I woke up with my mind made up. I was going to buy the pashmina shawls from the souvenir market. I had bought some from Mr. Henry earlier and he gave me discounts. I was relying on the fact that he would still give me the same discount this time around. However, I still didn’t have enough forints in my purse any longer. Thank God for return policies; I started looking through my purchases to see if I could return anything. Ahaahha! I brought out a jacket I had bought much earlier. I put it on and showed it to Peace. ‘Peace, this jacket doesn’t fit me, right?’

‘It fits you. Please don’t return it.’ I picked up the kids’ purple blouses and I showed them to Peace. ‘You know, I never liked these tops, I think I should return them, right? I can always buy other tops in Dubai.’

Peace said, ‘Oh! Purple fades fast anyway.’ (Fantastic, what I wanted to hear. There are times when you know what you want to do, you just want someone else to agree with your line of thoughts-this was an example)

‘You are right Peace, you are very right’. I put the blouses into my shopping bag and looked for the receipts. Earlier on, my hubby had asked me to buy linseed. I had bought some seeds with the name lensec (because they sounded alike) which was not the same thing. Linseed in Hungarian language is lenmag. I also put the seeds in the bag and I searched for the receipts so I could return them.

When I got to Corvin Plaza, I was able to convince the customer service officers at the supermarket to collect the lensec and give me back my money. I bought the lenmag with my debit card to save the refunded money from the customer service (as I needed forints). I was very happy with the transaction so I marched up to the second floor where I had purchased the children’s blouses and I asked for a refund. The cashier collected the blouses from me and said I should take a gift voucher. I told her, no thank you. I want cash. She said she couldn’t give me cash because I paid with my debit card. In my mind, I said a big waaaaaaaat! But I kept looking at her like a very gentle, confused woman. I told her I was leaving the next day so I needed the cash. She said I should give her my card that the company would reverse it. If I didn’t give her my card then I would look like a very desperate person so I humbly gave her my card and she did the transaction.

Heartbroken, I went to the hotel to drop my shopping bag and took a bus to the souvenir market to buy Pashmina. I was hoping I would see Mr. Henry there because I was very sure his shop attendant (an Hungarian lady) would not give me any discount.

As I walked into the market, there were a lot of people in there; so many tourists I believe. I made the mistake of walking through the fast food section; there were a lot of people, we were practically pushing into each other. The lady in front of me looked back and saw me and immediately tried stepping out of the crowd; she knew she couldn’t just walk off the line all together so she systematically checked that her knapsack was properly zipped. Then she whispered something to her friend beside her. I decided not to take it personal so I took a cue from her and I held my bag tightly to the front. I mean, you can never be too careful in such a crowd; there could be pick pockets everywhere. As soon as I saw a little space in front of her, I excused myself and moved in front so she could breathe with ease- It’s a good thing to help a fellow human being in distress.

I finally got to Mr. Henry’s shop; boy, was I glad to see Mr. Henry’s big frame? I told him I wanted to buy more pashminas. He asked me to pick what I wanted. I quickly and quietly told him I hope he would give me the same discount. The man simply smiled. He was attending to a customer so I picked the pashminas that I wanted (he sells lovely patterned pashminas). His shop attendant helped me to pick them, she folded them into a paper bag and handed them over to Mr. Henry. Mr. Henry started asking me questions about myself, we both discovered that he had worked in the same Electricity company alongside my parents. He knew some of their colleagues. I asked him how long he had been in Hungary (Mr. Henry is a Nigerian married to an Hungarian lady). He said he had been in Europe since the 80s. Wow! I thought that was a pretty long time. He studied in Europe and worked briefly in Nigeria before coming back to Europe.

Mr. Henry ended up giving me a bigger discount than I bargained for. He said the next time I visit Hungary I should bring ‘kuli kuli.’ Kuli Kuli is an African snack made from roasted peanuts mixed with different spices. I laughed and asked him if he didn’t miss garri (cassava flakes) he said garri was sold in the market by an Indian man. Then he also told me about a place (which was one train stop from my hotel) where an Indian man sells plantain, egusi, garri, okro and other African items. I was in shock; so close to me and I didn’t know? Ok, so I took judicial notice of the address so I wouldn’t forget when next we visit Hungary.

