Doing the Time Warp Again: Part 1

Jo reggelt, or good morning as it is said in Hungarian. I hope you all slept well, we do so love it when you come over, entertaining is just so much fun, don’t you think. Do remember, Russel, you and Sheila are always welcome to stop by if you are in town. Would you care for a cup of bean tea? We have a pot on at the moment. I don’t feel fully human without a little bit of pick me up. Well, I have no idea where this intro is going. It seems to be highly pointless and not terribly entertaining. Nuts to me for deciding to leave it in anyway. Let me begin again.

Welcome back to the back in time, where I talk about events that have long past into the softening glow of memory. Right now I am wishing everyone a happy near end of to March everybody, spring is in the air and so are the birds. Their songs carry across the gentle breezes. There is a bloom budding across the hitherto barren trees casting the world in verdant tones. At least that is how it is in Hungary at the moment. Whenever I contemplate the annual revival of nature that is this summer prelude, I am filled with an appreciation of its beauty. In that spirit, there is naught that reminds me more of the renewal of life that is this sunlight embrace of spring like October.

As I continue to make note of, at this point in my blog I have begun to work through the backlog of information and shortened the gap between long ago and this moment. Brought down from seven months to six, as usual I am highly impressed with myself. At the going rate, this will mean that sometime around summer solstice will I likely be getting to my Christmas. Anyway, time threatens to march on without me and re-inflate the chronological deficit that I find myself in. This way to the futurepast fellow chronographers!

Throughout much of the month of October there really wasn’t much in the way of big notable events. It was just a slow progression of previously established themes. Work as a teacher continued to present its own brand of trials and tribulations; tribulations which I made slow concerted efforts to overcome. I had already accrued a small band of interesting persons I will hitherto regard as friends, and I was on occasion strengthening ties with these companionable cohorts with the liberal application of alcohol. However, for all intents, during the slowly growing chill of October life began to recede into a comforting customs. As a person who traversed the globe in search of the novel it may seem a little odd to say, but by this I imply no negativity. I do greatly appreciate those times of simple sanity and routine. In the solemn seconds you see the simple serenity. It is those days that make up the major share of a human life. It is the minor joys in those easily forgotten days that give life its worth, the meeting of needs, pleasant and unassuming companionship. These are the moments that truly make up the vocabulary and grammar of man’s life. The spaces between the grandiose exclamations and the poignant questions, less important than the inexorable declarations it is the intervening letters between capital and cessation which tells the tale of life. Without which there are but dots on a page.

For the purpose of this blog though, I don’t see fit to regale the audience with thirty separate stories of me catching the morning bus to work. Maybe for a different time I will delve into the minutia of existence, but for now I think there is one thread running through the month of October that I feel would make a fascinating topic for exposition. That topic is Halloween. On this subject may I begin by presenting this disclaimer, I and my girlfriend both absolutely cherish the Halloween season. With her penchant for the dramatic and my obsession with fiction of the variety of creepiness it shouldn’t come as a great surprise that we find ways to extend the day of All Hallows into a month long event. Usually we celebrate the season by visiting all attractions haunted and by putting near obsessive levels of effort into costuming. A damper on our festivities was something that we did not account for in the grand land of Hungary. There was this natural assumption I possessed born from a life of absorbing grand melodramatic horrors of literature and film. Hungary is a country directly bordering on the territory of Transylvania, the mountainous land which captures the imaginations of anyone who has ever heard the name Bram Stoker. The issue with this assumption was that Halloween isn’t really an affair of note in Hungary. It is a small holiday with minor celebrations not dissimilar in nature to Labor Day. In fact it seemed that only those of English speaking nature possessed an interest in the festival of fright. So, with matters taken firmly in hand we had a mountain of work if we wished to manufacture the spirit for ourselves.

Back in the United States our Halloween truly began with the planning of costumes, something we usually started in late September. We would ask each other what costumes would be interesting or particularly fun to do. Once a consensus was reached about a costume idea, the next step would be to surf the net in an attempt to work out the costumes feasibility. During the first few weeks of October, you could witness the inevitable flocking of the majestic Halloween seasonal stores. In any town of sufficient size you could find a good 52,000 of which to peruse through. When the goods in these stores inevitably proved too expensive we would then go to Goodwill and hardware stores to begin the actual process of cobbling together a second hand monstrosity of a costume.

