Sorry for slow loading, I tried to be selective, but there are still 14 pictures on this page. Be patient, and read the captions while waiting.
This will be an attempt at a sort of "virtual tour" of our home here in Szeged. God has totally blessed us with an apartment basically rent-free ($35.00 to Norbi's mom a month). With utilities, insurance, rent, gas, phone and internet access we pay about $200.00 a month total. The apartment is owned by the city, but is in Norbi's mom's name and as long as the city rent is paid ($9.00) it can always be hers. You can sort of tell which buildings are rented from the city, as they don't really care what they look like, so long as they're safe and clean. There are four apartments in our little building, we're on the bottom left, with a Russian teacher living across from us on the bottom right, an older gentleman living above us, and an elderly couple on the top right who knew Norbi as a kid when he grew up here. The outside could really use new plaster and paint, but our apartment has been kept up nice, being freshly painted before we moved in. The building itself is pretty old - at least early 1800's, not sure of exact date. The rooms all have great high ceilings and really BIG windows, and the outside walls are super thick (about 2 feet) - keeping it nice and warm in the winter, and nicely cool in the summer.
Those are our front windows from the street, and you can see the number 15 on the great big front door, or gate as we call it. In the second picture you can see the gate opened, with the back door to the yard open as well - and that's the stairs going up in the back.
You're now inside the building, in the main corridor. It's painted a bright yellow, with a needed replastering along the bottom. You can just see our mailboxes at the very left of the first picture, and our apartment entrance is in the shadows to the left, with the other apartment downstairs being exactly opposite, to the right. And there's Joshi and Josiah welcoming you, and hanging out of our apartment door. There are actually two doors, with a space of about two feet in between them. There used to be two options to entering our apartment, you can see the other closed door in the background - it's always locked and would lead to the kids' room, but we use the space between the two doors as a mini closet.
The door leads into our kitchen - that's the inside door there, with the very Hungarian and very red curtain on it (the inside door had a window on it - looking into the little two feet of space). New kitchen furniture is high on the list of things to buy someday - some of you probably know Rachel is not big into red :-). The kitchen is rectangle in shape, with one big window at the end opposite the door. And you can just see the wonderful washing machine at the right of the first picture. The second picture shows our little kitchen table, with the window at it's right. Josiah is holding up a "kifli", the crescent shaped bread, and the round blue container of his favorite "Medve sajt" or "Bear cheese" (not made of bears, but with a bear on the label!). Anna's got a handy little booster seat attached to the table, instead of a high chair, which there really wouldn't be room for. The only bummer is that it has no strap to keep her in the seat.
The kitchen door, just across from the table and almost at the end wall, leads into our main room - both living room and master bedroom. This picture is taken as if you've just walked in from the kitchen, which would be to the right. The white doorway in the back leads into the kids' room. These pictures were all mostly taken way back in December, not too long after we'd gotten here - some things have been rearranged, and decorated differently, but it gives an overall idea. There's a nice set of cabinets with a matching clothes wardrobe, the wood is a little lighter in color than it came out in this picture. And the TV was one Norbi's dad had and fixed up (that's where Norbi gets his gift of gadgetry). In January we were able to buy a VCR that plays both American and European video tapes (they're different, if you didn't know). The bed was a wedding present six years ago from Norbi's dad, and had been at his mom's house all this time.
The other side of the room - that's one of the two big windows behind the floral curtains (brought with us and an amazing perfect fit!). Josiah is sitting at the computer - now you can picture where we sit when we read your e-mails and such! The big brown thing under the window is the room's heater - each room has it's own, and they work really good.
The other corner and a better shot of our wardrobe. We now have a big bookshelf is that back corner and the ironing board and vacuum elsewhere. You can't see it, but we still had boxes of our books and stuff under the bed back when this was taken. What a glorious day when all those boxes were unpacked finally!
Welcome to the kids' room. It too looks a lot different with the addition of bunk beds, and a book shelf for toys that we were able to get back in February. You can see the door to the living room in the first picture, notice how thick it is, that white paneling is not the actual door, which opens into the room, but the doorway. That wall is also one of the main walls and as such is two feel thick like the outside walls. We bought the crib with attached shelves and changing table from one of Norbi's cousins. In the first picture Joshi's old bed was pulled out in the bed position, the second picture has them all sitting on it folded in as a big chair. It is sitting where they're bunk bed sits now - you can see pictures of it back on the "Pictures" page. And yes, they have "Huggies" here, though we've discovered a cheaper European diaper brand that work just as well.
The kids also have a big wardrobe in their room, you can see just the right end of it in the first picture. This corner of their room looks totally different now, with a desk, a shelf on the wall, and animal posters all around it. Behind the lace and green curtains is the one BIG window in this room, which looks out onto our backyard. Yes, that's how our laundry gets dried here. It can be folded up and put away, but with only two loads fitting on it at one time, it's pretty much a permanent fixture. One of our favorite characteristics of this house is the beautiful wood floors, which you can really see in these pictures.
A more recent shot of the kids' desk, next to the big window. (the desk belonged to Auntie Nora first, and she added the Barbie sticker!)
Hope you enjoyed that little look at our home here. You may have noticed there were no pictures of the bathroom - follow the link below to see before and after pictures of the tiny bathroom, which is located off of the kids' room. Many of you sent finances to help in its' transformation. Thank you!
Also check out our backyard, with before and after pictures for it too - though more work is still planned, it has greatly improved with some attention - something it hadn't had in years and years.