I guess Mr. Henry was really happy to see someone from back home because he didn’t want to end the conversation and I knew I had to run back to the apartment to start packing. I promised to bring him kuli kuli when next I come to Budapest. I took a bus home and I was happy with my transaction.

………………

We had itemized two things for this afternoon: to pack our bags and have our own send forth party to celebrate our last day in Hungary. I however learnt that when you are excited and anxious at the same time, your appetite flies through the window.

We had loads of food to eat but I just didn’t feel like eating. Peace said the food must not waste. She decided she was going to take her time and finish the entire meal. I told her to go ahead as long as it didn’t affect her on the plane the next day.

As we packed our bags, Peace called my attention to the fact that three pairs of socks had only one piece each. It occurred to us that the wind had blown away the socks from the drying rack at the balcony. We were on the 4th floor. We tried scanning the courtyard but we couldn’t see the socks. I went downstairs to complain to the receptionist. He said we should both go outside to look for them. (If it were the children’s old socks, no problem but I just bought this pack of socks. To render three pairs useless was a catastrophe) We both searched for them to no avail. I asked him to ask the cleaners. We saw one of them sitting on a chair and he spoke to her. He turned to me and said they just cleared the whole place thirty minutes ago and they have thrown them away. I told him to tell her to go and check the dustbin. She refused, so I told her he should take me there so I could check (since he said the courtyard was cleaned because there were a lot of empty cans. If it’s just cans in the dustbin, that shouldn’t be a big deal, right? The cleaner told me not to worry that she would go and look for it. She was not gone for one minute and she came back with two out of the three different socks. She said the last one was thrown into the bigger bin.

My conclusion, there are times you have to insist or go the extra mile to get what you want. If I had turned back when she said she couldn’t check the bin, I would have condemned three pairs of new socks. Thinking about it now, who throws away three different legs of socks when you can see drying racks on every balcony. I choose not to write about my own version of what I believed happened to the socks. I choose to let sleeping dogs lie.

With all our bags packed, it dawned on me that we had spent thirty days in Hungary.

Will I drop my pen here? It’s tempting to do so but I would try to keep writing until I step into my house in Lagos.

