Firstly, about baggage. There should be a law named after someone authoritative that the quantity of belongings you have to clear out of a house always exceed the capacity of your available baggage. I thought I’d be traveling with around 40Kg, which I can just about manage, but instead I find myself with two bags weighing 30Kg each, plus another bag of 10Kg, plus a laptop. Travel would be impossible via cowboys like Ryanair, but fortunately Wizzair lets you add more bags of up to 32Kg each for 15 euros per bag. Very reasonable! Hope I don’t try to check in and find they’ll only actually let me take a total of 32Kg! [Update: I had no problems -- the Wizzair limit is indeed per bag, not total. God bless them!!!]
Today I left my apartment in The Hague, and later this evening if things go smoothly I’ll be meeting my new Italian landlady in Buda. If things go badly, on the other hand, I’ll be dragging nearly my own weight in luggage around the streets of Buda late in the evening …
Fortunately for me, random people have been very helpful in assisting me in getting all these bags up and down various steps. Holland seems to be infested with steps today. Maybe next time I’ll explore other options more; I could have sent these bags to Hungary for 115 euros per bag; I could have flown multiple times I suppose, or I could have hired a car and driven there. But then I would have had to drive the car back.
A colleague (ex-colleague now – I left my job on Friday!) was telling me that a friend of his bought a dillapidated farmhouse in Hungary not long ago for 4000 euros. 4000 euros!! And that includes lots of land with trees. It’s incredible. As far as I know there is no council tax in Hungary, so once you’ve got your farmhouse, all you have to do is connect up the utilities and try to sort it out a bit. There are still farmhouses available for that kind of price. check here for example.
Totally amazing! You could buy a farm on your credit card … which I think I may well do, at least once I’ve learnt some more Hungarian so I can get local prices and not tourist Internet prices.
This is definitely going to be a future topic of research for this blog.
I’ve made some contacts in Hungary before going there, through SharedTalk.com, a site for finding people who speak the language you want to learn, so you can practice in exchange for helping them with your own language. Someone I’ve been chatting to through this site tells me that she thinks lots of English people in Budapest make a living teaching English there. Again, this is a future topic of research for this blog. Next week (or even this week) I’ll be looking for places I can put up cards advertising my services as a teacher of the English language.
I’ll also be attempting to teach computer programming online. I feel this could be potentially more lucrative than teaching English, but on the other hand teaching English fits a lot better with the original premiss of this blog, which was to look into ways that anyone can step into a new lifestyle, something different to the “normal” 9-5 office-job-type lifestyle that I have myself been sucked reluctantly into for the past 13 years or so.
Hopefully I’ll be posting again here soon, unless my new Internet connection doesn’t work, which is completely possible.
Right now I feel I’ve stumbled onto something that could potentially really work for almost anyone, or at least for very many people — for only a few thousand Euros you can buy a farmhouse in Hungary; then (as long as you can get it connected to the Internet) you can potentially teach your own language to people online.
Of course to be mad enough to actually try this, you’d have to really hate your job. Which I do. Although I feel bad saying that, since the colleagues I’ve just left behind were very nice people and my former boss seems to be in a bit of a spot due to lots of people leaving for various reasons. But come on, can it really be remotely natural to spend basically all day every day in a modern office building? I for one was much happier living in a tent, although it’s a little socially isolating.
Yesterday was Queen’s Day in the Netherlands, the biggest celebration in the Dutch calendar. On Friday night the streets were packed in The Hague, then yesterday I understand Amsterdam was very busy. Friday was also royal wedding day in the UK. My sister and mum have been telling me they watched TV partly to see where I went to university — yes, Prince William and I went to the same university, although he probably didn’t finish off his time there with a long stay in a tent on the cliffs. Or maybe he did. Yesterday evening people were selling things from stalls in The Hague (a Queen’s Day tradition), and a young studious-looking guitar player sat down outside my window and sang things like “New York, New York” and “What a Wonderful World”. A very nice send-off. Thanks, Netherlands!
And now it’s time to go and check in my many bags …