October 2011 was the date set for the Hungarian census. It is mandatory for all Hungarians to fill it out. They had people going door to door dropping off and picking up forms. For the first time, the forms are available to be filled out online.
Apparently "every natural person in the area of Hungary will be counted. This includes all Hungarian citizens living in the area of the country or staying temporarily abroad but having a registered place of residence or a place of stay in Hungary. All foreign citizens and stateless persons living in the area of the country for a period of more than 3 months are also included. " So that means I have to fill it out. Their forms don’t really make any sense in English.
But of course, the government needed to get the attention of the people. So they put together an ad. It is so ridiculously overly sexualized. But go figure – sex sells. Check it out after the break.
I went to the census office to drop off my forms. It was quite the adventure. I first went to the wrong address. Then the security guard they had outside almost didn’t let me in because he didn’t understand English. I showed him the form I had, but it was in English and he still didn’t understand. Finally someone else came and they rescued me. They had a ticketed number system, but it seemed like they weren’t following it. While I was waiting I wanted to get a form for myself to fill out and when I asked for another form, I was met with the most confused look. Apparently, they had run out of English forms and only had Hungarian. So I had to do it through a translator.
As soon as they saw my address, they knew who I was right away. Talk about creepy. I filled out the form for my flatmates and I. In total it took about 40 minutes. But at least they were really nice about it which is surprising. Most of the time Hungarian customer service is really lacking, but the people helping me out here were really nice and tried their best in English. An adventure for sure, but at least its all done and I don’t have to pay a fine.