Living in Budapest offers difficulties in this plan. First and foremost, a point which I have already touched on is that Halloween isn’t exactly the reason for the season in these parts. My girlfriend and I don’t have many traditions that we stick to on a yearly basis and we were unwilling to let this one pass without expending the effort. We resolved to bring this little bit of home with us. Secondly is the fact that shipping and handling is an expensive process when directed towards Central Europe as opposed to the Western United States. It soon became apparent that what we wanted would take greater effort.A brief exploratory probe of the internet informed us that the number of costume shops which lacked the adjective of “adult” was quite limited. There was one promising prospect that stood out due to its description and location. Identified as the place to go to get what we needed and conveniently located downtown we made the plan to scout the store one day after work.

On the day of the exploratory expedition we were wary upon reaching the supposed location of this store. Unlike in the states where there is a Halloween billboard every square mile and the storefronts are decorated two story tall images of ghost, Budapest does not exactly feel the need to be so obvious. Following the address on the map led us off the main street down a back alley. As we journeyed down these lesser walked avenues the bustling sounds of the metropolis died down in our ears. In the middle of this secluded alley was situated a massive baroque iron gate. It was imposing to say the least. Through the spaces between sturdy bars could be seen another internal pathway which in turn had three separate formidable gateways that led to even more alleys. It was a sight that led us to stand by in contemplation of whether we should test our resolve by venturing into so mysterious a locale. The number on the building was correct, but we didn’t see any other markings that could reassure us that we were not about to enter a portal into a labyrinthine Sub-Europe where everything is backwards and all questions are spoken in riddles.

Hailing from a land of grand open spaces, this claustrophobic atmosphere made its impression in my mind as a might unsettling. I feel as though we would have given up on the whole venture at that point if a pair of women did not brush by us to blaze a trail through the hidden paths. They had the air of people in the mood to purchase costumes and refreshingly they didn’t have the look of murderers. A creak of the hinges squealed out as the door began to swing back closed. Our decision was made for us. With native guides in view we sallied forth. Once in the inner courtyard the leftmost path was chosen and another iron doorway passed through, this time into an interior space. Following blindly those before us with ever waning confidence we gained ingress. The iron portal gave way to a long hallway with what looked to be seldom utilized doorways to the left and a railing barring off a great descent into the earth. The dimly lit hallway led to a single staircase which descended. The soot of many years obstructed the few windows not pasted over with papers. Cavelike and sinister we descended. Faded posters with fantastic garbs were the first signs we had wandered in the correct direction. All was the stairway at every floor were fewer closed and locked doors to the sides. Meandering downward into the strange new land I was sure we would be inevitable trapped in and forced to cobble shoes for its wizard mayor. One flight down, the faded postings engulfed every wall. Second flight down, masks of varying designs hung off the walls in random display. Third flight down, and sinister apparitions reached low from the rafters. Fourth flight down we reached the farthest extent of our cavernous excursion. No doubts now, this was the location we were determined to find. It was a square floor with only two directions to proceed. Ascend the stairwell or test your fate at the singular doorway overgrown with webs, the visages of the damned, and draped fabrics. A desk with a monitor and a mouse rested opposite.

As we absorbed our surroundings the two women in front of us had approached the technology and then printed off a number before being swiftly ushered through the door. Mimicry to this point had been our means of reaching this place so we continued to follow suit. On the screen was a rather large selection of moderately to greatly expensive costumes. We printed off a number to await our admission.  As we browsed the catalogue of goods the door disgorged several of its inhabitants and we were granted entry to this land of mystery. I had never seen such a densely populated display of various attires. Garb of differing nation and age were visible over every inch of the small room.

As we presented our ticket for admission to the sight some information that we did not know about subterranean back alley costume dealerships was made known to us. The most surprising of these discoveries being that subterranean back alley costume dealerships exist. More prescient to our position as potential clients at this merchant was that the employees expected all of its entrants to have a costume picked out by the time of entry. With minimal fitting and fuss you are expected to make a purchase and depart. One last little morsel of knowledge that soon came to our attention was that the employees get very angry and will kick you out if your mind is not sufficiently made up by the time you gain admission into their little hidden society of costuming. Deciding we didn’t wish to pay exorbitant quantities of cash to people who shooed us away with vehemence, we departed post haste from the surreal existence we had lived some few short minutes.  It was then that we chose to get crafty and produce our own disguises.

