Today I went to the tax office so I could get my tax card. I don't really know what a tax card is, maybe it's like a social security card, but you need it to pay your Hungarian taxes. It seemed a little unnecessary though, because I don't have to pay Hungarian taxes. It's a law to get people to come here and teach English. Now they need a law that says these English teachers don't need tax cards.
But, it did have it's entertaining parts. The tax building was a big open room that rose up five stories. On the bottom floor, the walls were wooden with narrow openings to talk to the 30 people who worked there. I'm not kidding about 30 people, I guess thats what high taxes will do for you. Keep in mind this is a smaller town, most large grocery stores only have two checkout lanes.
A colleague from my school went to act as a translator, and she called in the favor of a former students mother who works there to help. But, she couldn't help a lot. The 30 mean people in their wooden windows yelled at her and made her leave very quickly. Apparently it was unthinkable that she be in a room in the building she works in.
The good part about having so many workers is we didn't have to wait. The bad part is they seemed to hate their lives. Think about workers at places in America for a minute. Think about how much nicer someone is at a store or a restaurant than at a government office, like the DMV. The lady here was that same amount of difference, except the starting point is the DMV worker and she was that much more unhappy and mean.
I found it enjoyable because when I left I know she sat there fuming in her little booth thinking, "Oh I hate that American, how dare he come in here and ask me to type a few lines into a computer. Doesn't he know I'm practicing my frown to make myself look more unhappy."
She did a good job though, I noticed afterward that she spelled my name wrong.