Wednesday, August 3, 2011

How do you know?

People are always asking me about the differences between living in the US and living in Hungary. I tend to have a hard time explaining because most things are small and I've just adjusted and expect different things in each place. This morning on the ride home from the airport, I was looking around and thinking how distinctly European (and specifically Hungarian) things were. And so, without further ado:
How I know I'm in Budapest

1. Windows - first floor have bars, blinds on the outside, no screens.
2. Speed limit signs are circles - red on the outside, white on the inside, just a number no kmph or anything.
3. Balconies... especially ones with the yellow/orange plastic wall.
4. Yellow churches.
5. Those buses from ~1960 that haven't been shipped east yet. (Not all of the buses are that old)
6. The hustle and bustle of the city. (of course that's only because I've never lived in a city in the States)
7. "Köszönöm" and "Elnézést" come out much quicker and more naturally than "Thank you" and "Excuse me."
8. Milk comes in a liter box (or bag) and never gets completely cold.
9. Cars with "sharp" backs - they just end with no trunk space. (Compared to the first times I've been here there are many more sedans but the little "European" cars are still everywhere)
10. Women with reddish/purple hair.
11. No cheddar cheese :( and bland cheese in general. (I was really excited when both dinner and breakfast on the flight came with a little packet of medium cheddar - granted, I prefer sharp, but even medium is hard/expensive to come by)
12. Paper money has all kinds of different colors and coins are MUCH larger/heavier than American.
13. The ceiling in my flat is ~4m tall.
14. Communication - or lack thereof. I arrived home to find someone still here finishing the work of replacing my windows because my landlady didn't tell them I would be home today.
15. Internet blocks -- to watch American tv, I have to turn on my VPN because the websites won't let you watch from outside of the US.

Yes, I will blog about my exceedingly bizarre summer... I just owe a few friends the full story in person first before I post a recap here.


  1. 12. the first thing i noticed when i got back to the US is how lightweight the money is! i was like "surely this isn't worth anything!" :)

    10. HAHAHA

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