Daily Journal: Thursday, 2 February 2017

I had a very good sleep last night. First night in a new flat – and you never know how the sounds of the neighborhood will welcome you in the morning. My flat seems to be fairly soundproof – and being on the 7th floor limits street noise. I tend to be on “high alert” on the first night I’m somewhere new. So far, I’m liking this place. So much room and can’t wait for the fog to clear so I can see the river.

Had a huge task list today. Got the important tasks completed. Happy about that!
1). Mail American Express (UK) to England address (find Post Office)
2). Join Gold’s Gym
3). Get Transportation Card (monthly pass)
4). Find out which train will get me to tonight’s InterNations event
5). Grocery shop
6). Get new cell plan with Hungarian Vodafone
7). Start 2016 taxes
8). Look for coffee mug (mugs too small here) and bath towel

Quite a list, but want to be settled in as much as I can. The main task was to join a gym to keep me limber and fit. Have really felt my muscles getting tight in the last few weeks.

So easy to get a membership at Gold’s. Just gave my name and phone number and 9,000 HUF and I was paid up for the next 45 days. No application form. Tomorrow, I show up for my first day at the gym.

Setting up a new cell phone plan is a little more complicated. So many options and when the person you’re talking with doesn’t speak English well and you don’t speak a word of Hungarian – it takes a while to confirm that the deal is what you want. In the end, we worked through all of the questions and for a nominal rate, I feel good about what we agreed to.

I was not able to get a monthly transportation card – couldn’t find where to purchase one. Was able to purchase a single return trip ticket from the Post Office for tonight’s InterNations gathering. I’ll find a ticket outlet tomorrow. Found out which stop on the M3 will get me close to the InterNations event.

Was able to get started with my 2016 taxes. Just waiting for my W2 from OHSU, which they mailed on Tuesday. I can’t imagine trying to do taxes manually and not on-line.

Have more supplies from the grocery store. Tomorrow I’ll add more vegetables. I could have bought everything yesterday, but couldn’t carry it all home at one time. The store in the mall will get me started and will make a trip to the supermarket that is 1km away to fill in anything the smaller market did not carry.

The InterNations event was very interesting as I expected. We took over a bar near the center of the city. Think we had around 150 people there. Met people from all over: UK, Germany, Russia, Greece, Oregon, and some local Hungarians as well. The couple from Oregon I met (moved to Washington before retiring) was fun to talk with and get his perspective on life abroad and traveling.

Going home, at first was a little unsure about getting back on the Metro. I forgot the name of the stop near my Budapest home. After some checking I confirmed the stop and all was okay. Got home in 45 minutes (including walking from the station). Still some ice on the sidewalks so a little slow going in some places. When I walked in the door, my step counter said I walked over 11,000 steps today! I’m happy about that!