Today marks another first in our living in Hungary: driving! Pam and Oliver let us borrow their car to drive to my doctor's appointment. We picked quite the journey to take on our first driving experience in Hungary...nothing easy and close. My doctor is in the city, so we picked a good trip to start learning how to drive over here. Let's just say that it is one of those days I will probably laugh about for quite some time.
Here are a few warnings we had received before hand:
1. You can't turn left in Budapest.
2. One wrong turn could be a half hour mistake.
3. It takes 2 years to really figure out how to drive in Budapest.
Well, we experienced all of those things today. You really can't turn left in Budapest, and if you miss your turn and have to find a left to turn around, it really does take a whole half hour to get going in the correct direction again. And based on all of that, I think it will take 2 years to figure things out!
So we really did a fine job in all except for the one turn we missed. Had we not missed the one turn, we would have been fine, and we realized it just as soon as it was too late to get over. We wanted to stay on the Buda side but ended up crossing the river over into Pest. It took us literally 30 minutes to figure out how to turn around. Then when we finally figured out how to turn around to backtrack, it took us awhile to figure out how to then turn around again and go the correct way (again because you can't turn left!). By the way, our "turning around" was doing a U-turn in the middle of the road because we had no idea after 30 minutes of trying how we were ever going to turn around.
By the time we got it all turned around and this time took the correct turn, I was officially late to my appointment. I figured that I wouldn't be seen but would at least explain to them what had happened. Plus, I was supposed to go to a prenatal class there later, so we were really there to kill two birds with one stone. At least I wouldn't miss the class.
We got to the parking garage (Parking is a huge problem over here, so yeah for a garage!) where we were able to park because I had an appointment. We apparently were not parking in the correct place because two Hungarian men tried to tell us. They didn't speak any English, and we obviously don't speak Hungarian. So they were trying to point and tell us, and we figured out that we weren't allowed to park where we were trying to park. They pointed us towards the exit, and I was trying to tell them that we weren't leaving but that I had an appointment at FirstMed so we were allowed to park in the garage. One old man took me by the hand and led me down some stairs while the other man hopped in the car with Kevin. I am not quite sure how all of that transpired now, but the one man walked me to where I needed to be while the other man directed Kevin to the correct parking for FirstMed. It was quite funny. We extended to them our gratefulness for their help.
We get to my appointment, and I tell the receptionist how sorry I am that we are late but we got lost on the way here. She looked at me and said, "But you have been here so many times!" I told her yes but that this was our first time actually driving here. She told me to take a seat and called back to tell them I was there. The nurse came out to tell me that my doctor was called away on some "pregnancy emergency" so that he had left this morning and was unable to see me today. Then she proceeded to tell me that the prenatal class would be NEXT Tuesday, contrary to my doctor telling me last week that it would be today.
So we went through all of that hard work to drive there and figure things out to have the entire appointment cancelled and the class time moved. Fortunately I found this quite comical, and Kevin was glad that I was laughing and not crying with the ordeal. And we figure we learned how easy it is to get downtown Budapest, so we know how to do that when my parents come. YEAH!
We just pray that we won't have to turn left to go anywhere in Budapest... :)