Saturday, January 29, 2011
Friday, January 28, 2011
Thursday, January 27, 2011
I have decided that it would be a good idea to start news reports, filming myself and my teammates during my Hungarian adventures, as to allow my friends and family back at home a better "feel" for my life abroad. Upon filming, I would introduce myself and tell everyone where we are. This has proven to be difficult for two reasons: a) I had no real idea of where that is usually, and b) I am typically unable to pronounce the name of the city. Unfortunately, these are just some of the limitations to my broadcasting skills. I am not a perfect person, and tend to butcher the pronunciations of city names, or names in general...it's really any word that has "gy", "ny", "ty", or one of the many "o" or "u" vowels. It's fair to say that the majority of Hungarian words are outside of my speaking capabilities. Regardless, the team finds it important for me to constantly repeat these words for them, usually resulting in rounds of laughter, thus diminishing my self-esteem to an all-time low.
Exhibit A: A recent match took our team to a northwest corner of Hungary. Upon filming, I introduced myself and, as I went to inform my captive viewing audience of our whereabouts, it dawned on me that I had no idea where that was. My quick thinking got me out of that pickle, as I turned the camera on Barbi, asking her to tell everyone where we are. "Nyíregyháza". "Near-in-haza? Can you say it again...slower this time". She stated this so matter-of-factly. There would never be any remote possibility that I could correctly say that word. Good thing I won't be traveling back there anytime soon.
Exhibit B: the Hungarian word "csodálatos", meaning "wonderful". This word is far from wonderful. Pronounced cho-dal-i-tosh. According to Niki, Americans have a higher tendency to use vocal inflection while speaking than Hungarians, which is the reason behind my inability to somewhat correctly say this word. Ágó finds this to be especially humorous.
Exhibit C: "Úristen", a phrase commonly used by many of my teammates which means "oh my God". Kicsi first introduced me to saying this word, and the only way I can truly pronounce it correctly is to mimic her. It should be noted that when she says this word, it is in a high-pitched, cartoon-like manner, in which case I will parrot it back to her. Once again, cue rounds of laughter.
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Friday, January 21, 2011
4. I have been taking pictures of street signs around town when I go on my random wanders, to then return home and find where it was I walked on my city map. Its nearly impossible to get lost in this town, but still nice to get a mental image of where I've been. I've also been able to visit Gyula (15 minutes away) and Sarkad (30ish minutes away), two nearby towns close to the Romanian border. We've been to Budapest twice, but only for matches so I wasn't able to go around at all. Its about a 3.5 hour drive in the bus. We head to Nyíregyháza Sunday to play a match, its about 3 or so hours away from here.
4. My interactions with the locals, besides the people I know, are few and far between. Occasionally I've gotten stopped while on a wander about the town and asked a question or two. Apparently I look like I speak the language, maybe that's just because there are so few foreigners here. Today at lunch, I was talking to Niki and a guy turns to her and asks where she's from...she shook her head and pointed to me. Well the dude now lives in Destin, and knew a bunch about Jacksonville..we ended up sitting with him and talking to him all through lunch. Long story short, I'm super popular and everyone here wants to be my friend, regardless of being able to actually communicate with me. You all should consider yourselves honored to be my friends =]
That's all for now....so until next time, you stay classy, readers.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Sunday, January 16, 2011
The day began like any other: breakfast followed by some blogging and reading before meeting with Adam and Niki to go to lunch at Holsten's. The sun was bright and shiny, and there wasn't a cloud in the sky--a rare occurrence for Hungarian winter. We all deduced that this was a good sign, believing it meant that we would be victorious in tonight's match against MAV. The lunch was great, as usual. We talked about local sports teams; I told them about the previous night's NFL playoff games, having to stop and explain various rules here and there. Once we all finished our meals, we decided we would go to the Csaba Center for some coffee. There, we chatted about the different costs of iPhones and other technologies from Hungary to America; Niki really wants an iPhone, so I think I might have to work some American-magic, maybe introduce her to CraigsList and eBay. The afternoon was full of comparisons between life in America and life in Europe, more specifically Hungary. Finally, we headed back to the university campus so I could rest up before the match.
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Sunday, January 9, 2011
- No kicking of the ball with your feet, unless you are the goalkeeper
- When attempting to shoot at the goal, you must be behind what looks like a 3-point line in basketball
- Goals are worth one point
- If you bear hug another player who is in possession of the ball, the play is dead, indicated by a referee waving his arms and blowing a whistle
- You are allowed to turn a bear hug into an MMA style choke out
- There are 6 players from each team on the court, plus one goalkeeper each
- Substitutions are made similar to hockey change-ups, where you just run in from the sideline
- Stripping someone of their jersey is allowed (Note: tops only, pantsing someone is frowned upon as just plain dirty)
- Body checking, shoving, and tripping other players is allowed, but only as individual actions. If any are combined, you get carded
- Carding results in a one-on-one game of "dodgeball" where the fouled player gets a chance to pelt the ball as hard as they can at the goalkeeper from behind a small line on the court
- Never, under any circumstances, can you hair pull. That's a bitch move and will get you beaten up
- Constant shoving and poking of the player you are guarding is strongly advised, as the pure annoyance is enough to make them lose mental focus
- There are two 30-minute rounds, in which time counts up, stopping only during 50-second timeouts
Saturday, January 8, 2011
Monday, January 3, 2011
Rita invited me to her home for New Years Eve day lunch, where we were entertained by her son Nandi. Her husband is obsessed with American sports, and almost died when I showed him pictures of me andthe UT volleyball team on the sidelines at the Bucs/Jags preseason game. I showed them both pictures of my university and the sights around Tampa. Lunch was really good, included lots of Hungarian dishes.
As the meal wound down, Rita and I grabbed out the Hungarian/English dictionary and my Hungarian phrase book and tried to piece together sentences to further communicate to one another. This led to my first, of what I assume will be many, Hungarian lesson.
After going over the alphabet, and stuttering over the many vowels, we decided to take on some actual words. She taught me to count to 10, the days of the week, and the months. Once we started going, she explained more about how to pronounce each letter as it is written, which made for a somewhat easier time. Occasionally Zoli would shout a correction from the other room, and we would burst into laughter. Their "c" is pronounced "ts", their "s" = "sh", "sz" = "s", "cs" = "ch"; so as you can see there is a lot of discrepancy between our alphabet and theirs, let alone a doubled amount of vowels.he words are spelled as phonetically American as possible, but was still difficult for some of their letters, as we don’t have that similar of sounds in the US.
What time is is? – ha’ny o’ra
Who? – ki
What? – mi
Where? – hol
When? – mikor
Why? – mie’rt
How much? – mennyi
Where is the toilet? – hol van a ved tse
My personal favorite:
I don’t understand – nem e’rtem
I speak English – Bese’lek angolul
Happy New Year - boldog eu yevet
Thank you – kosonom
Please – ke’rem
You’re welcome – si’ veshen
I'm off to a slow start, not sure I'll actually be able to retain all that much, but it's only been 5 days, so there is still plenty of time.
"Language shapes the way we think, and determines what we can think about.” - Benjamin Lee Whorf