Thursday, October 27, 2011
So it’s been one month and nine days since I stepped off the Air France plane onto Hungarian soil. Since I first saw my host family, smiles, balloons and all, waiting for me at the airport. And what I can say about Hungary is that it’s amazing, incredible, fascinating, and every good imaginable word you can think of! But saying all of those would be an understatement. The feeling of living here and being here is indescribable. I feel like I fit right in with the culture, people, and language! But don’t get me wrong, I definitely experienced culture shock. During my first week here I went for a walk. To explore.(: I was walking down the sidewalk, coming up to an elderly woman. Now remember, in America it’s poite to say “hello” or “Good Afternoon” when passing strangers. Therefore, me being the American that I am, I politely smiled and said “Jnapot kivanok” (I wish you a good afternoon”) to the woman and she glared and looked at me like I was insane! I was thinking in my head “What the heck?!? I was just trying to be nice!” But then as I passed more and more people I realized… wait a second.. they don’t do that here! I was so embarrassed at the time, but now I just look back and laugh. That was my first culture shock slap in the face.
Magyar is a language in itself; it’s unique, different, hard, interesting. But I’m getting it.(: And I’m surprisingly learning it fast! All of my friends and my family help me out with the language; my host sisters will point out random objects and say what it is in Hungarian and they make me repeat it until I pronounce it right. But it’s hard sometimes to understand the words I do know because they talk so fast! And I have to say”Lass! Lass!” This means “Slower! Slower!” I am beginning to be able to actually put sentences together instead of talking like a three-year old. But it’s hard because each Hungarian word changes form in each sentence, depending on who you’re talking about, what you’re talking about, and when and why you’re talking about it. But the language is not a huge struggle, and my pronunciation of words is pretty good. I am so happy that I’m understanding, speaking, and learning the language so fast.
Seven days… It takes seven days to break a habit. Seven days in a week. It took seven days for me to fully adjust. It might sound weird but on that seventh day of being here I could talk about my family without getting tears in my eyes. On that seventh day I finally ate everything that was on my plate… and more(: On that seventh day I didn’t get homesick’ I didn’t have the urge to call my Mom and Dad. I had finally gotten into a routine with my host family and on that seventh day I fully accepted everything that was new and embraced it. And ever since that seventh day I can honestly say that I am happy; happy to be in Hungary