I arrived in Budapest February 3 rd Classes started Monday Feb. 11 th the semester ended May 16 th I taught 5 classes Communications 101 for students who have passed their intermediate level English exam Advanced English for students who passed the advanced exam 2 classes Cross-Cultural Communications 1 night class in the Language School students who already had their degrees My flat
Facts about Budapest and Hungary Hungary has almost 11 million people Budapest used to be 2 million people now 1.7 Lowest birthrate in the European Union
Hungary was part of the Austria Hungarian Union from 1867 -1912
More Hungarians OWN their “flats” or apartments than any other country in the EU My neighborhood
Rick Steves call Hungarians the most formal of all the Europeans They also respect tradition
All grades are recorded by hand in a special book owned and cared for by the students. Students must pay a fine if they fail to have an instructor sign their grade book Students face standardized written and oral TESTS in every subject to progress to the next level
Older people try to dress well however, college students dress like our students mostly.
Perhaps it’s the formality, Hungarians use a lot of words to say simple things
Memorials and plaques are everywhere and wreaths appear on anniversaries and holidays. Hungarians of all ages know and respect their history
If you taught at BUTE and didn’t have get a bronze bust mounted you failed. WWI Memorial on campus
P etrofi nationalist poet on March 16 th Revolution day.
Memorial on the Danube for the Jews murdered during the Nazi occupation.
Students still talk about the Treaty of Trion in 1920 Hungary lost 71% of it’s territory. They are still discovering live WWII bombs in Budapest Traffic diverted for bomb Bomb found Info Park May 16 th
Badminton and tennis were also popular when spring arrived .
More sports – Scout climbing plastic beer crates
You see more hand tools and less automated labor
Wherever I saw a large street crew of four or more there was always one guy on a cell phone.
Average Salaries are Low ------------------------------------------- Physician specialist $1200 per month College faculty $856 per month Teachers $821 per month Nurse $764 per month Office clerk $475 per month Sales clerk $343 per month Most Hungarians pay 50% in taxes Annual salaries in U.S. dollars
How do Hungarians cope with a sluggish economy and low salaries?
<ul><li>To supplement my salary I was given basic school supplies by the college </li></ul><ul><li>A Calendar </li></ul><ul><li>1 notebook </li></ul><ul><li>1 pad of medium size sticky notes </li></ul><ul><li>1 large pad of scrap paper </li></ul><ul><li>1 box of copper colored paperclips </li></ul><ul><li>2 pencils </li></ul><ul><li>1 eraser </li></ul><ul><li>$16.00 dollars worth of meal tickets each </li></ul><ul><li>month </li></ul><ul><li>I shared a computer running a bootlegged copy of windows 95 with 5 faculty in my office. </li></ul><ul><li>Zsuzsa checked out my textbook from the department library </li></ul><ul><li>I also checked out my instruction cassette tapes from the library </li></ul>
<ul><li>Free healthcare (Doctors expect gratuities) </li></ul><ul><li>Free university tuition </li></ul><ul><li>Wonderful low cost mass transit, although everyone complains about it. </li></ul><ul><li>Lots of bureaucracy </li></ul>
<ul><li>Hungarians have credit cards but they rarely use them. </li></ul><ul><li>Many students & faculty drink 40ft (25 cent) coffee from the Nescafe machine rather than 90ft (75 cent) fresh coffee </li></ul>At the university students seemed to not mind getting food from machines.
<ul><li>Brand name sports apparel is rare </li></ul><ul><li>There are a lot of used clothing & discount clothing stores </li></ul><ul><li>Student live with parents, grandparents or in the college dorm </li></ul><ul><li>Martos Hostile </li></ul><ul><li>Faculty cars NOT student cars </li></ul><ul><li>Their parents will help them buy an apartment later. </li></ul>
Many Hungarians shop at the PLUS a discount grocery store Everyone brings their own bag otherwise you must buy one Store help is minimal; bag boys and girls are unheard of Shopping carts require a coin deposit returned when you re-stack the cart correctly
Discount chains Tesco (British) and Auchen (French) have stores in Budapest.
Whether for convenience or from habit, Hungarians seem to prefer shopping for meat and produce at vegetable stands, green grocers and large indoor fresh markets.
Few Hungarians own clothes dryers Gas cook stoves don’t have pilot lights. You must light the burners and oven each time you use them.
Many streets and public facilities are NOT pristine
I salvaged some wooden Ikea coat hangers from this mess. Neighborhood clean-up days???
To leave Hungary I had to do all the paperwork backwards. I had to go to various university offices and collect clearances with the official seals and stamps. My last stop was at the bank where it took over 2 hours NOT to get my account closed.
What I miss most is strolling through the many funny little neighborhood parks and discovering little cafes.
My fitness workout was a walk up Gellert Hill from the university
The view and the chance to feel like a smug local among the tourists were great motivation. My reward was the view and feeling like a smug local laughing at the tourists.
Young people that take such pride in their history. . While the fascist were throwing tomatoes at the Mayor the kids were celebrating Revolution Day.