In a previous blog post (http://toddlprice.com/2014/06/26/mks-and-kms-missionary-kids-can-also-be-kid-missionaries/), Pam shared about what our missionary kids do on the mission field. The kids in the States who had asked about that also wanted to know more about what life is like in Budapest, so Pam wrote as follows in follow-up:
Question: Do they have fast food restaurants there like McDonald’s?
Answer: We do have fast food restaurants. Actually, the first time we came to Budapest when we lived in Zagreb, Croatia back in 1994 we came to Budapest and wrote home about all the great food, not mentioning the beauty of the city or famous things most people would go to see! We were so glad to get a taste of America at that point in our adjustment to overseas living! We have McDonald’s, Burger King, Pizza Hut, KFC, and we used to have Wendy’s, 31 Flavors Baskin-Robbins, and Dunkin’ Donuts back then. You have to pay for any drink including water, which is standard for all restaurants here, and you also pay for ketchup packets for your french fries. That is also fairly standard, even at a nice restaurant. Most restaurants also charge a small fee for the take-out box if you want to take your leftovers home. (There is no such thing as a free lunch, of course!) Yes, the food tastes pretty much the same, though they might not have the same exact menu, but it is pretty close to our US ones. It is not as cheap to eat at these as it is in the States, though. There’s no 10 for $10 type sales, though they do have some coupons.
Question: What are the schools like there and what do Hungarian kids do when they are not in school?:
Answer: I am learning more about this and hope to learn more at the English camp. In general European schools meet for fewer hours a day but have more homework and are more advanced in math. They do more rote-memory learning, less critical-thinking learning, and the teaching methods tend to be ones where the authority is not questioned (same in the medical field). The kids don’t ride school buses, but walk or ride the public bus system or their parents walk them or drive them. The school buildings and daycare centers, which is mandatory for Hungarians ages 3 til kindergarten, usually have artwork on the windows which the children have made.
When the Hungarians are not in school in the summer they may go to a sports camps or English camp, and some churches here have Vacation Bible School or 5-Day Clubs! These are evangelical/Baptist churches that I know of that have these. The school where Kirsten takes gymnastics during the school year offered a gymnastics camp. Kids here ride bikes if they live in an area where they can ride, and not a big tall apartment building as some do. There is also a very large lake an hour from here, Lake Balaton, where many people go camping in the summer as families. In some countries in Europe it is normal for a parent’s job to have the benefit of a vacation house/apartment time at the sea (if Croatia or Bosnia, at least before the war 20 years ago) or lake (as would be for Hungarians). I don’t know for sure if they do this here and not all jobs would have that benefit. But people do leave the city for the lake in the summer on weekends. People who have vegetable gardens and fruit trees take care of those, and I assume the children would be expected to help.
I hope to be learning more…but hope this is helpful!