The Same Yet Different

Budapest LadiesBefore I forget I thought I better write about those things that strike me as being the very different and a few things that are the same.

Fur, they wear a lot of it, I even saw a woman wearing one of those little minks with the head & claws on like my grandmother used to wear for special occasions. Most of the fur is trim on coats but occasionally you see full fur coats worn on weekdays, no special occasion. One reason for the popularity of fur might be the cold. Although the paper reports temperatures with 30 as the night time low and low 40’s for the daytime highs it seems really cold to me. Maybe that explains why everyone wears a scarf and hat also the older women still wear those felt hats if there not wearing a fur hat.

Children under age six all have one piece snowsuits on with cute little knit hats tied on. I can’t think that I have seen a single young child without full snowsuits and tied on hat but hey I’m cold too. I associate these full body suits with skiing and snowboarding but hey I’m cold too. I wish I had one.

Speaking of fashion square toed shoes are the thing here for both men and women. It’s sort of a stereotype thinking of eastern Europeans in square toed shoes and it’s true. Me with my clunky rounded toes, I imagine I stick out but I’m not changing. My toes aren’t formed square. I imagine it’s like the Chinese foot binding if you grow up with square toed shoes all your life they probably fit.

Today I saw my very first recycling bins but don’t even think of going to the grocery store without your plastic bag. Everyone carries them and you pack your own groceries. They sell them to you in the store for 10 forints (6 cents) or more if you want a plastic bag that will actually hold two days worth of groceries. This has created a culture of reused bags yet they don’t seem to have any other commitment to recycling. There are zillions of mineral water bottles in the trash.

Pencils have no erasers. Everyone has red and blue and just the occasional regular lead pencil on their desks. None of them have erasers. The school gave me a small bag of supplies to start school with: four highlighters, a blue book with graft type paper which I assume is intended to be my grade book, a large pad of scrap paper, sticky notes, a pen, a pencil and a separate eraser. Why?? The Hungarians also lack rubber bands and plastic wrap.


Some things that are about the same.

Zsuzsa says the weather report says snow may come anytime but after a week of her  saying that there hasn’t been a flake. Just like home the weather report is wrong.


Even though park space is small, I thought I saw a dog park yesterday. I asked Zsuzsa about it and she said yes that there are dog parks. “They tried having a park just for children AND dogs but it didn’t work out so they have parks just for dogs.” In a very small playground I also saw an official sign that said “Dog WC” in one corner. Yuck! I  guess the plastic bags are too precious  to use  for  poop scoops. 


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