30 days in HungaryDay 30 (12.08.17) SaturdayI woke up with my mind made up. I was going to buy the pashmina shawls from the souvenir market. I had bought some from Mr. Henry earlier and he gave me discounts. I was relying on the fact that he would still give me the same discount this time around. However, I still didn’t have enough forints in my purse any longer. Thank God for return policies; I started looking through my purchases to see if I could return anything. Ahaahha! I brought out a jacket I had bought much earlier. I put it on and showed it to Peace. ‘Peace, this jacket doesn’t fit me, right?’‘It fits you. Please don’t return it.’ I picked up the kids’ purple blouses and I showed them to Peace. ‘You know, I never liked these tops, I think I should return them, right? I can always buy other tops in Dubai.’Peace said, ‘Oh! Purple fades fast anyway.’ (Fantastic, what I wanted to hear. There are times when you know what you want to do, you just want someone else to agree with your line of thoughts-this was an example)‘You are right Peace, you are very right’. I put the blouses into my shopping bag and looked for the receipts. Earlier on, my hubby had asked me to buy linseed. I had bought some seeds with the name lensec (because they sounded alike) which was not the same thing. Linseed in Hungarian language is lenmag. I also put the seeds in the bag and I searched for the receipts so I could return them.When I got to Corvin Plaza, I was able to convince the customer service officers at the supermarket to collect the lensec and give me back my money. I bought the lenmag with my debit card to save the refunded money from the customer service (as I needed forints). I was very happy with the transaction so I marched up to the second floor where I had purchased the children’s blouses and I asked for a refund. The cashier collected the blouses from me and said I should take a gift voucher. I told her, no thank you. I want cash. She said she couldn’t give me cash because I paid with my debit card. In my mind, I said a big waaaaaaaat! But I kept looking at her like a very gentle, confused woman. I told her I was leaving the next day so I needed the cash. She said I should give her my card that the company would reverse it. If I didn’t give her my card then I would look like a very desperate person so I humbly gave her my card and she did the transaction.Heartbroken, I went to the hotel to drop my shopping bag and took a bus to the souvenir market to buy Pashmina. I was hoping I would see Mr. Henry there because I was very sure his shop attendant (an Hungarian lady) would not give me any discount.As I walked into the market, there were a lot of people in there; so many tourists I believe. I made the mistake of walking through the fast food section; there were a lot of people, we were practically pushing into each other. The lady in front of me looked back and saw me and immediately tried stepping out of the crowd; she knew she couldn’t just walk off the line all together so she systematically checked that her knapsack was properly zipped. Then she whispered something to her friend beside her. I decided not to take it personal so I took a cue from her and I held my bag tightly to the front. I mean, you can never be too careful in such a crowd; there could be pick pockets everywhere. As soon as I saw a little space in front of her, I excused myself and moved in front so she could breathe with ease- It’s a good thing to help a fellow human being in distress.I finally got to Mr. Henry’s shop; boy, was I glad to see Mr. Henry’s big frame? I told him I wanted to buy more pashminas. He asked me to pick what I wanted. I quickly and quietly told him I hope he would give me the same discount. The man simply smiled. He was attending to a customer so I picked the pashminas that I wanted (he sells lovely patterned pashminas). His shop attendant helped me to pick them, she folded them into a paper bag and handed them over to Mr. Henry. Mr. Henry started asking me questions about myself, we both discovered that he had worked in the same Electricity company alongside my parents. He knew some of their colleagues. I asked him how long he had been in Hungary (Mr. Henry is a Nigerian married to an Hungarian lady). He said he had been in Europe since the 80s. Wow! I thought that was a pretty long time. He studied in Europe and worked briefly in Nigeria before coming back to Europe.Mr. Henry ended up giving me a bigger discount than I bargained for. He said the next time I visit Hungary I should bring ‘kuli kuli.’ Kuli Kuli is an African snack made from roasted peanuts mixed with different spices. I laughed and asked him if he didn’t miss garri (cassava flakes) he said garri was sold in the market by an Indian man. Then he also told me about a place (which was one train stop from my hotel) where an Indian man sells plantain, egusi, garri, okro and other African items. I was in shock; so close to me and I didn’t know? Ok, so I took judicial notice of the address so I wouldn’t forget when next we visit Hungary.I guess Mr. Henry was really happy to see someone from back home because he didn’t want to end the conversation and I knew I had to run back to the apartment to start packing. I promised to bring him kuli kuli when next I come to Budapest. I took a bus home and I was happy with my transaction. ………………We had itemized two things for this afternoon: to pack our bags and have our own send forth party to celebrate our last day in Hungary. I however learnt that when you are excited and anxious at the same time, your appetite flies through the window.We had loads of food to eat but I just didn’t feel like eating. Peace said the food must not waste. She decided she was going to take her time and finish the entire meal. I told her to go ahead as long as it didn’t affect her on the plane the next day.As we packed our bags, Peace called my attention to the fact that three pairs of socks had only one piece each. It occurred to us that the wind had blown away the socks from the drying rack at the balcony. We were on the 4th floor. We tried scanning the courtyard but we couldn’t see the socks. I went downstairs to complain to the receptionist. He said we should both go outside to look for them. (If it were the children’s old socks, no problem but I just bought this pack of socks. To render three pairs useless was a catastrophe) We both searched for them to no avail. I asked him to ask the cleaners. We saw one of them sitting on a chair and he spoke to her. He turned to me and said they just cleared the whole place thirty minutes ago and they have thrown them away. I told him to tell her to go and check the dustbin. She refused, so I told her he should take me there so I could check (since he said the courtyard was cleaned because there were a lot of empty cans. If it’s just cans in the dustbin, that shouldn’t be a big deal, right? The cleaner told me not to worry that she would go and look for it. She was not gone for one minute and she came back with two out of the three different socks. She said the last one was thrown into the bigger bin.My conclusion, there are times you have to insist or go the extra mile to get what you want. If I had turned back when she said she couldn’t check the bin, I would have condemned three pairs of new socks. Thinking about it now, who throws away three different legs of socks when you can see drying racks on every balcony. I choose not to write about my own version of what I believed happened to the socks. I choose to let sleeping dogs lie.With all our bags packed, it dawned on me that we had spent thirty days in Hungary.Will I drop my pen here? It’s tempting to do so but I would try to keep writing until I step into my house in Lagos.

Posted by Diary of a Special Needs Mum Initiative on Sunday, August 20, 2017

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