Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Living the High Life in Hajduszoboszlo (from Aaron)

Falling into a routine and trying to stay busy.  We will have been here 4 weeks this Friday, and that seems like a long time when you say it, but it hasn’t been too bad.  But then I think, well, still probably around 17 to 18 days left and that seems like a BIG number.   We have tickets, set to leave Thursday, March 22nd at 8:15 am from Budapest.   We will probably go back to Miskolc a 1 week from this Friday, then Monday the 19th we have a lot of business to take care of.  Here is a cliff notes version:

Make it official (decide we want them and sign on the dotted line) in Szickso (small adjacent village)  that morning…….
then get new birth certificates in Miskolc ……

then to a tiny village bank to claim the boys 13000 forint ($60), yes we have to do this even though the village is a ways away and it is more trouble going there and closing out the account, than the $60 is worth……
then a 2 hr drive to Budapest, hopefully in time to make it to the passport office to get that started…….

then Monday night (and rest of our time) in Budapest and then hopefully passports done the next day…..
then we got to go by the U.S. Embassy so they can look at us and give us a pep talk and then hopefully we are ready for our Thursday morning flight….

With this flurry of events, I think the last 5 to 7 days will hopefully fly by instead of the somewhat mundane routine of Hadjuszuboszlo life.
So with that, a little more on Hajd living:

I have been “discovering” Hajd by going on a 20 to 30 minute run every morning through different parts of the city.  This is one of the high points of the day.  I usually google map out a route to different parts of the city and try to quickly memorize the street names and then run out and see if I remember then and follow them.  I have about 4 main routes with a couple variations of each.  Probably 50% of the time, I get lost, but hey what’s the big deal, I don’t have any appointments to make.  Some of the things I find interesting on these runs
The people here are pretty tidy.  Well kept yards are the norm, you don’t see any junky houses, even the small houses are clean and they look they have been well maintained.  There are always a lot of old ladies out sweeping off the front porch and cleaning windows.  One morning on a run, half the town was out sweeping off the sidewalks and porches after a very light snow the night before.  I am impressed by this.

There isn’t any zoning.  There are lumber yards right in the middle of a residential district.  You will see a sign for bar and restaurant way off a main street right in the middle of block of houses.  Many times the restaurant or butcher shop or fruit market is just in a converted house. 
Another peculiar thing, there are many crosswalks in the center of the city that have WALK lights and DON’T WALK lights.  This is something I don’t have patience for and I think most of America is the same way.  If the intersection is truly jammed with traffic all the time I can understand, you wait until the little man turns green.  But, here, there are many of these crosswalks that have walk signals where the road isn’t more than 10 feet wide.  On my runs, I will get run up to these “walk signal” intersections and there will be 15 or 20 people standing there waiting for it to turn green and there isn’t a car in sight.  I am not exaggerating.  I will try to get a picture of it.  They are all waiting even though it would take them .85 seconds to cross and 3 steps.  I just proceed across, I can’t wait, its against my makeup to stand there when obviously there isn’t a chance of a car coming.   The people that are facing me that are waiting to walk the opposite direction all give me a look like, How rude, or the KGB have killed men for less, I wonder if the police give tickets for this in town and that is why everybody is so hesitant, but I haven’t seen a policeman or a cop car since I have been here.  I have to get a picture.  It only confirms my earlier theory that people are still a little subdued from 40+ years of Communism.  I don’t know.

I have found another restaurant / bar that is 30 second walk from the apartment called Szilfa Etterem.  They have free Wee-Fee (Wi-Fi) and they play almost all American songs.  It is a nice restaurant and cool bar.  There is a girl named Zita who works here who is nice and knows English and actually recognizes that I have spent a lot of time there using there free Wee-Fee.  Of course I always have to have a beer (sometimes 2) to justify my using their free Wee-Fee (ha).  I asked her how she knew English and she said “my ex-ex-ex-ex- boyfriend taught me.”  She is looking up and methodically trying to count backwards as she says “ex-ex-ex-…”  I said was he a Brit?  And he was actually from Greece who was studying in London.  She is one of the few who has asked why we are on “holiday” for so long in Hadj?
Random stuff of note:  One of the little corner bars that is the size of a one car garage that is only a stone’s throw from the apartment.  I stopped in there on Friday night to have one Jack Daniels on the rocks.  This was a very small amount of Jack and she had to look for a long time to dig out a little household ice tray that had only 2 cubes out of the 12 available slots in the tray.  She told me that they were open from 6 pm to 6 am on Friday’s and Saturdays.  I had to ask again to make sure I heard correctly, and she confirmed it.  She says that when the local night club closes at 4 am, they get lots of traffic.  Okay.

To the boys.  Sam (younger) is good spirited, smiling, saying more stuff in English, understanding better, growing closer by the day to us. Drew (older) can be very distant, not wanting to adhere to simple things.  He does this simply to be difficult.  There is no doubt he understands what we would like him to do.  Even Sam will tell him on our behalf to do it, but he refuses.  This leads to big confrontations in which he will become upset for a long time.  Kimbo and I know that he took the brunt of bad situations in his original home and feel that is what is going on.  Also, my theory (not necessarily Kimbo’s) is that he was governed / disciplined by his older siblings who are only 3 to 5 years older.  His foster parents gave him a good home the last couple of years and God bless them for everything they did for the boys, but with that many kids in the home, they can’t have one on one true teaching time with all of them and I think it is showing.  I don’t blame them, they are foster parents, not permanent parents, and they provided good support for them until they could be adopted. 
Example:  For some reason, Kimbo and I noticed that they will only tell me that they need to go to the bathroom.  AHA! This may have something to do with the “Caddyshack” episodes at the Aqua Palace.  Both times I wasn’t there.  So they couldn’t tell me that they needed to poop.  So the only alternative was to poop in the pool even though Kimbo was right there.

Kimbo shared this theory with me yesterday and sure enough, today I told them they had to ask Mom and both of them refused and walked in a different direction from her.  I can’t for the life of me figure that one out.  After saying again that they tell her, Sam has no problem.  He will say, “mom, mom, pishee (Hungarian…pee) pleebs (his pronunciation of please.)  Okay no problem.  Drew sees this, but he refuses to ask her.  Even Sam will tell him to say it.  He will walk over to his brother and say, “mom pishee” and point at mom and hold his arms out like, just say it.  Drew refuses and will cry for 20 or 30 minutes.  Then he will come out and ask her……after all that.  This is some sort of attention getting technique.  We will have to give him some extra help on this one. 


  1. Maybe it is an embarrassment thing. That he only feels comfortable talking about things with another male.

  2. Could it be a Hungarian custom, to only tell the male when one has to go poop or pee when they are out somewhere? They will get the message, may take a little while.

  3. How interesting and difficult at the same time. He WILL come around on that one. GREAT news on the flight scheduled for HOME!!! Whoooo hoooo!!!