Getting Started?

I learned quickly that it’s not the big stuff that can make me feel incompetent—I expected not to know or understand certain things, like the Hungarian language. It’s the little stuff that gets me, like not knowing how to dial a telephone number. In Hungary, you call mobile phones and land lines differently.

It’s also not understanding how to work the washing machine or being stumped by the oven. I stood in the store for about five minutes staring at the detergent shelf before I decided which product to buy.

At work, my computer keyboard is deceptively similar looking to those in the States. But there are a few differences that get me every time, particularly the fact that the @ and “ buttons are switched. The number sign is elsewhere too.

Many doors open the opposite of what I expect. Too often, I feel like I’m in one of my favorite Far Side cartoons: Midvale School for the Gifted.

The 24 hour time cycle (also known as military time in the States) and time difference with the States can also stress me out. I scheduled my first Skype call with my family for 10:00 am their time, which is 4:00 pm or 1600 my time. (Even now, I have to triple check that conversion.) I worried throughout the day that I would miss the call.

The alarm clock I purchased here works on the 24 hour time cycle. Fortunately, I really only use it in the morning when the time is “normal” for me. To me, 2100 sounds late, yet it’s only 9:00 pm.

Coming up: Food markets

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This entry was published on October 5, 2013 at 10:49 pm and is filed under Adjustments, Hungary. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “Getting Started?

  1. The keyboard would drive me crazy! At least you found the @ key. Are the y and b keys switched too?

    • Those letters aren’t switched, but there are extra keys next to the z and apostrophe buttons. And the tilde and other minor characters (for my purposes) are moved around. It’s the @ and ” buttons that get me every time. Every time!

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