Downgrade?

Downgrade?

Hungarian Idiom of the Week: Nem kolbászból van a kerítés ( The fence is not made from sausage). Figurative Translation: It’s not as great as people think it is. Notice: If any of you Magyars out there catch a mistake in my Hungarian please feel free to correct me. As time ticks by at a startling pace, the realities of our decision to move are becoming increasingly evident. Last week I compared some facts between Hungary and California and many counts our move could be considered a downgrade: My wife Anita and I will make less money in Hungary (at least for a while), there will be far fewer job opportunities, there won’t be anymore sunset beach walks at the pacific, and then of course there will be the freezing winters . . . let’s not forget those! Our motivations, however, are altogether different from the societal norm. This move is an upgrade. Last week I came across Theron Humphrey’s this wild idea-365 project and was completely blown away. I mean, the inspiration was—to be honest—a little overwhelming. Here’s a guy who, after his grandfather pass away, decided he was not going to live a small life anymore. “I refused to live another day living a story I wouldn’t be proud of telling,” he says. This speaks to me on so many levels. Most profoundly it opened up self dialogue about how I want to spend my brief time on this earth: Get a steady job, buy a nice car, live in a tract home . . .these things have never appealed to me. I know for others this is the...
The Move-continued

The Move-continued

Hungarian Idiom of the Week: Az Isten háta mögött (very far away, middle of nowhere). Literal/Figurative Translation: Behind God’s back i.e. so far away that it’s behind God. We’ve received mixed reactions from people about our upcoming move from California to Hungary. While most have been positive and optimistic concerning our plans, some people have doubts about the logic of the whole idea. And I wholly understand that. Looking at the discrepancies between Hungary and California it’s clearly obvious which place the majority of people would live if given a choice. Hungary has a sluggish economy, bitterly cold winters, high unemployment (nearly 20% for people under 25), a crumbling infrastructure and―dare I say it―a population with a darkly pessimistic attitude about the future. California on the other hand has an average daily temperature of 75 degrees, 840 miles of coastline, a larger economy than Russia, 663,000 millionaires within its borders and a worldwide reputation as a glitzy palm tree paradise. Hell, it’s even called the Golden State. Ultimately, this is a superficial comparison of two drastically different places. Hungary faces serious economical (most notably debt owed to the E.U. and the IMF) and infrastructural issues, but so does California and the United States as a whole for that matter. Politics and economics, however, are two topics that I really have no interest unpacking in detail here. There are so many factors at play when discussing the pros and cons of an entire nation. And media coverage of any significant political or economical story in either country is so one sided it’s comical. The amount of misinformation is simply mind-boggling. Personally,...
The Move

The Move

Moving is wretched. I think Anita and I have moved about twelve times since we met. And as time has passed we’ve only amassed more junk. We haven’t moved to a new country in over seven years and so this current move to Hungary is especially daunting. Our main priority has been eliminating all the stuff one accumulates but has relatively little need for. Two weekends of yard sales and seemingly daily Craigslist posts have whittled down the piles and added some cash to our coffers. But it’s been tough, especially for my wife, to see people proudly sauntering off with our belongings―things we cherished and paid top dollar for―while standing forlornly with a meager $2.00 in her hand. Last week we shipped three boxes to Anita’s dad’s house in Hungary through a company called Seven Seas Worldwide. The process was surprisingly simple, with filling out the customs forms being the most difficult task.  We paid a $94 deposit and they shipped us the boxes: two large and one smaller, square book box. All three had a weight limited of 66 pounds which we definitely made the most of.  Total cost: $383.00. Not bad I guess for sending 200 pounds of your most cherished possessions half way around the planet. But I’ll be satisfied when the boxes reach our address in Hungary, undamaged, within the estimated arrival time of . . . 77 days. Buying our plane tickets was immensely frustrating. Because we’re flying with our dog, in the cabin, it was necessary to call the airline. Now I typically have little difficulty with accents but this, this was...