Some want so much to cross, to go away,
somewhere anywhere & begin again,
others can’t endure the separation. . .”
Sarah Arvio, from Flying
Last Thursday – a week ago – I was checking flights to and from Hungary, not as part of the teaching opportunity – because it didn’t exist at the time – more just as background for a possible move from Mexico. These days I tend to use momondo.com, skyscanner.com and hipmunk.com as my search tools. There were a range of prices from San Francisco to Budapest, varying mostly as a result on the length of the layover. The dates didn’t seem to be critical as I searched using mid-March and mid-April as departures and June-early July as return dates. Fares ranged from 481 to 688 USD. Airlines were numerous – Turkish Airlines, British Air, SwissAir and Lufthansa showed up most frequently. Hipmunk had the overall highest fares and the other two search engines were comparable in their lower fares.
A week later here are the results:
- Momondo consistently showed Air France with the lowest fares (range 831 to 897 USD) and the shortest flight duration with a potentially adequate connection time at Charles de Gaulle. I wouldn’t be the first person to miss a flight due to missing a connection at that airport, though. Especially as that is where I’d be entering the Schengen zone and clearing customs and immigration. British Air had the lowest price when I checked tonight (by $200) but the flight featured layovers of 20+ hours both going and returning.
- Skyscanner consistently showed British Air with the lowest fares, but the return leg always went through Dublin on Aer Lingus with a 22+ hour layover. The fares were + or – $30 compared to Momondo.
- Hipmunk showed many of the same flights as momondo and skyscanner, but for more money (average of perhaps $40-50 more).
The realtor showed the property twice today, but that wasn’t much of an inconvenience as I had my hair cut and later the ESL class. Thumbs up on the haircut and thumbs way up on the class. One woman who’s been fairly quiet brought her 7-month daughter Ivana with her and of course the girl totally wowed the class and everyone wanted to hold her and she wanted everyone to hold her. A young woman who started showing up last week brought her boyfriend. Two other young people drifted in, and more drifted in at the end of class wanting to know if they could start next week. Javier and Lucy came both days this week and Adriana, who’s the most advanced student, didn’t come with her nephew, and in her absence, Bernardo shined. After class a father brought his two sons into the room and asked if they could come next week. Something is clicking.
I keep intending to take photos of the class, but I keep forgetting. Once we get started, we just keep moving along.
One of the requirements for the Hungarian permits is a few passport-size photos, so I went to Farmacia Guadalajara to have them made – it’s the most convenient and least expensive way to get them made here. The store was jammed this morning and again when I returned in the afternoon: the lines were 10 deep at the two registers: after a long wait, a clerk came to the photo counter – by then several of us had formed a line – and she couldn’t get the printer working. Then it was clerks (plural) who couldn’t get the printer working. So I dashed off to class. Later, in the evening, on my way home after class, I made a third try: success! The photo area is near the front of the store, near the cashiers, but one has to go to the back of the store and pay a pharmacist for the photos before sitting for a handheld digital composition.
I also need to get a physical exam and a TB test. Last night I got online to locate doctors – only four of the dozen or so general practitioners I checked (about 90 were listed) had web sites and two of those didn’t function or led to “domain for sale” pages. Most doctors didn’t list an email address. Of the four I tried to contact by email, two came back with a “not found” response, but I know those doctors still practice medicine. Of the two emails that went through, I heard from one doctor.
One could stress over things, but they’ll get done anyway.