Seasoned Expat Experiences

I put the muesli and the milk on the cash register. It was Sunday and I was at the Prima supermarket under Fény Piac (Fény Market), next to Mammut. The cashier looked at my two daughters, smiled and said somethings nice about them. Still smiling, she addressed me. And boom. The smile froze on her face the moment she realized that I did not understand.
Frantically, I tried to think of a way out. My brain saved me. “Speak!”, it ordered, and I spoke. “Nagyon szép az idő (The weather is very nice).” A bland sentence – usually.
But it broke the spell. You should have seen the woman’s face! Realizing that I did know some Hungarian, the woman smiled again, wished me a good day and said good bye to the girls.

As I left, I was a little startled. Then I tried to put myself in her shoes. In front of me had been a French lady. Although she did not look like a tourist, she didn’t understand the cashier either. I could imagine the frustration the cashier must feel if this happened every day, keeping her from communicating with people.

The Hungarians I have met appreciate my efforts to speak – even if it is just a little. They don’t mind that I don’t understand them fully and are happy that I try. And I am sure they will treat you the same way if you try, too.

👍 Good to know
Nagyon szép az idő = The weather is very nice
(Nagyon szép = very nice; idő=weather)

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