Do you give up or are you Hungary for more?

Eight Hungarian men have moved into my apartment block. Thankfully, the only hot one moved into the apartment opposite mine. He has a propensity for walking around half-naked which I find pleasing. We have mildly flirtatious conversations that I can barely understand as he only speaks Hungariman. They don’t seem to go to bars but, instead, enjoy knacker-drinking on the roof of the parking garage which is just below my balcony. I feel like a bit like Juliet some nights, if Juliet had had eight Hungarian Romeos, that is.

On one such occasion, they offered me some Hungarian moonshine. (If you want to know what that tastes like, go and swig some petrol.) We all ended up at a party in one of their flats and I immediately impressed with my one word of Hungarian – “egészségedre!” Where I could have picked up the word for “cheers!” in Hungarian (and around 15 other languages) is a mystery…

Anyway, on Sunday, I decided that a major blitz of my flat was necessary. I had amassed enough paper over the last year and a half to start my own recycling plant. Five sacks of paper and general rubbish (separated, of course) sat in the hall and I proceeded to lug them down to the bins one by one. On my fourth trip, I bumped into the Hungarian who acts as an interpreter for the rest of them. He looks a bit like Chris Evans, unfortunately not the hot Hollywood one.

This one. But less smiley.
(image taken from

He also likes wearing socks and sandals.

He kindly unlocked the front door for me and I trudged back upstairs. I was hoping he’d have finished his cigarette by the time I went back down with bag number five but no, he was still there.

András: Wow, so much rubbish. 

Me: Ja, heute ist Putztag. 

Luckily, he hadn’t seen me schlepping down with the first three bags. He opened the door for me again and then paused on the steps.

András: Em, Linda, can I ask you something? 

Me: Sure, (whatever your name is).

András: I’m looking for someone to practise my German with and I was wondering if you’d be interested.

Me: I’m not sure I’m the right person for that job. I’m pretty sure your German is better than mine. (Educating someone on the art of the Sitzpinkel does not make you an expert on the German language; it merely means that you have a rather unhealthy fascination with the peeing habits of German men and like talking about it when you’ve been drinking Hungarian moonshine.)

András: (peering at me intensely through his black-rimmed glasses) I’d like to try though. I can cook dinner for us. Monday? 

Me: Erm, no, I can’t tomorrow. I have a pub quiz. 

András: Tuesday? 

Me: Erm, erm… Maybe. I have a late lesson though so… we’ll see. Maybe. Byeeeeeee!

On Tuesday, I arrived home, put on my slippers, spooned some beans into a saucepan and started up my laptop. I hadn’t even had time to enter the password when there was a ring at the bell. Scheiße.

Me: Oh. Hi.

András: Are you coming? 

Me: Well, I’m really tired and I’ve just got in the door. (He lives directly under me so he had obviously heard me coming home.) Would you mind if we left it for another night? 

His face fell. More.

András: But I’ve already cooked. 

Me: I’m…

András: It’s 20 minutes out of your life and I’ve already prepared everything. 

Me: (Sigh.) OK, then. 

I then flopped around the flat, sighing loudly, sulkily taking off my slippers again and angrily bunging my poor beans into the fridge. I gave the bottle of wine in there a last wistful glance and walked wearily downstairs.

When I stepped into the living room, I was comforted to see that András had his laptop on and was currently browsing a website full of terrifying-looking knives.

Me: Em, what’s that? 

András: Oh, it’s a hobby of mine. I make knives. 

Me: … Cool? 

He then opened a cupboard and proceeded to show me his collection. Just in case I wasn’t convinced by the glinting blades, he then shaved a chunk of hair off his arm to demonstrate how sharp they were. Tufts of ginger hair floated lazily to the floor.

Me: (Hmm, I wonder if I should throw myself through the window or try to make an attempt for the door…) Um, wow, impressive. Oh, is that a photo of your family?

Immediate crisis averted, we sat down to eat. To be fair, he had gone to quite a bit of effort. He’d even bought wine. I tucked into the goulash while making what I felt were appropriately appreciative noises. We chatted a bit about his family in Hungary, his work here and the joys of learning German. He pulled out the book he was using. It was quite possibly the most boring book I’d ever seen.

András: I’m using this book. 

Me: (Say something positive, say something positive) Bah hahaha! That’s probably the worst book I’ve ever seen! It’s just table after table of conjugated verbs! It’s so dry! 

András: (Peering at me over his goulash) You think your books are better than my books? 

Me: (Say no, say no) Yes, for sure. They have pictures and dialogues and useful everyday German. I can lend you a couple if you like? 

András: OK.

I polished off my goulash and got ready to make good my escape.

András: I’ll get the main course.


He set down a plate of grilled chicken and a pot of vegetables. I refilled my glass.

Me: Mmm, this is really good, thanks. 

András: You know, I don’t want to be… wait, I don’t know the word. 

He started typing the Hungarian word into the translator app on his phone. The German word appeared letter by letter:


Me: (Gulp) Violent? You don’t want to be violent? 

András: No.

Me: And are you? 

