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comment by goobster
goobster  ·  1807 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Dear Hubski, what language do you speak?

Well, when I moved to Hungary there were not a lot of non-Hungarians there. And it wasn't a tourist destination for anyone but the Germans and Austrians. So I needed to learn Hungarian just to order a beer at a bar.

The place was also totally corrupt. So I had to know who to bribe and when and how much.

And then there was just the geeky fascination of learning such a weird language. I wanted to know more.

So between the various native girlfriends I had, and a week-long intensive Hungarian course over the winter holidays at a university, and just living every day in the culture, I became fluent in Hungarian.

Trying to learn Serbo-Croat was just a part of working so much in the Balkans. I used to travel for a week or two out of every month throughout the region, driving a truck around to the different military bases. So I would often stop at little roadside diners where nobody spoke English, and have to order food, drinks, get directions, etc. I had to bribe officials, get fuel for the vehicle, deal with border guards, and stuff like that as a part of daily life there, So I picked up what I could from my friends that spoke Serbo-Croat.

Ay-Nawn  ·  1805 days ago  ·  link  ·  

That's one hell of an isolating experience, or learning as it seems from your perspective. Bold, nonetheless. From what I gather, you've had quite a bit of a colorful life.

Both Hungary and the Balkans being corrupt... interesting.

All of this taken into account, would there be any thought or recurring theme you derived about either yourself or people in general after living in the U.S., Hungary, and the Balkans?