Bike problems part 2

Szia Szia!

Tuesdays are not the best days with our beautiful bikes. Okay, now the problem wasn’t exactly the bike but it was my bike’s lock. We had had some problems with the locks, they sometimes stuck and it takes time and nerves to open them. At this morning I didn’t had time to handle the lock so gently so I tried to open it with my well trained muscles (hahahah) and of course the key broke in the lock.. As smart girls we had locked our bikes together so Erja coudn’t go by bike either. Few moments later we decided to take a taxi and somehow we managed to explain to the taxi driver, who didn’t speak English of course, where we should go.


After work we went to eat a delicious goulash soup to one restaurant that Marie had recommended us. Thanks Marie! 🙂

At home I tried to take the key out of the lock with tweesers but it didn’t go so well. After trying countless times I went knocking to Joli’s door thinking that she must know somebody who has tools. She understood immediately from my body language that I was in trouble with my bike and guided me to those neighbours whose son speaks English. It was a little bit embarrassing stand again behind their door with problems and without understanding their Hungarian.. 😀 After discussing about my “bicikli” the family’s dad game out with some tool which we are calling “rälläkkä” in Finland and we went to my bike. At first he tried to take the key out without success so it was time to let rälläkkä do the work. It looked like that man has done this before but still I was a litte bit worried about his eyes and hands which weren’t protected. Fortunately everything went well, my bike was free again and I was so grateful about their help and I thanked thousands of times. Luckily we have such great and helpful neighbours! I was wondering that I could bake muffins next weekend and give them some.

Ps. I have a new lock with a code number 😉


Comments Off on Bike problems part 2

Sup Debrecen?

Almost two weeks have past and we´ve written nothing. Time goes by so fast that we are already worrying about having to go back home soon! During these weeks we have made one bike trip, found a gym and visited the Angol Klub we wrote about last time. Marie gave us a tour in Debrecen, so now we probably have seen everything worth seeing since it´s a very small city after all. We also had a great dinner at Marie´s on Friday – it was so delicious and was nice to get to eat something very different than you usually cook for yourself.

Living in Debrecen is very similar to the life we have in Jyväskylä. We have adjusted ourselves here well and it doesn´t feel at all like living abroad. How should it feel, don´t know, but this has been very easy for us. Erasmus activies are apparently on holiday, since we haven´t heard anything from them yet. That´s really a shame because we have all this freetime and no idea what to do with it?! Last year was very busy for both of us so now we feel anxious when there is nothing to do. Luckily we finally managed to find a great gym so that´s one activity for us. You´d think that we would have lots of things to do right now, like getting to know to the city and so on, but as said before this is a very small place. There is a city called Hajdúszoboszló that is known for its spas so maybe some weekend we´ll go there. In Eger we hear, wine tasting is something “big” so that is a place worth going also. It´s a bit farther so making a trip there needs some planning.

Everything is much cheaper here than in Finland. Eating in a restaurant costs 5-10 euros, 2 l water bottle (tap water needs cleaning and we don´t have the equipment yet so we buy our water.. so many bottles….!) costs 67 forints = 0,2 euros, capuccino 340 forints = 1,15e, one month membership in a gym 5000 forints = 17 euros, one carton of milk (cheapest) 189 forints = 0,63 e, “quilted vest” (toppaliivi, no idea what in English) 12euros!! So here are some examples. It´s weird how much more expensive things are or just living is in Finland. How will we get used to it again when we come back?

There is a very lovely woman living the next door. She greets us always ” Szia, Szia, Szia, Szia. Bicikli(=bicycle)?” Yesterday we met her downstairs and she warned us for keeping our bikes outside. In body language she tried to explain that they will be stolen during the night. Then she took us to another neighbour whose son had to explain us in English where to put the bikes. The last sentence he translated was “You don´t have boyfriends?” Hmpfh. 😀  Had a great laugh and escaped to save our bikes indoors. After this we gave this neighbour of ours, Joli, the rest of our cheesecake since we ate it too much already. Today she came with a note that said “Could you give me the cake recipe? 🙂 ” Erja translated the recipe in Hungarian and went to give it to Joli. She invited Erja inside her house and made her cappucino and then they tried to have a conversation with her zero knowledge of English and Erja´s knowledge of physiotherapy phrases in Hungarian. They managed to tell each other their ages and occupations and the time we will be here. So it wasn´t all waste of time! It feels nice to now know this neighbour better and maybe we will bake something else to her later..

Almost forgot, practical training is going also well and our Hungarian has improved with the patients. We can now introduce ourselves, ask how the patients are feeling (hoping that they will answer only something like Jó, köszönöm..) or if they have pain somewhere (hoping that they will show us the body part where they have pain..). During physiotherapy our instructions consist of body language and few words in Hungarian. Useful words are for example right=jobb, left=bal, arm/hand= kézi, foot=láb, move=mozgás, up=fel, down=le and good=jó. Some of our patients can’t communicate at all or only with few words because they have aphasia, so for them it is good that we use only simple words and sentences.