In the process of writing this story I had actually planned on incorporating the prior event as a minor part of my coverage of Halloween. What I have discovered is that I more to say about the tales of Halloween than I originally anticipated. I hope you enjoy hearing about said time of year because I have a lot more material to get through. Join me next week as I explore how my school decided to undertake their celebrations of a mostly American holiday. Until the next installment, I say good day, good night, and good reading.

 

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You Know, Children Are Like Ants

Welcome back and good evening listeners it is I again your friendly neighborhood Spiderman. You know recently I’ve been contemplating writing these blogs down on paper to have a more physical record of my thought, but I find that I do my best work on the web.

 

 

I’ll just see myself out.

 

 

Let’s try this whole introduction again, hello viewers, thank you for tuning in to my land of bad jokes and predicable sentence structure. I’d like to thank you for coming back willingly to suffer through another week of my ramblings. I’ve prepared for all of you today a grand new installment of my blog, potentially. I mean, I write these introductions independent of the actual content of these posts, and at this current moment in time I have no idea if the following paragraphs will actually be of any quality. It is exciting though, adventuring out into the unknown. I invite you, my viewing public, to join me in figuring out if this post is actually of any quality or not. Excelsior!

Metaphorically casting anchor in the flowing waters of time, we can disembark sometime around mid to late September of 2016. By this time, I had put a few more weeks of teaching under my belt and I was beginning to get a hang of this whole teaching thing. Being on my own with the students wasn’t such an imposition anymore. I was still taking about two hours a day of extra work to finish my lesson plans, but this was a marked improvement from the four hours a day I had been putting in daily not terribly long ago. Things were still far from ideal though. There was a problem that kept cropping up as I was enacting my lesson plans into classroom action. Through miscalculations or mistakes I kept running out of teaching materials five minutes before the end of class. When classes are only forty five minutes long to begin with that five minutes can seem like a pretty sizeable chunk of time lying unaccounted for.

Usually I do not have problems coming up with things on the fly. As I have painfully learned though, if you put me in a position of authority with no plan of action, I freeze. I have great difficulty in rapidly changing course without preexisting direction. What would happen is that I would have no idea of how to proceed and the seconds painfully ticked by accompanied with either cutting silence or the primate screeches of unsupervised children. I often caved into pressure and would allow the class to play games to pass the few remaining minutes until the sweet chimes of the bell released me from the responsibility of students. An unfortunate side effect of this coping mechanism soon became noticeable. After a few weeks following this action, the students began to take it for granted that they would be allowed to play games instead of attending to their book work. As I continued to practice the instructional profession I was able to get my lesson plans more on the mark, and I learned to improvise when things went awry. The precedent had been set though, and any time that games were not played it became a point of contention between myself and the students.

Besides the prolonged snafu with my classroom timing, I had let so many minor annoyances slide during the first month of teaching. Because of this the students erroneously began to believe that I was a big old softie when it came to discipline. As I was busy fretting over a few minutes on the clock, more malcontents whose purpose in life was to spread their seeds of disorder. Like disobedient pack animals, I have been training them ever since to not expect the cause and effect of class equals play time. It has been a long process though and even seven months in the students continue to ask for games at the beginning of class.

Before I close for the day, I would like to put down in words the three things that have just caused me the greatest mental torment as I went about my job.

First though I want to explain something slightly personal that feeds into my difficulties with surviving the classroom. I have this one pet peeve that has been dragged into the light of day by being around children. A source of great annoyance for me is when someone repeatedly says or does something that they learned from the internet. Independent of context and appropriateness said action or phrase is applied ad nauseam to the point where my body visibly shakes with wrathful intent. Anyone who has ever even vaguely heard of the concept of children in hushed whispers knows that repetitious inane prattle is basically the modus operandi of younglings. Isn’t Latin fun?

In place of jokes or basic human interaction the student, or dumpster baby as I will refer to them for the rest of this post, will bring out this tired shorthand for an internet joke that they heard that one time and kind of chuckled at, all to elicit cackling glee and approbation of the other roiling sea of dumpster babies. This “joke” was spread across the World Wide Web until every ounce of hilarity has been wrung out of it, leaving a juiceless husk raisin of comedy that some twelve year old somewhere is telling his underdeveloped fetus brained cohorts. It’s like an inside joke, if the people who are in on the joke is everyone, and the joke is that you have the memory capacity of a ferret.

