Keith and I are picking up to move to Pécs, Hungary for one year. He has never been to Europe and the furthest east I've been is Switzerland.... Our Hungarian language skills are...well, we know some phrases. Come follow us on our adventure!!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Venn Diagram

I've been living in Pécs now for two weeks and have made some "snap judgments" about Hungary and learned a few cultural differences and similarities.

**Like with EVERYTHING, blanket statements do NOT hold true to everyone...these are just things that I've noticed**

Hungarians love gelato:

There are gelato stands and cafés EVERYWHERE and it seems that no matter what time of day it is, there are people in Pécs eating fagyi (faw-dyee--ice cream). In the U.S. there are images of a hamburger and soda with an X through them to indicate no food or drink in that location. On stores in Hungary there are pictures of an ice cream cone with three scoops of ice cream with a big X across it to indicate that you must finish your ice cream before perusing their merchandise.

When it comes to food and drink...the word "nem" (no) does not exist:

In the U.S., when someone says, "Oh, no thank you, I'm full/I've had enough," for the most part we leave it at that...taking her for her word. This isn't the case in Hungary...there seems to be a banter back and forth...I say no thank you, my host says, oh come on, you must, and some more back and forth until I give in and say, "Okay, yes, I will have some more." When really from the beginning, I always wanted more.

When with friends, as soon as I finish my glass of wine, someone is filling it again, whether I want them to or not...out of politeness, I finish that glass too--it's not even on the table yet when someone is pouring more wine into it...I've since learned that if I want to truly indicate that I am finished drinking, I have to leave a half a glass.

The same is true with Pálinka (Pálinka falls somewhere in the mix of fruit brandy and moonshine)

Meg & Keith after some pálinka.

One of our Hungarian friends, shared a story of being in the U.S. He was at a pub with a bunch of people and a guy offered to buy a round of shots, our friend declined expecting the Hungarian banter...instead the American said, "Okay" and bought shots for everyone else. Our Hungarian friend was rather pissed.

The definition of a "Douche Bag" is cross-cultural:

Whilst out with some of our totally awesome new friends we discovered that the definition of a douche bag is cross cultural.
Leaning against the bar was this dude with his white shirt unbuttoned to his bellybutton, chest slightly pushed out, drink in hand, white scarf around his neck, and "nonchalantly" watching the crowd.
Keith points to the dude at the bar and whispers, "What a douche," assuming he would have to explain the slang...not the case. Everyone laughed and made fun of the dude at the bar who seemed to be trying too hard. The slang might be different, the idea of this dude being a total tool is universal.

Our awesome friends who appreciated Keith's comment: Ákos, Orsi, and Edina. We met them on the bus ride from the airport to Pécs on our very first day in Hungary.

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