As in every foreign country you will notice some facts or rituals which might seem very strange or just different for you and your own culture. Some of them you only notice when you spend some more time in this foreign country. So during my Erasmus I began to collect those weird facts and differences:
-Have you ever wondered why so many people are taking pictures of the escalators from the metro station? Well the escalators in Budapest are extremely long, fast and steep! It is a really big attraction! The first time I used them, I felt like going on a roller coaster. Of course I took a picture too.
– Once I travelled from Budapest to Szeged by train. The strange thing was, that I only knew a few minutes before the departure on which track the train actually leaves. That can be a horror scenario for an organized German like me. In Germany you know months before at what time and at what track the train leaves, so you can plan your journey into every detail a long time in advance.
-It took me some time to comprehend the system they have in the supermarket. When you enter you always have to take a shopping basket with you. No matter how many things you want to by. Even for a chewing gum you take a basket. During the paying process, you put the basket on the counter of the cash and a shop assistant (who mostly looks very grumpy) is putting the stuff from your basket to another one which is already standing there. Then you pay and go to another counter where you can put the things you have bought to your own bag. The slowness of the shop assistants and the very relaxing and lethargic way of putting the things from one basket to the other extends the whole shopping process and I have to admit that this really challenges my patience. So never go shopping groceries when you are in a hurry.
– A lot of the products you can find in the supermarkets are written in German. At the back there is just a small sticker, saying the most important thing about the product in Hungarian. So Germans will come along pretty good in Hungarian supermarkets.
I have been on a weekend trip to another Hungarian city and spend the night in a hostel. On the next morning I was very surprised about the breakfast they offered: 4 Sausages with ketchup and mustard…
I live in a very central apartment at Pest side. The arrangements of the houses are very typical Hungarian. But once I got lost in my own house! There are so many doors and directions that it is pretty complicated to find your own apartment. This phenomenon I could notice in a lot of houses I have already been to.
One of the most difficult things to say in Hungarian is ‘how are you’, because of the strange way to pronounce the letters ‘gy’. So, if a foreigner says to a Hungarian ‘Hotch Vatch’, Hungarians should be prepared that they were asked how they were doing.
I have only been here for two months now, but I think by the end of my stay in Hungary, the list of strange and weird things will become longer and longer.