Entry 6 – February 3, 2010

After a bit of a late night, I slept in kind of late on the 2nd. Our intent was to get to school before noon to do our student cards, but we were all pretty beat, so we took our time making breakfast and checking our emails. I was once told that I am mildly intolerant to eggs, which basically means that I can’t eat large quantities of eggs without feeling a little ill, but this was long ago and I was kind of craving some egg seeing the other guys eat it every day, so I decided to have a small portion, hoping I had grown out of the intolerance. Later in the day, my stomach wasn’t all too happy (though I could have been imagining things), so I’m not sure I’ll be keeping that one up.

We ended up getting to school after 1 and got our ESN cards and T-Mobile SIM cards (if anyone wants my phone number, send me an email) plus we also signed up for the “Freshman Camp” in Eger this weekend, which sounds like it should be pretty interesting. I even got a free t-shirt with my ESN card.

After the ESN stuff, we went to the office for our student ID’s and waited in line for about 20 minutes. Sunny eventually decided to read some of the signs near the door and, low and behold, exchange students were supposed to go to a different office. We ran down there hoping the line wasn’t too long. The Americans were all in the line already and it was taking much longer per person that we thought it would and were a bit concerned that we wouldn’t get through in time. The lady said she had to be out the door no later than 4 so she could catch her carpool. Seeing how many people were left, she decided to just give us our student cards and take the paper work so that we could finish it in the morning but still get our metro passes that night. That was pretty nice of her.

After that, we hit up a gyro place for supper and then tried to find the UPC office in the area. We eventually found it after wandering around for a few blocks (I had forgotten to mark it on my map). We weren’t quite sure how to take a number as the machine was all in Hungarian. We waited for someone else to come in and take a number and then just copied him. We probably took a number for the wrong service, but who knows. After half an hour or so, our number was called. The lady we got to talk to hardly spoke English and, either out of confusion from us or not knowing how to convey herself to us, she called her coworker over to talk to help. Basically, UPC isn’t active in our district, so we have to find someone else. Right now T-Home is our only option, and it is no good, so we will try to find another provider. Supposedly Digi Kabel is good, so we will try that. It looks like they have an office about a block from our flat, so our odds are good that they have service there.

At this point, it was already getting pretty late and we wanted to get back to our flat before going to the “get to know” party. We rushed back home, dropped off our things, and almost immediately went back to school. After meeting up with everyone, we went to what seemed like a community center type building. There were a bunch of tables set up for various games, 50% of which were drinking games, the rest were basically meant to be embarrassing. I opted out of the drinking games, but the other ones weren’t too bad. For one of them we had to get into pairs and, blindfolded, feed each other these Hungarian chocolates things. Most people didn’t like them, but I thought they were the best things I had ever tasted. One of the guys said they were stuffed with cottage cheese and fruit. I will have to look for them next time I’m grocery shopping.

Around 10, everyone left to go to a club near our place. Matt and I joined them for the tram ride, but opted to go home once we got off.

Today we had to wake up early to get to school and finish up our registration. Someone also had to be home between 10 and 11 am so they could let the service man in to change some lightbulbs. Our plan was for one person to stay home and the others to go to school to register and then trade off so that the other person could register. I ended up sleeping in a bit longer than I intended and apparently no one else had set their alarm clocks. After checking the schedule for the day at school, we realized that we had an hour longer than we thought to get our registration done, so we decided to just wait for the service guy. He finally buzzed our flat around 11:50 and about 15 minutes later got to our door. I’m not quite sure why it took so long. Three men came into the flat, not one of them speaking English. We pointed out all the broken/missing lightbulbs and after looking at them for about ten minutes, the men all left. About 20 minutes later, they buzzed the flat again and by this time we were getting pretty pressed for time, so Matt and I left to register and Sunny stayed for the guys while they changed bulbs. We have one light that still doesn’t have a bulb as it has a strange socket type, but otherwise we now have lights in every room!

Getting to school, our registration went really fast and so we ended up actually having some down time while we waited for Sunny to arrive. Some of the American girls were there and they had been staying in the same hotel we had stayed at previously. We had mentioned to them a day or two earlier about the crazy guy at the front desk, but they hadn’t seen him at that point. When we saw them today, they mentioned that they finally saw him and were trying to contain laughter once they recognized him from our description. One of the girls even pulled out her phone to take a picture and was trying to fake as though she was sending a text message but the flash went off so he definitely noticed.

At two there was a couple of hours of administration talk regarding our classes for the semester. We are only required to take a culture course (and taking more would just cut into our project time as well as probably cost more) but there is a Hungarian language course which is also being offered which I am tempted to take as long as there aren’t too many hours of lecture per week.

The rest of the talk was regarding technical courses which none of us really wanted to take. Some of us thought it might be nice to sit in on some lectures just to get a head start for the following year, but for the most part we didn’t really need to be there.

After the course description, we went back to the Pest side of the river in search of another gyro/kebab place. We thought there was one almost every block but ended up walking probably upwards of ten blocks before we found one. The one we found was really nice, though, and the food was great. We then went to try a different internet provider which is only a block from our place, Digi, but they close early on Wednesday, so that will have to be done tomorrow. The next item on the agenda was grocery shopping. We had noticed a different “szupermarket” across the street from the one we had been using so far and so we decided to check it out. This one had a much better selection, so I am glad we found it.

The rest of the evening consisted of relaxing and, for me, fighting to install Windows on my Mac without a DVD. I think I am very close to success, but we’ll have to wait a bit to find out.

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