I've been here a couple of days now. It's fine so far. I had dinner with my predecessor on Friday night and we talked a little shop and a little about the city. He'll be here about another week before taking vacation and then going to his next assignment in Aberdeen. I'll be inheriting his company car and cell phone. (For no, I have a temporary phone for work, but since it's pre-paid they told me to try to not make any calls with it.) I might take his apartment too if it's suitable. He says it has two bedrooms. I'm not sure I want to encourage guests to stay. Of course, if there was no furniture like, let's say a bed, then no one will stay.
I spent about half the day at the yard yesterday. Mostly going over district issues with my future manager, though it's not clear if I will report directly to him since my predecessor does not report to him though I sensed a bit of friction in that relationship.
There are two-and-a-half-and-a-half English language channels on the television in the hotel. I put it like that since there is a BBC news channel and a EuroSport (it's like ESPN2) channel that are both in English all the time. There are some strange sports that make the cut. There's something that they appear to call 'bowls' which is like indoor lawn bowling where one of the competitors I saw uses something like a cane for balance to roll his balls. They also have something called Nordic combined which is a combination of big hill ski jumping and cross-country skiing. The higher your jump score, the further the head start you get in the cross-country portion. Apparently big hill ski jumping is not based on distance alone. There are also style points for take-off technique, in flight stability and symmetry, and landing form. One of the half channels is the Cartoon Network in English during the day and then very strangely dubbed movies in the evening. For the audio, they've lowered the original sound so you can still here snippets of English and then used the same guy to do all the voices in German. It's as ridiculous as it sounds. The other half-channel is MTV out of Germany. It pains me to know that we're exporting such cultural gems as Flavor of Love and Rock of Love with subtitles. (At least they aren't dubbed but if they were, the comedic value would be through the roof.) If you aren't already aware of what those shows are, I recommend that you stay blissfully ignorant. Other channels are mostly in German since it's the more common second language here.
This is a nice hotel. I can purchase access to the Wi-Fi network here, which I have, but I'll mostly try to use the internet at work in the future. The hotel is right along the river in Szeged and I've spent some of today walking around the neighborhood, realizing that most places close on Sundays. There is no iron in my room which is a standard item in American hotels. As such, I've also spent some of the day steaming my clothes in the bathroom which is moderately successful.