Saturday, September 11, 2010

Getting used to things

As some of you know, I'm in Budapest, Hungary for the month of September doing the CELTA Course. After Budapest, who knows, I might get to go back to the US for a month, which would be great, or I might head straight for a presently unknown destitation.  In any case, I might have to change the name of my blog to Adventures in Some Random Place.

Here are some things I've noticed I'm having a hard time adjusting to here in Budapest. 
1. The Weather.  I really got used to having sunny weather 97% of the time in Amman.  I'm still going through 'weather shock' because it's been gray in Budapest since the day I arrived.  It was rather sunny twice but that's it.  It's also raining for the fourth day in a row.  Depressing.  I feel like I'm in the UK and the weather is the main reason I wouldn't ever want to live there! 

2. Crossing the Street.  I know, this sounds weird.  Crossing the street in Jordan was at first kind of scary, a bit of a production, but I really got used to it.  There aren't any crosswalk lights (see, I even forgot the names of the things) to tell pedestrians when to cross the street.  There also aren't any trams to look out for.  Crossing the street in Jordan used to scare me but I got used it.  People can cross the street wherever they want and cars would generally stop for them, even if they miss hitting the person by a hair.  Also, hearing cars honk their horns all the time became normal.  It was chaotic organization and it more or less worked. 
In Budapest, it's different.  There's a designated area where people should cross the street and there are crosswalk lights (someone tell me what these darn things are called)  I'm not used to waiting for something to tell me when to cross the street, I just cross and people stop.  Here, people don't cross the street even if there are no cars coming.  Therefore, I'm faced with the anxiety of crossing anyway or waiting and being a good citizen.  I'm also not used to the whole tram thing.  I came within a foot of getting hit by a tram twice in the first three days just because I wasn't watching for them.  I was standing in the street the other day, waiting to cross the street, when I got honked at and was given the ' are you crazy' look by the driver.  Nearly everyone waits on the street to cross in Jordan. 

What can I say, I have to get used to things being organized. Until then, I'll have to remember to look for trams, not stand in the street and wait to cross when everyone else does.   

1 comment:

  1. Heather,

    They're called stoplights! As a reminder, Red = stop; Yellow = slow down and prepare to stop; and Green = drive on through. Perhaps when you return home in October you should take a Safety City refresher course. You remember, you took the course 23 years ago - it's the course on safety given to all children entering kindergarten. I'm sure, if asked, they would waive the age requirement for you.

    Just a thought...