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.
- •There are rules. Everywhere. You will follow them.
- •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.
- •Sometimes, when you buy cheese sticks, free gloves come with them.
- •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.
- •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.
- •Although these cars are cute, they have terrible mechanical issues.
- •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.
- •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.
- •There are no gendered pronouns for people. It's "el" for everyone.The alphabet has 40 letters.
- •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.
- •I do not belong here and am barely tolerated as a guest.