We had a short lunch break today, so Reagan and I booked it down the hill to find something quick. Reagan wanted Subway, and I wanted to grab a slice of pizza at a Hungarian pizza joint. We got our food and settled at an outside table right outside of the pizza place. Two bites into my ham, corn and pineapple pizza a Chinese lady came out of the restaurant next door and began yelling at us in Hungarian and shooing at us with her hands. Reagan and I just stared at her, then stared at each other. She shooed some more and then went back in the restaurant. Ummmm??? I am going to assume she was telling us we could not sit there. There was a sign on the table (in Hungarian of course), but we assumed the tables were for the pizza place. So we got up and walked over to the main part of the square and sat on a bench to finish up. Interesting. We get yelled at alot here. Nearly every single day we get scolded by somebody.
Then we had afternoon class and were released early so that we could do a little bit more sightseeing. I wanted to find a store to buy a hair dryer at, but Reagan wanted to go back to the hostel, so she went with Carla and I ventured off on my own. I wandered about a half a mile down the street and stumbled across a little hair supply store that had hair dryers on a high shelf. I walked in and said, "Do you speak English?" to the salesgirl. "Nem". Okay... how am I going to pantomine hair dryer and nail polish remover, (the two items I needed). I did a little bit of charades for her, pretending to remove polish from my hands. She kept bringing out bottles of nail polish, all different colors. Then I showed her my nasty toenails with their chipped polish and she totally got it.
She brought out four bottles of remover. I picked one and then pointed at the hair dryers up on the shelf. She asked me a question in Hungarian and mimed out big or small. I mimed back "big", and she brought down the big hair dryers. I picked one out and she totalled me up. Then she took a paper out of my hair dryer box and began writing all over it. When she was done she showed me the paper (all Hungarian) and said something to me. I kept shrugging at her palms up to show her I did not understand. Finally I asked another woman in the store if she spoke English and she came over to help. It turns out the woman was trying to tell me that I had a two year warranty. Oh for Pete's sake!!! Then I paid her, only to realize I had just paid nearly 90 dollars for a hair dryer. Ummm..... wow.
After that I headed back to the hostel and got myself ready for the night. It is our last night here, so CETP was taking all of us out for a big reception dinner by Hosok Tere (Hero Square). We took the tram and metro over and got some great snapshots of the square. It is stunning. Huge statues lit up against the night sky. Dinner was fantastic. We had another authentic Hungarian meal on a beautiful veranda. The weather was perfect and the company was sublime. I had salmon with carrot and citrus coleslaw, and Reagan had beef medallions with potatoes in red wine gravy. My little steak baby. We had an amazing dessert, sweet golden dumpling with vanilla sauce, and a cappucino that was to die for.
The Budapest zoo was right behind us (literally, through the bushes), and a band was playing a concert that represented songs around the world. It was put on by high school kids. We snuck through the back way (led by your's truly and Carla), and got some great pictures and a few mintues of dancing right behind the band. Very amusing. Reagan kept all of the teacher's amused by playing tag and being the mini photographer all night.
After dinner we all went our separate ways. Reagan and I ventured off with Rachel and Brittany to see Hero Square up close, and then we headed back to the metro to go back to the hostel. Here's where the problem was. When we got off the metro and had to transfer cars, we were stopped by a checker. I did not have my name written on my ticket, which apparently is a huge offense, so he grabbed my arm to stop me and began talking rapidly at me in Hungarian. I told him I did not understand, that I spoke English. He switched to English and told me I had to give him 6,000 forints immediately. I told him I did not understand what was wrong. He showed me my ticket and said, "You do not have your name on this. 6,000 forints right now." I said, "Well can't I just write my name on it now?" He just kept saying no and telling me to give him money. Then he wrote me out a ticket on this orange square of paper. Soooo.... 6,000 forints later I have the best souvenir of the whole group, the very first ticket out of anyone. Hooray!!! It is just so freaking typical I am not even a bit surprised.
Tomorrow morning the vans from our school will come to pick us all up, and we will all go our separate ways. We all feel a little bit anxious, excited and uncertain about what will happen next. School starts on Monday and it is overwhelming and exhilirating all at the same time. My contact from my school is Adrienne, who I have been talking to all summer. She has a daughter Reagan's age, who will also be coming with tomorrow, so the three hour car ride to our new home will be less awkward since we have already been in contact. I don't know what internet access will be like after tonight. Or phone connection for that matter, but I imagine I will be back on here soon.
Still loving it! This is the best adventure ever!