Why, hello there. Another week, another series of adventures and terribly hilarious mistakes.
Our last week as teachers was quite slow, as only our most eager students came by. Outside of my three regular students, no one else came by. It felt kind of depressing, but at the same time the students who did come were so bright time flew by.
On Monday, we also attended an international dinner for those attending the upcoming music festival. Filled with laughter, dancing and a delicious traditional Hungarian meal, we left feeling completely content amused. After dinner and dance introductions, we played a hilarious game a la “Whose line is it anyway?” As part of the soap opera group, we used unknown Hungarian words in a ridiculous script. It was priceless to hear the peals of laughter throughout the dining room. & what a gorgeous room, at that…
During the week, a student also invited us to play badminton on the Buda side with them. Comprised of halfhearted badminton playing, futbol plays and ridiculous poses for the camera. Hours later, we dragged ourselves onto the number 9 bus home to Kalvin Ter.
The weekend brought Csillagpont or “Starpoint” Christian music festival and retreat. The theme was being yourself in Christ. Though the food kept us guessing with warm meat and fruit stew and such classic Hungarian delights like cabbage stew, we survived with good company and an impromptu Cafe Island near the main stage. Oh, and ice cream, of course. I also got roped into doing ridiculous amounts of henna on people who came by the refugee center’s booth. Hours later, it wasn’t as fun as the first few times, but still rewarding to see the pretty finished products.
Though we caught the latter end of the festival, the good company and beautiful weather kept us in high spirits. We also watched a strange Hungarian movie about the countryside known as the Glass Tiger. I enjoyed the variety of European Cheetos more than the movie itself. However, we did enjoy the phenomenal showers back in our Budapest dorm rooms. After a good crying session to The Notebook, we fell asleep to the droning of the fan we kidnapped from the kitchen.
Sunday greeted us with warm rays, humidity and the promise of summer heat. We started the morning off right with cinnamon rolls and cappuccinos at Bite Cafe. Afterwards, we headed to Golgota for Sunday service. The pastor preached on the importance of mercy and showing Christ to people by not condemning them to our own judgment. Later, we walked around the Arena Plaza to check out the large Tesco there and for the free air-conditioning.
Let’s just say God wasted no time in applying the lessons I learned this morning. Upon attempting to shuffle on home with our 3-days overused monthly metro passes, we were stopped by the dreaded BKV undercover metro “agents” (for lack of a better term). I didn’t know this at the time, but BKV is a private contractor, and they cannot call the police on you, though they did threaten Bre menacingly. Being the cheap Asian that I am, I tried very aggressively to speak in Chinese. Then, I pretended to not have cash. After they began threatening to call the police on us and a poor European guy (“30 Euros? That’s ridiculous, I’ll give you 10.”), I just decided to do the right thing (finally) being the upstanding citizen that I am. Per person, 8000 HUF, which only amounted to $35 each. Still, quite sneaky of them to pretend to be part of the public system. Not cool, BKV. However, this doesn’t excuse my unethical attempts to try and avoid the fee. I will say, I’m happy I paid the fine because it means I’m not completely morally bankrupt. I will say though…I thought about running away or sticking with the Chinese abroad student for awhile…except my student ID is in English…so…it does pay to be honest. Besides, all our food and accommodations were paid for. Csillagpont was free for us as well. I basically had this entire month paid for, room, board & living. The Hungarian communist sentimentality can harrass me all they want for $35 total over a month.
So, yes, lots of adventures with a few mistakes thrown in at the end. Honestly, I’m a bit glad I learned this lesson the hard way. Paying 350 HUF for a daily pass? Way better than a 8000 HUF fine. Also, better to pay the fine than to be morally corrupt and walk away.
Even with the BKV hot on my tail, I’m going to miss Budapest. The hilarious, heartfelt and life-altering memories with colorful characters are priceless. Plus, I got free food at least 7 times already…that’s way over $35. 🙂
As we get ready to debrief and depart for home, please continue to pray for us!
Please pray that:
~I remember to extend mercy to others and not condemn them
~I remain honest, no matter if it’s metro cards or more serious altercations
~We would represent Christ in all that I do
~We remember all the lessons I learned here
~We continue to have broken hearts for those things which break the heart of God
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1 ESV