thirties, AT LEAST, and were the type of people you’d expect to see sleeping at the train station.
This is unlikely to mean anything to anyone else, but this hilarious conversation ensued:
Tristan: You know how there are supposedly less than 6 degrees of separation between every person. There are way less than 6 degrees of separation between these people and Nix.
Me: I bet they slept at the train station with someone who is friends with Nix.
Laugh, it would be hilarious if you knew what we were talking about.
Much to my immense displeasure the zombies (my host family- I occasionally use this term, thanks to some wonderful advice from Devyn). Didn’t go on their Sunday excursion because of the rain L . And I had to wait for 30 minutes for my “short-cut” bus, because it was Sunday.
And it basically hasn’t stopped raining.