András: I don’t want to be. But when you said you didn’t want to come tonight after I’d prepared everything…

At that moment, I knew exactly how Julia Roberts had felt in “Sleeping with the Enemy”. Door it was.

Me: Well, that was delicious but I really must be going now. Thank you for dinner! 

András: Next Tuesday? 

Me: Byeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! 

I scarpered back upstairs and gave Manfredas the abridged version over Messenger.

Manfredas: Double lock your door.

Me: Done:

Manfredas: And your balcony door.

Me: Also done. I mean, he has a wife and kids, but then, so did Fred West.

The real tragedy of the story is that I never did get around to eating the beans.

Forlorn-looking beans



65 thoughts on “Do you give up or are you Hungary for more?”

  1. Linda!
    How do you get yourself into this much trouble? Honestly, I think you might have a member of the Hungarian mafia next door! But is it bad that I howled with laughter all the while I was reading and drinking my glass of wine?!
    p.s. Poor pot of beans! Just yesterday, my teen wanted to know why he doesn’t get to have beans on toast like I used to, as a little girl… Firstly I said, you’re too demanding. Secondly, a can of baked beans in Germany costs about £1.00 instead of a few pennies, And thirdly, you’re half-German. You just don’t understand the holiness of it!

    He wasn’t peased! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, get him the own brand ones – that should put him off the idea! It is great comfort food though! And no, making people howl with laughter at my misfortunes is my main aim in life 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve tried that. He wasn’t impressed! If it’s not organic, made on some farm in the middle of no where, or home-made, he’s not having it! I remember the tiime when kids were perfectly happy with a jam butty!
        #onlychildsyndrome #generationz

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, I didn’t even have to travel anywhere to meet this one! Unless you count walking out onto my balcony 😉 Have a plan A and B for tonight so I should be safe 😉


        1. Plan A cancelled – bastard 😉 Plan B worked out nicely and have hardly been home since – home alone tonight though… Watching a Criminal Minds marathon probably isn’t my finest idea but that’s what I’ll be doing!


            1. I think people would die of boredom 😉 Plan A cancelled because he was “a little bit tired” – I’d actually rather someone lied to me and made up something more interesting. Worst excuse ever. Manfredas came to the rescue at short notice 🙂


  2. Ah, I just went through all the comments to see if there was an update … it’s been a couple of days since you posted. You know, someone has to make knives (I mean, they don’t make themselves) but how creepy to have the laptop opened to a page of knives and then that demonstration! I think the bottom would have fallen out of my stomach then … I don’t like knives (in part because I have sliced up a finger or two while chopping vegetables). And he really, honestly was looking up the word for “violent”?? What did he have to be violent about? Aargh! I’m so glad to hear you are planning to move. I hope it’s soon! He reminds me of the apartment manager I was stuck with for a while (many years ago, before I was married). He’d show up drunk at my apartment insisting that we needed to get together. At least he didn’t have any knives with him. But it was getting scary the less he was willing to take No for answer. I think he got the boot because of his drinking … 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh man, that sounds even creepier! I haven’t seen the guy since and as far as I know, he’s back in Hungary this weekend for his daughter’s birthday party. I’ve also made plans for Tuesday evening – and will for every foreseeable Tuesday if that’s what it comes to! Yeah, it’s like having a porn website open on a first date or something – most people try to hide the weird for a bit. Unless they’re psychos 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Seems that now I don’t even have to leave my building to attract them! And yes, it was intentional! I was looking for a Hungarian-German combo and I liked the way that sounded 🙂


  3. Have you not let slip that you have a boyfriend? Could Manfredas move in temporarily? Or in absence of Manfredas, could you possibly manufacture some rhythmic banging of headboard-against-wall at suspicious hours during the night? Just so the message gets across?

    Liked by 1 person

          1. You wouldn’t think I’d be mortified if my mates/family ever knew would ya? I don’t know why I’m so blase here(is that how you spell blase?).

            No, I haven’t used this much lately. Trying to learn Spanish!

            Liked by 1 person

                1. Oh, I didn’t realise – I’m sorry! I guess I need to catch up on my reading too! I know the German codes but nothing else! Whereabouts are you? Enjoying it?


                2. No, I’ve not really posted much about it. I’ve got 6 months of China to talk about first. :O
                  Catalonia, do you know Spain quite well? To be honest, teaching kids isn’t fun. Much preferred Chinese uni students to Spanish kids.

                  Liked by 1 person

                3. Urgh, Spanish students – more like crowd control than teaching! Teaching kids isn’t easy at the best of times but Spanish kids…


                4. I’ve had experience with Polish kids – it was fun at times but really, not the kind of teaching I want to do. And I taught Spanish teenagers at a summer school – never again 😉


                5. Damn shame, that 😉 I need to buy new knickers soon – saving for a deposit is eating into my clothes and fun money 😉
                  And yeah, I did have fun with the kids and they loved me for some bizarre reason, but on the whole, it’s not for me!


                6. Nope but it’s first on my list when I get a new flat – new flat, new underLinda 😉
                  Yeah, that was the exhausting thing about kids for me – you always have to keep them moving/entertained or they start killing each other 😉


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