Map is our best friend. On our way to one lake on this warm and sunny Sunday.


No longer in Debrecen??? Heidi are you sure we are going to the right direction?!


Yes, we were. The lake was a 7km ride away from the centre of Debrecen. Birdwatchinig is now Heidi´s new hobby.



The view on the lake. Very beautiful!


Local bus stop.


Find Erja.


Sometimes all the studying makes you tired.


Whaaat?! Hyllykallio (Seinäjoki)  in the middle of Debrecen?

WP_001257 WP_000460
Now we have time to cook as you can see: pizza and “pancakes”.

🙂 Erja and Heidi

 PS. According to the Urban Dictionary “sup” means “A term that cool people use because they are too damn lazy to say What’s up.”  So this means that we are cool people as well, doesn´t it?

Comments Off on Sup Debrecen?

Starting normal life in Debrecen


On Monday morning we went to see Julianna again. She introduced and suggested us some courses in which we could take part to. There was one course about sport physiotherapy which Heidi might choose. The Department of Physioterapy gave us an oppurtunity to buy working clothes by 6800 HUF which is approximately 22 euros. The clothes were really nice so we decided to buy them. We won’t probably need them in Finland but they will be a nice memory to us. Julianna was very sorry for us having to pay for these working clothes. In her opinion the Department of Physioterapy should have given them to us as a present.




Two excited physiotherapists for you…


..who have been studying body parts in Hungarian language. This masterpiece by Erja is now on the fridge door.

At Julianna’s office we also met Marie, a French girl who studies physiotherapy in English programme. Marie will be with us a few weeks in the Department of Neurology in which we will spend the first four weeks of our practical training. The plan is that after Department of Neurology we will go for the next four weeks to Department of Rehabilitation and after that we will spend the last four weeks in pediatrics. The place for our advanced practical training we can choose from those.

In the evening we went to buy bicycles. Erja had marked to a map some places that were supposed to sell bikes. Some of them we found, some of them not. Already given up we accidentally found a place were we saw bicycles and we went in. There we were surrounded by new bicycles and we thought that there was nothing for us. We were just about to leave when we heard a friendly woman saying Can I help you? She was a friend of the owner and acted as our translator because the owner didn’t speak English. They took us to some backroom were were used bicycles and we knew immediately that this was the right place for us. We chose our bicycles which cost 8000 HUF each (approximately 26€) and we can sell them back to the owner 50% of the original price when we are leaving. While the owner was fixing the bikes for us, this nice woman invited us to her English club. We will tell you more about this club when we have visited it next week. In the end we toasted with glasses of wine and they welcomed us to come back in case of any problems with the bikes. 😀 Again we noticed how friendly and willing to help people are around here! It’s really nice to make contacts with the local people since the moments spent with them are very genuine. Probably those moments are the most memorable ones.

Note to ourselves: Don’t drink wine if you haven’t eaten anything in a looong time.. We had a really funny ride home with our new bicycles. 😉


Heidi in front of the bicycle shop.


Our practical training started on Tuesday. Of course, no first day starts without problems. We were crossing a road when we heard a big noice from Erja´s bike. The chain was cut, in the middle of the crossroads. How great! There was still a long way to go and we were already running late so Heidi rode and managed to get on time to the clinic, but Erja had to walk (and also was a bit lost in the campus area where the clinic is, and of course Heidi had all the maps!) so she was 20 minutes late. On the first day! Our tutor in the practice is fortunately very nice and she was mostly amused by this, but Erja wasn´t. At least at first.


Erja´s bike without chains…


…and Heidi´s bike all good and shiny.

Anyway, our first day lasted only 1,5 hours. Apparently there are so few patients in this clinic because they have been discharged for holidays, so physios don´t have any work either. Now we are trying to find out how to make more hours since this obviously isn´t enough. Our second day lasted a bit longer, 3 hours. We have seen MS and acute stroke patients but haven´t yet done anything special or to do with physiotherapy. Today we got to attend on some medical students´demos which were very interesting!


Heidi eating lunch in the staff toilet.


After having to WALK around the city instead of riding her new bike Erja wanted a sub and then she was happy (as you can see in the picture. Not?)

On Tuesday evening we decided to look for a gym. Marie suggested us to go to this new gym near us and so we did. From outside it looked like a palace and was also wery fancy inside. In addition to gym and aerobics people can get massages, their teeth whitened and so on. The gym itself wasn´t that special if not counting in the flirtatious personal trainers. Sadly (or not) they weren´t flirting to us, but to their trainees. 😀 Still, it was good to get some exercise after Christmas but maybe we keep looking for The Right Gym for us.


