Well, we’ve arrived safely in Budapest. The trip itself was mostly uneventful. We’ll spend the next few days getting acclimated to our new surroundings and time zone. Matthew seems the most jet-legged at this point (I type this at just past midnight in Budapest and Matthew plays blocks in the small kitchen). Ironically (or perhaps not), he slept the best on the trip; I think perhaps having an awful trip, getting exhausted, and then starting from scratch might be the best way to adapt. Ultimately, it seems like no matter what we try, we always descend into a pattern of just sleeping and eating whenever I want upon arrival. Our plan for the next week is to get everything set up in the apartment (more posts on that will come in due time) and take care of lots of paper work – getting the kids school enrollment finalized and getting me a residency permit, which can sometimes be an adventure!
Among my initial observations upon arriving:
Things seem mostly the same (I was here last summer), but small things change. For instance, the interior of the apartment building has been updated. The old gloomy walls have been refreshed with a coat of white paint and the small elevator has new (digital!) electronics and a new door. Gone is the rickety wooden door that you needed to slide shut yourself before ascending or descending – I’m going to miss that old elevator.
Here you see Panka modeling the new panel. The way they refer to floors is different in Hungary and worth mentioning. The F stands for “földszint”, which translates to ground floor but is not the 1st floor. The next floor up, Fe, is the “felemelet”, or half floor. Finally, above this you reach the 1st floor, though this would be the 3rd floor by American conventions.
The bread and kolbasz (sausage) are still amazing. I’ll have a full post on breakfast at some point on our trip.
I’m still getting used to the different keyboards here. We brought our own laptops, but also use the laptop in my in-laws appartment (like I am right now). The Hungarian alphabet has several additional characters, like á, é, í, ó, ö, ő, ú, ü, and ű. These take up the space to the right of the letters, but before the -enter- key, so I seem to miss the enter a lot. Also, the y and z keys are reversed. You’d be surprised how often you use these keys when you type.