What I've Learned Living in Hungary

When they die, good Americans go to Paris. And the bad Americans? They go to Budapest, of course.
  1. There are rules. Everywhere. You will follow them.
  2. If you eat while walking on the street, a guy will come up to you and say, "Even a dog stops at his dish."
    You will spend days working out if this phrase is grammatically correct. It will haunt you forever.
  3. Sometimes, when you buy cheese sticks, free gloves come with them.
  4. Hungarian cards are a special 32 card deck with pictures from the William Tell legend.
    William Tell was Swiss and the cards are made in Austria.
  5. Lots of people use the English "hello" to say goodbye.
    The Hungarian word "Szia" [see-ya] is used for hello and goodbye, like "ciao," and people think Hello is like this as well.
  6. Although these cars are cute, they have terrible mechanical issues.
  7. It is impolite to discuss WWII, WWI, or Eurovision.
    It doesn't matter how well you know the person. These topics, among others, are a social third rail.
  8. There's a town called Szeged in the south which is "Hungary's Australia."
    It was established as a penal colony. It's sweltering in summer and freezing in winter. And has a music festival now.
  9. There are no gendered pronouns for people. It's "el" for everyone.
    The alphabet has 40 letters.
  10. Stores stop selling alcohol at 10 PM and don't start again until 6 AM.
    Except the nationalized ones, which are open 24/7. So are lots of bars.
  11. I do not belong here and am barely tolerated as a guest.