Monday, October 03, 2005

Hilarious / Idiotic

Hilarious / Idiotic. These are the two reactions I get from Hungarians. They tend to think that I’m either one or the other. Examples:
The teachers at my school tend to think I’m an idiot. Granted, due to my various apartment-related problems, they have a tiny bit of logic in believing this. But their low level of regard for me goes beyond what is justified. Today, two perfect examples. One, the school’s single tempermental copier was dysfunctioning again. As I was fiddling with it, and having some success coaxing it into working, one of the older female teachers walked by, noticed that I was poking at the machine’s insides, and promptly called one of the male teachers over to help me. Because I’m a poor, little girl, who can’t possibly know anything about machinery, of course. The male teacher, who happened to be the kind and patient computer teacher, András, (who helped me obtain internet, and thus has my eternal gratitude), proceeded to fix the machine, and then stand there and make my copies for me.
The second incident today: we had an eclipse. (Obviously, this was not arranged by my school. Although I did only hear about it 2 minutes in advance, which is in keeping with their scheduling practices.) So as a group of us teachers wandered over to the windows to look, Kati (my contact teacher) literally grabbed my arm, pulled me away, and shouted “Don’t look!” Because, obviously, in American I’ve never been told not to look directly at the sun. Anyway, eventually I looked (through tinted glasses), and it was cool.
Example number three, of how hilarious I am (or rather, how hilarious my attempts at Hungarian are). A freaky little incident that happened today: I was sitting in my living room, watching TV, minding my own business. An elderly gentleman walked past my ground-floor window. This is nothing unusual in itself, except that this man stopped, peered into my living room, and knocked on the window. As I was sitting in plain view, I couldn’t find any alternative than to open my windows and say “Hello?” He responded in a rapid stream of Hungarian. I busted out my standard, “Bocs; nem jól beszelek magyarul” and shrug, to which he repeated his earlier statement. I gathered he was looking for someone named Eva. I managed to convince him no one by that name was living in my flat, and he said he would try the next window down. He ended the conversation by telling me what an “aranyos lány” I was, followed by a hearty laugh. I feel like if there hadn’t been bars separating us, he would have pinched my cheek.
And tomorrow I’m getting a curtain.

1 comment:

doobrie said...

Ah, the old Hungarian "Does Eva live here" routine! :)