Wow! It’s hard to believe that I’ve already been here a month! It feels like it’s just been a week or two.
Most of the past two weeks still revolved around immigration (the BAH) and trying to get my work permit. It has proved to be quite the “Catch-22” (as my boss says). The immigration office will not give me my work permit until they have a signed work contract and my school will not let me sign the contract until I hand them my work permit. Please be praying for this issue to be resolved within the next few days.
Other than this last bit most of my processing has been quite smooth, though not without several stories. Near the beginning of processing the BAH informed me that I absolutely must have certain stamps in order to go in the back room and hand in my paperwork, so I headed off that day to buy the stamps. The next day they let me in to turn in my paperwork (because I had the stamps which are very expensive – 18,000 HUF) and then the stamps were promptly returned to me because I was a special case that didn’t require them. Later that afternoon I went to the Posta to try and return the stamps only to be told that it was not possible.
Refusing to give up, a few days later I went back to the Posta to try and return the stamps once again. Before hand I had translated several phrases (I do not need these. May I return them? May I have my money back) and written them down on a paper so that if I butchered pronunciation I could simply slide my paper across. I tried both and the woman helping yelled something in Hungarian and the next thing I knew there was another customer next to me asking what she could translate for me. After she told the clerk exactly what I needed the clerk handed me an address and told the woman exactly where I needed to go. Thankfully the woman who translated for me offered to take me most of the way and then write down directions to get the rest of the way. I was so thankful for the help and it was so nice to just get to talk to her as we were going from tram to metro and eventually bus. She left me half way through the metro ride with directions for the rest of the way. However, as is fairly common in Hungary, the bus I was supposed to take quit running the day before, so I simply kept showing my address to bus drivers until one of them took pity on me and told me she would tell me when to get off.
Eventually I did end up at the right office (I was so excited!). When I got there I immediately showed the security guard my translated phrases and he ushered me to a window (I’m pretty sure I jumped about 50 people in line). However, since I don’t have my work permit yet, and two other numbers that I’m not quite sure what they are, I was not able to get a refund. So, now I’m trying sell my stamps off to another immigrant who will actually need them at the BAH (the head of CEO didn’t like my idea to just set up a stamp stand at the BAH).
On the school front I finally have the classes I will be teaching and a tentative schedule for when the classes will take place. I will be teaching Advanced General English, Intermediate General English, and Intermediate Economics in English (please be praying that I get a full grasp of economics in time). The two general English classes begin the second full week of September and thankfully the Economics class does not begin until October (so I have time to study!).
I have also been able to meet several Hungarian girls my age who I am really looking forward to getting to know. I’m also planning on having a girls-night-in at my flat one Friday night later in September.
– I know my classes! and I’m getting very excited to start teaching
– that I’ll be able to figure out the best way to lesson plan (especially for my two 3 hour classes)
– that I’ll be able to sit in on the first level Hungarian class
– the the “Catch-22” would be resolved quickly (I would really love to be able to sign my contract soon)
– focus and boldness