So, to bring it all together, combine my irrational anger trigger with the universality of the internet and its ungodly ability to spread the detritus of entertainment to impressionable dumpster babies who possess a total inability to determine what is actually funny, and you end up with a recipe that when properly prepared makes me wish to flip a table on top of a small child. In the latter end of 2016 there have been three major offenders in this category.

The Dab

I don’t know where it came from, and frankly the amount of effort to look it up would be better served jamming a fork into my esophagus. This is the one I find least onerous to the mental stability of a classroom, mostly because it is a motion which both begins and ends quickly. A dab, also known as: a quick or light blow; a pat, as with the hand or something soft, thank you dictionary.com; is a motion to be employed in triumph or success, like a fist pump, but for horrible people. They celebrate the dab like they’ve just accomplished a triple backflip.

For the three people who have never seen a dab being employed I’ll describe it in all of its glory. Step one, extend both arms out to the side like you are pretending to be an airplane, engine noises optional. Step two; crook one elbow of your choice into a seventy five to ninety degree angle being careful not to exceed one hundred and fifteen degrees. Step three, attempt to violently head-butt your own elbow through the already in place crooked arm. Really slap them together like you are playing spoons with your face meat. Step four; be engendered with the shame that comes with realizing that your sense of self is slowly being eroded by hive mind mentality. Step five; I’m bad at lists. Step six; draw up the pentagrams. Step seven; summon the Assyrian demon lord Pazuzu.

Before I continue impress my hatred I will say that there is one thing that I appreciate about this craze. Simply put, that if out in the wild I see a person diddle dabbling their arms like a confused cephalopod it expresses to me a great deal of information. The majority of that information details how I never need to speak to that person.

All joking aside, the only times when I really have a problem with this action is when the dumpster babies stop the entire class to make sure everyone witnesses their magically unique take on this pointless action. Also there is the fact that it is used in conjunction with other perpetrators on this list so it does merit extra anger points.

PPAP

The one that tickles my anger button the most. To all of those brave heroes who have not seen the PPAP video, I covet your existence. PPAP is an acronym for Pen Pineapple Apple Pen. Because apparently I am an octogenarian in disguise I did not hear word one of this craze until the youth brought it to my attention. In the video that originated this two month long craze, there is an affable looking middle aged Asian man adorned with unfortunate attire. He looks as though he is a tribal hunter and tracker who survives harsh weather conditions by skinning and sewing the skins of his prey into a traditional garb. His quarry in this case would appear to be a roaming species of couches that gained sentience and began to roam the planes in the early 1970s. It is a species which he has apparently hunted to near extinction for the prized pelt of their leader Couchfang the Graceful.

Said affable man dances, sings, and mimes his way into the darkest depths of my hate glands. He informs listeners that if you stab fruit with pens that you can then combine English words together. At first I actually saw some utility in the song as it did theoretically expand the vocabulary of the children who listened to it. He jams imaginary produce and Bic’s together into some kind of sick twisted fruit and writing utensil centipede. I think that the moral of the video is a bit irresponsible of its creator. Once you forcibly introduce a pen of the ballpoint variety to interior of a juicy fruit, said writing tool will never write the same.

Now I do want to backtrack a little on my grand outpouring of hatred. I harbor no ill feelings towards the man who created the video. He just wished to create a fun catchy little video because apparently mangling produce is the fiery passion of his soul. I only begrudge the gremlins who have repeated the lyrics of this song until my very dreams are haunted by their utterance. This one gets me right in the pet peeve area, and it stops classes midstride as everyone thinks that it’s open karaoke night at the local dive bar.

 

The Bottle Flip Challenge

This one is pretty self-explanatory when it comes down to it. A person who is bored picks up a bottle and then flips it in the air. If it lands bottom side down without falling over everyone dabs and we all get one moment closer to the heat death of the universe. This is the fad that I find myself the most conflicted by; as it is the one that I understand the most. People, especially children, who are stuck sitting still for any amount of time, will eventually get fidgety. I entirely get the desire to use your hands to manipulate an object, to help you focus or at the very least keep yourself awake in cases of extreme dullness. Outside of a teaching position I don’t even have a problem with the act itself. However, when I am in the middle of explaining a difficult part of English grammar and I hear a fwip as the bottle leaves the hand and a loud bang as a liquid filled object slams into a table, my own personal Mr. Hyde comes out to say hello. It doesn’t help that the dumpster babies that do this are almost always the children who are the most openly hostile towards classroom rules.

