Moving on East (Centrally That Is)

We are on the ground, and not just in that the plane landed safely – although there was a good bounce upon touching down that cause one girl to yell out. We are now on the ground and living in Budapest. As you can see from the following photo, children traveling this way is cheaper, but not advised. Whatever the case, we all made it safely.


It took two and a half days to get to a decent point of decompression. This is due to this sort of move being more stressful than most, and never mind the fact my wife loves to hit the ground with her feet running. Add a toddler to the mix and you’ve got a slow decompression rate, but the first Saturday after landing on Wednesday found us relaxing a tiny bit. We even got some shopping done at the local Zugló Tesco. As excited as our toddler was, you would have thought he was raised in the jungle. It was as if he had never seen a grocery store before. The irony was not lost on me that this was occurring in a formerly Communist state to a half American toddler.

Even though we are living here, and continually reminding ourselves that this is not a holiday (who works this hard on a holiday?), we shopped in our local Tesco filled with Hungarian goods like we were two starry eyed tourists. The irony was also not lost on me that my wife shouldn’t experience this being that she is originally from Budapest. I had to buy Sodastream ginger beer syrup. I wanted to buy a Sodastream soda bottle, but Zsuzsa assured me that no self respecting Hungarian would have such a thing. They would just have a good old fashioned, non-branded soda water bottle at home. Well, fair enough I guess (and this may explain the instructions being in Polish), but this American lad with a tendency to brand loyalty and clever marketing schemes was at least slightly taken in.

I can attest to one improvement for me over the average British grocery store. While we lived in Leeds, getting my beloved kefir, which I had learned to love in Hungary, was a trek across town to the local market and a visit to the Lithuanian or Polish grocery store. Even with this trek, I had to hope that they had this dairy treat in stock. In Hungary, every corner shop and grocery store with the smallest amount of self respect would never be caught dead without it. It just isn’t an option to not have it in stock. If you haven’t tried it for yourself, I can’t recommend it enough. It is a yogurt-like drink (lactose free!) that is good for your digestion. I guess it is a bit like those fancily marketed, active culture yogurt drinks you get in more ‘civilized’ places, but I like the old fashioned stuff that people have been drinking for centuries. I’ve heard you can make it at home, so I might just  have to give it a try. Failing to be impressed by branded probiotic yogurt drinks, one might think I’d be less inclined to Sodastream, but such is the way my mind works. As for the health benefits, my wife swears that all the old people living in remote shepherding villages of furthest Kazakhstan are still alive due to this stuff. I don’t know about that, but  I can assure you that it makes me feel better in general.

As for all our stuff, it made it safely and unbroken. Looking at the following photo, you might think that is a surprise (it sure surprised us). This is not exactly the van we ordered but a much smaller one! Nasty surprise… However, the driver was immensely helpful on both ends and he got the job done. It was a bit worrisome to see his optimism about loading the van completely and safely begin to ebb as the second day of putting boxes and furniture in wore on.


The amazing news (on the second full day even) was that there appears to be three nurseries nearby that would be happy to take our son. This was an immense worry of ours, especially after our amazing experience with Bright Beginnings Nursery in Leeds. I don’t think we’ll get the same or better, but options opening up this quickly have at least soothed our souls a bit. Never mind the weather is expressing that wonderful feeling of another summer coming to an end… and the sun is out: the glorious sun, that was often lacking in dreary old England – but what a beautiful thing an English summer is when it finally does come!

Here’s to more good news and smooth sailing in Budapest. We can’t wait to get our flat and get it sorted for you. This is a great city and a great country and it more than deserves to be visited. Let us be your guides when the time comes. Until next time, sziasztok! (‘Goodbye’ in plural in Hungarian – the z’s are silent).

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