Thursday, 29 May 2014

How Good Is Your Mental Arithmetic Since You Left School?

A day trip to Hungary put me under pressure to do sums!

Our chariot has morphed into a teenager, one who let's you know when we don't give enough attention. Oh believe me, once we heard a knocking sound from the front of the car, we paid attention. Yesterday was our appointment to have it seen to at the nice dealership in Hungary. By the way, that is one of the wonderful points about living in Europe. You can shop in any country.

Phoning up to make the appointment was a bit torturous for me as I had to describe the problem. I tried to emulate the knocking sound and dare I say, I think I heard a giggle on the other end of the telephone. Granted now that I think of it, I did sound more like a chicken...Anyway, off we went.

It is a thirty minute drive but we still take books to read, because we always wait until our car's service is done. We imagined it to take about two hours. No problem as they have nice tables and chairs and a Nescafe vending coffee machine. But because they couldn't tell the problem without having a look, it turned out that they still needed to order parts from Budapest. Oh yes, our two hours would turn into almost eight.

At first we were preparing to wait it out at the garage. But then they offered us a courtesy / loaner car with minimal costs. Roughly 23 Euros with the proviso that we would do under 100 kilometers.

" Schatzi, let's take this car and just make the most of it. We are in a beautiful city so let's explore it a bit & possibly have a bite to eat.

Rather an adventure we thought. Bob made me read the odometer and memorize it. Of course it had to be an extremely odd number! The city of Szombathely is big and the streets are not laid out like Manhattan. Along with us not being able to speak Hungarian, we had a bit of a conundrum. If we were to get lost, would we manage to keep under the 100 km?

At odd intervals, I had to perform mental arithmetic. Under pressure indeed. It must be the computer that has made most of us lazy regarding adding and subtracting sums in our head. I used to be fast & accurate...yes, sadly used to be.

You know, it is almost embarrassing to mention it, but little subtractions need to be checked and rechecked. When I think of how we have one little kid in our English class, who absolutely loves doing arithmetic I hang my head in shame! When I now and again create a page of additions for him, I need to be on my toes when I tick his answer.

Look, at least I still use pen and paper to add sums. I couldn't imagine doing sums on the cell phone because apart from anything else, my fingers are much larger than the number buttons.

Bob and I did explore some parts of the city and its outlying villages yesterday. I have to say that everyone we met in Hungary was very friendly and helpful. Not to mention the beautiful countryside of Hungary. So, we had a nice little adventure and a good day...


Setting off in the morning. We were just crossing from Burgenland into Hungary.
The weather was a tad bit overcast.
In Szombathely center.
Bob suddenly shouted for me to quickly take a picture of this apartment building and as you can see, I had to be a contortionist to still capture it. But it has character.
These are my favourite kind of streets. Old and new mingling.