Entry 4 – January 29, 2010

Yesterday was a little bit of a hectic day. We (4 U of M guys plus Sunny, the guy from SFU) got up early (compared to our past few days) in order to go to BME and meet with the lady in charge of administration for the English engineering program. We got a bunch of information from her and then went off to the bank to pay for our insurance, required for international students to enroll at BME. That process was a little confusing and took much longer than we thought it should have. After that, we went to Allee to pick up a couple of things (I got a “Universal Switching Power Supply Unit” for use with my trimmer and cordless mouse charger) and for lunch (I had some kebab stuff that was really good).

Next we took the tram over to the Pest side and went to Cam and Andy’s place. It is quite nice, with high ceilings and fancy kitchen. The owner used to live there, so it isn’t exactly done up on the cheap. They are a bit lacking in the furniture department, though, so the owner is going to get them some stuff soon.

Since our flat didn’t have enough pillow cases for all of our pillows, I wanted to go to IKEA to grab some of those and we also wanted to get a few other things for our flat. We left Cam and Andy’s to go finish things up with the contract for our flat and get our internet installed. Turns out that T-home can’t give us 5Mb internet, so they have to charge us the 5Mb price for 1Mb connections, which is a bit unfortunate. We didn’t sign up on the spot because we wanted to check with a few competitors first.

We weren’t sure how long contract and internet stuff was going to take, so we told Cam and Andy that we would meet up with them later and email or Skype them when and where to meet us. By the time we got back to our flat, we had trouble connecting to the neighbours internet, so we decided to just go back to Cam and Andy’s to get them. I think they had pretty much given up on us at that point as they were lounging around in shorts and t-shirts.

After a quick change, we were all off to IKEA. It is kind of at the edge of the city, but it is right at the end of the Metro 2 line, so it wasn’t too hard to get to. This was the first time for each of us being on the Metro, and as far as we can tell, the Metro is the only place where they actually check for transit passes. Cam and Andy had both just been hopping on the tram up till now, so they got a couple tickets and we were off. Going into the Metro station, we had to take a huge escalator down to the actual subway tunnel. It was so steep and so long that it felt like we were going down a long horizontal tunnel but gravity was mixed up. The fact that the ads on the walls were parallel to the escalator railing probably added to the effect.

We got to IKEA, all quite hungry, so we went to the restaurant. While in line, we started to notice that everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) had meatballs and fries on their plate. We started getting kind of confused until we realised that the meatballs and fries meal, regular 790Ft, was at a special price of 100Ft for a limited time! That is just over $0.50 CAD!

We walked through IKEA for a bit and eventually got lost. We did notice, however, that every piece of furniture or kitchen item from each of our flats and most of the flats we had seen over the past few days was for sale at IKEA. Crazy!

Today I wanted to get up early to try to sort out internet with other companies and then get our student cards, but I am using my phone for an alarm clock and I had the clock set wrong, so I did not wake up until almost noon. After “breakfast”, Sunny and Matt went off to talk to people about internet while I showered and tried to clean out the soap drawer of our laundry machine. Someone left a bunch of damp soap flakes in there and it had dried in and may have even started moulding.

When the guys got back, they said that the other providers were no cheaper and in fact put caps on the maximum bandwidth used, so they were vetoed instantly. We wanted to check out one more provider, UPC, that we were told was on the Buda side of the river, but didn’t quite know where. Since “our” internet was still on the fritz, we just went where we were told it roughly was, but after walking around for an hour or two, we could not find anything except perhaps a building which used to be their place of business. The area we walked around in, though, was quite beautiful and we decided that we should revisit the place with cameras some time.

For supper, we cooked up some stuffed pasta we had purchased the day before and warmed up some sauce. It was pretty good and we should have enough left over for lunch tomorrow.

Just before going to bed, Matt and I looked up UPC to see if there were any locations that were open on Saturday and I think we found one next to the IKEA, so we might go for more meatballs and fries tomorrow! Also, we glanced at their prices and, if we understand the page properly, which we probably don’t, they have significantly better options at significantly lower prices, so hopefully we can get their service in our building. Fingers crossed!

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