Whereas the youth of today have largely grown tired of PPAP allowing it to mercifully rescind its siren song back into the depths of irrelevance whence it belongs, the bottle flip and the dab continue to erode the very fabric of polite civilization all the way to the present. Although I have come up with an elegant solution for the bottle flip and that is to confiscate any bottle which achieves liftoff during school hours.

Now before I get told that I am spewing bile in every direction but my own, I am not above saying that I too was a fool. The only difference is that I didn’t have to teach myself at this age. I would have desired to bring to an end my dumpster baby self under these exact same circumstances. I mean anyone who lived through the 2000s with any amount of television knowledge should tragically remember the whazzuuuuup craze. Then those people who remember it should then promptly begin weeping and gnashing their teeth at the remembrance of such madness. To this day I still fall victim to the easy reference for laughs, I am not greater developed or above the same activities that I have just angrily complained about. Essentially I wish for everyone to take my venomous comments with a grain of understanding that I am somewhat of a hypocrite, however I do hope that no one has been subjected to my jackassery against their volition.

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Hoo boy, this post feels a little more wrathful than usual to me, but I guess that’s what happens when I talk about children. For those of you who have not given in to the dark side, I do apologize for the negativity. Final disclaimer, any of my readers who have actually derived joy from any of these internet institutions, I mean no disrespect or ill will against you, as you have made the informed decision to enjoy these memes whilst not near me. I thank you for that kindness. I hope you enjoyed the longer one this time. To all of my readers, I say good day, good night, and good reading.

 

Tiny Tales: Volume 1

Hello, it is I. I know, a bit surprising for those of you who tuned into this week’s broadcast to hear the haunted and haunting musings of the ghost of Sir Laurence Olivier. Said event has been delayed to an indeterminate date due to a miscommunication between myself and the psychic hotline. You see I ordered a medium and they sent me a large.

I’ve been having trouble getting this post off of the ground. I attempted to get it finished for last week, but it was not to be. I’ve had a few legitimate reasons for not writing. Not enough to occupy the amount of time between the last post and this one, though. I guess I’ve been living with a case of post event blues. The festival I attended two weeks ago at this point was a great experience, and even though it was only for two days it felt like this grand extended adventure. In the wake of this massive mental typhoon I have been finding it difficult to return willingly to the rigors of average life.

I have likely mentioned this before, but over the last six months I have been here I have been attempting to develop a better repertoire of habits than those I used to fall into. I am trying to keep this blog running. I’m attempting to learn at least conversational Hungarian, have I mentioned before that it is a difficult language? I am trying to spend a little time each day improving or maintaining my art skills. I am trying to improve my physical condition too by working out a little bit more than the not at all that plagues me. During my really productive periods, I somehow managed to fit all of these improvements into my schedule. Any time that I take any time off though, I seem to be resetting the clock on my progress. The rhythm of events that I have been attempting to cultivate these last six months has been unseated by a two day vacation.

I had originally planned on continuing to regale everyone with my terribly feeble struggles through teaching. However I believe a minor detour is in order this week. As I have been retelling my story these last twelve weeks, I have glossed over a number of smaller stories and concepts that have been too small to merit their own full posts. Think of today’s post as something of a variety show with each of these topics being brought up briefly only to be inadequately explored leading me to do another clip show down the road.

Anyway, returning to my ongoing saga, we interrupt your regularly scheduled me griping about how hard it is to be a teacher to change tact and get into the things happening besides work in those few weeks. In retrospect, I was actually spending relatively little time at work. Although, to be fair, all the way until the middle of October most of my free time was still being spent writing those lesson plans. There did somehow end up being more to my life than just the moments I was getting used to teaching. Somewhere along the line a few minutes were squirreled away into things like making friends and pursuing hobbies.

At the school at which I teach there are four Americans employed in teaching the children English. Now, I may be living in Hungary with a partner who provides me support and companionship but one person does not a social network make. In a land where even the ordering of a slice of pizza involves the mispronunciation of words and a spirited game of charades, it can be at times difficult to feel like you belong. Every action comes packaged free with a sense of minor alienation. It feels nice to cut through the language barrier and just be able to communicate with people. This can often lead to many Americans abroad forming small social lifeboats of common language, oases of English if you wish to muddle the metaphor further. With three other American compatriots within arm’s reach, one such cultural cluster began to form. Following the patter on most things I have done in Europe, these relationships were made more loud and rowdy with liberal application of social lubricant. There have been many a domicile hootenanny for us to get better acquainted with our partners in linguistic learning. Games based around the slurping and sloshing of drinks meant for sousing are played and played readily. Events like these still emanate the feeling of college parties.

