The past week has been a busy one… part tourist and part new resident. We are beginning our everyday life of shopping, laundry, home cooking, etc. We also got busy finding a permanent place to live. Luckily, we are succeeding fairly well on all fronts.
Grocery shopping has been the most frustrating task for me so far. Not the part where I actually go to the grocery store, but the part where I can’t read the ingredients. I am traditionally an obsessive label reader and will spend a long time comparing items. I currently have no idea what is in my “healthy” cereal or yogurt and am suspicious it may be filled with sugar because my husband is eating both without complaint! LOL
On the other hand, coffee here is always amazing. There are tons of coffee shops from tiny to huge all over Budapest. Andrew and I have been enjoying many of them immensely – with or without a donut on occasion.
Our New Apartment
The most exciting news of the past week was signing the lease on our new apartment. Thanks to the diligent work of Viktoria from Inter Relocation, we successfully navigated the current rental market and signed about 1000 pieces of paper to finally get the keys to our new home in Budapest’s 5th District.
Unlike Toronto, here in Budapest, you don’t pay “First and Last”. There is no credit check. What you do pay is a two month deposit along with your first month’s rent up front. You then continue to pay your rent up front monthly moving forward. You get your deposit back shortly after you move out (providing there was no damage or other monies due).
To facilitate this, a lengthy pre-move inspection is done with both tenant and landlord present. Every appliance is tested and run, all electronic devices are turned on and off, every piece of removable furniture, linens, dishes, etc is cataloged and photographed and finally, all meter readings are taken and recorded. Copies of all of this are then dispersed between all parties to review again when we move out.
In our case, Inter Relocation will come back with us again to do that inspection. It must be noted that having Viktoria with us was invaluable. Not only is she friendly, fun and bilingual – but a consummate professional taking note of all details. We highly recommend this service if you are moving to Budapest for the first time. I really don’t know how Andrew and I would have muddled through on our own…
We are thrilled with our apartment located on Egyetem Square and will make it our official home by the end of the month.
A Walk in the Park
Since we continue to enjoy chilly but sunny days, we decided to go for walk in Budapest’s City Park (Varosliget). We bundled up our dog, Lucy, put her in her carrier and took the subway to Hero’s Square to begin our walk in the park. City Park is close to the centre of Budapest, Hungary. It is a 0.9-by-0.6-mile rectangle, with an area of 302 acres, located in District XIV. It even contains a castle! The Vajdahunyad Castle to be specific.
Meeting the Irish Ambassador
Thursday night we attended our first expat event here in Budapest by invitation from Chris Clark of Clark & White. We got in the festive spirit and headed off to the the Irish Hungarian Business Circle‘s Christmas Party at Jack Doyle’s Irish Pub. For the first time in a couple weeks, English was the main language spoken and Andrew was able to get a proper pint of Guinness. The party included expats not just from Ireland, but from many parts of the UK. And while we met many lovely people at the party, we were lucky enough to meet and chat with the Irish Ambassador himself, Pat Kelly. It turns out he is from the exact same part of Dublin that all of Andrew’s siblings were born in. What a small world!