Erja in front of the gym


Our recovery drinks – one cost 360 HUF (~1 €)

Almost forgot. When looking for the gyms on the internet, Heidi saw a picture of a man with huge muscles and she blurted out “Tuo mies on vetäny kyllä jotain muutaki ku ylätaljaa!”

Good night!

Heidi and Erja

Comments Off on Starting normal life in Debrecen

It is szombat!


Yesterday evening our landlord (who btw looks like Arnold Schwarzenegger!) visited us with his family. The whole family was really friendly and  kind. They gave us a hoover which is for the cleaner who comes here twice a month, oh jeah! Julianna told us it’s typical that people clean by themselves like we do in Finland.

We have now learnt numbers from 1 to 10 in Hungarian with our best mnemonics. We write them down here, so you can learn them also! 8)

1 – egy

2 – kettö

3 – harom (it sounds like Finnish word haaremi)

4 – négy (you pronounce it like Finnish word “neitsyt” but without yt-ending)

5 – öt

6 – hat (it is pronounced like English word “hot”)

7 – hét (it is pronounced like English word “hate”, numbers 5, 6 and seven are very similar)

8 – nyolc (that is Erja’s favorite, you pronounce it like Finnish word “noltsi”=nolo (Heidi says that it is a real word and Erja is wondering who on earth has invented it)

9 – kilenc (Heidi’s favorite)

10 – tiz

Hungarian is a very difficult language to learn by youself because of complex grammar. Usually words or some parts of the words are pronounced how they are written, but there are of course some exceptions.

Today we went walking and found a big supermarked called Tesco where we bought pillows. Tesco is quite near our home and it’s like Prisma in Finland. We have considered buying or renting bikes because bicycling looks safe and it’s about 4 kilometres from our apartment to our practical training place. Bicycling is’t here as common as in Finland, people usually take buses or trams.


This picture is from yesterday morning, Erja had fast porridge. It saved our day!


Kassai Campus, Department of Physiotherapy


We went walking with a map and we found something familiar. We are not that far from home!


It is lovely that people can go ice-skating in the middle of town! Behind you can find one really big protestant church


Heidi eats strawberry ice-cream which was delicious

Sziasztok Heidi and Erja

Comments Off on It is szombat!

Arriving in Debrecen

Here we are in Debrecen, finally. We travelled during January 2nd from Helsinki, first to Riga and after few hours wait in the airport to Budapest. With a few misfortunes in our way, we managed to find ourselves in Debrecen 21.34 in the evening.


In Helsinki-Vantaa airport before leaving.


Delicious – but expencive – pizzas in Riga airport.

In Budapest airport, when we were getting out, a man came and kind of just took Heidi´s luggage and asked if we needed a taxi. Erja said yes and the man started talking and talking about Finland and his trips there and at the same time Heidi was wondering who ever this man was. The “taxi-guy” was guiding us to his still invisible car when Heidi asked “Erja, there are those real taxis. Where do you think WE are going!?” We had approximately 30 minutes to get our train to Debrecen, so after some reassurements from the man we hopped on to the taxi-looking car and hoped for the best. We managed to arrive in time to the railway station, but it wasn´t the station we thought we were going. However, we got tickets to a train with ending destination in Moscow and even found the train with help of very friendly hungarian people. Afterwards we found out that the taxi was a real taxi, but the man took a little too much money from us.


Heidi is learning some questionable words from a dictionary…The train was an IC, almost like in Finland.


When we arrived to Debrecen our landlord was at the station waiting for us with Alex with whom we had been in contact with about our appartment. They were really kinf and carried our heavy luggage to the car and drove us to our new home.


There was a sweet, warm luxorious appartment waiting for us with two bottles of wine on the table. We signed the lease and chatted with the men about practical issues. They also showed us a 24hour grocery store even though it was already past eleven in the evening.

Today we visited Julianna in the University. She is a medical doctor who teaches physiotherapy students, and we have been in contact with her before our arrival. Julianna is a very warm, funny, maybe 60-year-old woman. She was so happy to meet us and offered us a great meal in a local family restaurant where you could eat for example pork´s brain! Well, we didn´t, but the food was delicious!




Staff in this restaurant was very nice and curious about us. After hearing we were physiotherapist students, the owner wanted to be our patient and when we were leaving he gave us both a bottle of Rose wine. In Julianna´s opinion he was a bit drunk. 🙂

Our practical training will start on Tuesday and it starts in Department of Neurology. We are very excited and hope to get as much experience as possible. This weekend we are going to learn some basic hungarian words so that we can communicate better with our patients!



Finally, the Sun – long time no see! Picture taken in the morning.



On our way to the University. Heidi is standing in front of a Calvinist church.



Debrecen is a very beautiful city with all the christmas lights.



We don´t have pillows yet, so this is what Heidi used and will be using tonight. Inside the pillow case is Heidi´s stuffed animals. Nice!


Heidi & Erja

Comments Off on Arriving in Debrecen