So, I keep stating that I don’t want to give off the impression that we are all just raging alcoholics swigging our way overseas, but at our local café/pub/bar our group came to be known for its American style raucous joviality. In a story that is slightly hazy on the details, but heavy on unwarranted singing, our little foursome somehow managed to make such an impression on the barkeep that whenever we enter the bar she plays the greatest in hip hop hits from the 80s and 90s. Truly we give the finest of impressions about the average citizen of the United States. There are also a number of people from the original orientation that we keep in contact to date. It feels a little ironic, but after moving to the other side of the planet I have made more American friends than Hungarian ones.

Before I leave off for the day, I do have one humorous story that isn’t about teaching or drinking. Surprising, I know. Because bureaucracy is the eternal, the ceaseless, and the unstoppable force that rules all of our very souls; there was a minor mountain of paperwork to be copied filled and processed before, during, and after arriving in Budapest. This all culminated sometime in the first few weeks. It was impressed upon us that if we had any hopes of being paid for the first three months of working here, we would have to surmount the Everest of bureaucratic efforts and attain our residency cards. This little quest would require everyone in the program to gather all of their papers before heading into the immigration office in Budapest in the middle of the week. All the while we had to hope against hope that our paperwork was in its most arbitrarily correct state. I am not afraid to say that I was more than a little concerned that I had not brought all of my documents into this country.

So, while the paperwork proved as advertised to be some kind of hellish sphinx riddle, we discovered something unexpected when we reached the immigration office. The English teaching program which we are teaching through has a Hungarian liaison in country, and her job title may as well be the problem fixer. From the very start of the orientation we had been told that if we were to have a problem that we should just whisper her name into the night’s breeze and she will emerge from the shadows to end whatever issue ills us. When we arrived at the building she was there awaiting us, running the show. We were told to wait outside in a line. It was a hot day and the line promised to be a long wait, but whatever I’ve been to Disneyland passing around small talk while standing uncomfortably is nothing new to me. As a plus, everyone who was in the line was from the orientation. Because I avoid social media like a plague of chirping locust, I had not heard from any of these people since reaching my school. It was a fun miniature reunion which served to pass the time until we were allowed inside.

In the middle of our conversations the doors opened before us admitting us inside. What was waiting for us inside was a notably strange occurrence. The government building was empty. It was just us, the English teachers, and the immigration employees. This was a sight so very baffling to us. Hungary is a lovely place and it is many things, but what it is not is convenient. If there is something that must be done, you are expected to wait in line like everyone else, and likely you are expected to speak Hungarian to get anything done. This absence of inconveniences was a great shock to everyone. What I mean is that this convenience awaiting us either meant that our problem solver had emptied out the immigration in the middle of the week just for us to expedite our application process, or she had somehow forced a government office which was already closed to, again, open specifically for us. This brazen display of authority has led to the widespread and mostly believable rumor that our Hungarian powerhouse has or currently is involved in some kind of high ranking mafia activity. She has a heart of gold though as she chooses to use her power to benefit the youth of her country. This does not abate the fact that her influence over government offices, postal services, daycares, and random passersby on the street is strange and mildly terrifying.

Things went slowly and officially and eventually our paperwork was processed. Pictures were taken and signatures were provided and eventually we were told that we could leave. The word was that we would need to return in a few weeks to pick up our finished residency cards. Because we had co teachers covering our classes for the day we were released into the city to enjoy a beautiful day off from work. To give our story a fun little finish, a few weeks later we did return to the immigration office, but this time alone, without the Hungarian Hammer. Without her we were considered normal human beings, and as such took our place at the back of the line in a crowded immigration office. After several hours of waiting it turned out that my girlfriend’s application had some kind of issue. Even though we had been told by the government to show up at this time and place, they had not seen fit to tell us that there were any issues. I guess even the fear of a pair of concrete shoes was not enough to solve every problem. A week or so after that misadventure my girlfriend finally did receive her card which brought an end to the immigration fun for this year.

Well, there were we go, just a few of the smaller stories that I have been meaning to get out there. Look forward to future installments that will most likely involve stories of drinking, because I am a creature of habit. Thank you for tuning in. To all of you out there, I say good day, good night, and good reading.

 

Fun note, apparently I’ve never spelled the word bureaucracy correct in my entire life.