Lest anyone think that I have not been busy, thus ignoring my blogging regularly, it is untrue. Many of the things other than writing have been consuming my time. In addition to that, there hasn’t been much to inspire me to set the keyboard to type or even to put my headset on to speak to Dragon Naturally Speaking. The things that have been happening in my life have had questionable qualities as to whether they were worth writing about or not.
One day, as I was sitting at the kitchen table reading a book, someone rang the doorbell downstairs. When I answered it, all I heard was Hungarian. When I said I do not speak Hungarian, there was no English prompting me to open the door.
About five minutes later, our apartment door doorbell rang. Two men were standing there. They had ID tags hanging around their neck, but holding them up for inspection while saying something in Hungarian. For all I knew, they were Jehovah’s Witnesses; Mormons were ruled out due to their clothes. After saying I do not speak Hungarian yet again, I was ready to dismiss them and walk away. No, I did not want a super deal on Internet service, nor did I want to put a new roof on our apartment. Leave me alone!
Then one of them spoke in halting English. He told me that they were from the district office and were here to investigate our bed and breakfast. Any official in this country or anywhere I don’t speak the language, intimidates me. They spent over an hour asking questions, looking over our business corporation papers; all the time they were extremely pleasant. The end result was that even if our company has court ordered permission to rent out rooms, we never received direct permission from the district. The entire hour I sweat through this non-hostile investigation, while Ron was napping in the next room. I insisted he find a translator to accompany him to the district to get this cleared up on the following Monday. All through the weekend I mulled over and worried about the consequences; though the gentlemen here were extremely kind and considerate could we expect the same from their colleagues?
Prior to and continuing during this same week, I was in the middle of a battle with the university. The Dutch Department hired a new lector was to start in September. Due to the poor wages that lectors receive, the university tries to supplement it by providing housing. Their list of available housing list was depleted; no offerings were to be had. Instead the university housing department decided to offer him 50,000 forints to pay towards rent. It was their expectation that this was all he would have to pay for rent. However this is totally unrealistic in today’s real estate market.
The secretary in my department believed that since I had quit, my apartment would be available. She did not realize that we owned it with intentions to stay, while continuing to live in this apartment. I corrected her mistake, but also informed her of our other apartment. Then after conferring with the head of the Dutch Department, they gave the information to Arnold their new hire.
The Feri Place apartment more than appealed to Arnold. Our place easily rents for 85,000 forints. We have had multiple offers each time it becomes available as a long term rental. Looking through the advertisements on Facebook we can probably even get more. However, we have stayed with 85,000 forints for the last two years. The tenant has to pay their own utilities and the building fees, but we pay the water bill as well as the Wi-Fi.
Arnold realized this was an excellent deal, even more so after seeing the apartment. He saw the video on our website, but when we took him there to see it in person, he was ecstatic. He said he couldn’t wait to tell his friends. After showing them the video on our website, they said we probably only videotaped the good parts ignoring the bad. He couldn’t wait to tell them that there were only good parts. He wanted to move immediately, but of course that was not possible. He will move in on August 19.
The head of the housing department didn’t think it was ethical that I should collect rent for another lector when the university had been contributing to my rent in the past. I turned it over to the head of the Dutch Department to fight the battle, stating that I had given up; it was out of my hands. It finally worked out with all the papers signed. Arnold has signed his lease so we are good to go.
The deciding factor was when the Dutch Department called around to various apartments finding no one wanted to rent to the university. There were a couple of exceptions, but the apartments were so horrid that the head of the Dutch Department would not allow any of their employees to live in them.
Arnold will pay 35,000 forints plus utilities with common costs. The university will pay 50,000 forints. He recently sent me an email stating he was informed his contract can be extended six times bringing him to the year 2020; he continued to say this could be good news for our rental.
While all this was happening my doctor decides I need to go for my annual bloodwork and urine test. I had labored over this point for a couple of weeks when I finally decided to go July 1st. What I didn’t realize was that all medical facilities are closed on July 1st. It’s Semmelweis day, apparently making this is a medical holiday. I had strategically planned for this day in particular, because it was Ron’s birthday. With my bloodwork out of the way I could celebrate worry-free when we had his beer party at the beer pub.
To prepare, I had abstained from all alcohol the entire weekend, I was religiously adherent to a diabetic diet, and even threw in 30 minutes of exercise each day. I was all set for bloodwork, but the best laid plans of mice and men went down the drain. It took me another two weeks to recapture the motivation to recreate the pre-bloodwork routine. Once the bloodwork was out of the way, it then took me another week plus before I went to the doctor for the results. It was a great relief when he said my tests came back like a normal healthy human being. There was no other discussion or anything else that needed a follow-up; he seemed to be perfectly happy with the results. We celebrated with beer that night.