Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Last of the Whine

The Last of the Whine

One of the California wine growers has or had the slogan “No wine before its time”. One nice thing about ex-pat living is that you are not infiltrated with advertising slogans to the point of mental numbness. But, I digress from the point of this note. If you have read past posts, you will know I have WHINED heartily about the Visa process here, the aggravation, the expense, and so on. This is the last of the whine. We found out last night that our 5 year Residency Permits were approved and we can pick them up on May 31st. So as of now, there should be no more whining about this topic.

With this we are fully legal Hungarian residents for a period of 5 years without jumping through any further hoops, diving through any barrels, not having to play nice with Immigration officers or shell out to overpriced agencies. We will have the same rights as Hungarians do, but since we don’t speak the language, we probably will not know all of them. Up until now, we have been legal with one year renewable Visas, but we had to have Work Permits in addition. Good-bye Work Permits.

At the end of the 5 years, we have two options. We can renew the Permit for another 5 years with a simple one page application or we can apply for Hungarian citizenship. The second option is not feasible for us since we would have to take an exam in Hungarian (ain’t going to happen folks), plus we would have to relinquish our U.S. citizenship and Social Security. I still have fantasies that there will be Social Security when I am retirement age. If not, I better get more serious about my writing and start to pump out something publishable.

For those of you who are not familiar with Hungarian, there are 44 letters in the alphabet. It is part of the Finno-Ugric, which comprises Finnish, Estonian, and Hungarian; however, Hungarian is off on a branch of its own. It is one of the languages which is agglutinative, which means word meanings are modified by adding different and multiple endings or suffixes to the words, rather than using prefixes. It is not easy to learn and not easy for native speakers to understand when foreigners try speaking it.

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