Last week, I only worked two days. Why? Forced vacation. Life is so cruel, I know. My students and I joke around about how they are my only friends, and when they heard that I was leaving, the jokes came in tenfold. “Miss Jennifer, what are you going to do? We are your friends…” I can only respect the rudeness.
Snow had just recently sprinkled the land, so on my first day I went around Budapest and took some pictures. I just want to point out that although it has not snowed since last week, snow is still on the ground… We haven’t experienced above freezing weather in quite a while. I also want to point out that I am from Georgia.
The next two days I sat around my flat, cleaning. I am not sure how/why, but I somehow managed to collect a mountain of papers on my desk. Of what? I still do not know… I also realized how often I go to my bank after one of the worker’s first words to me was “Again?” I get it, Greg. I get it. I lose things a lot, stop judging me. Speaking of which, I almost lost my bus pass this afternoon. Luckily a sweet girl was a few steps behind me and chased me down.
In regards to the Hungarian language and my interactions using it, I have the most interesting encounters. Overall, I am well received. I mean, really well received. The other day, after having a “conversation” with an elderly man in my building, my hand was kissed by said man. He said to me (in English) that “[my] Hungarian is lovely!” My secret to “success” is to 1) try (yes, that simple… just try) and 2) be by yourself. The power of being alone is great indeed – if you’re happy in your head, then solitude is blessed and alone is okay (excerpt from How To Be Alone by Tanya Davis). Most of my Hungarian encounters are in dining establishments of all kinds, especially in Kávéházak (cafes – kávé = coffe and házak = houses – coffee house ). I purchased my favorite book, A Kis Herceg (The Little Prince), during my szabadsag as well. I am surprised at how much I can almost comprehend. I have learned so many new words just from context clues! Oh, the power of the mind.
On Saturday, some fellow teachers and I went to one of the largest flea markets in Central Europe – the Ecseri Flea Market. Word of warning for all those interested: Yes, it is an outdoor market. For some reason, I still struggle with dressing appropriately for the weather. Maybe one day I will learn. My biggest concern is my lack of proper shoes for this weather. My toes are struggling to forgive me for my indiscretion. On Sunday, I went to the Christmas Market (yet again). How many more times will I be coerced into going?
Next stop: Prague.
A lesson from Miss Jennifer: Ask about your schedule in the beginning of the year. If not, you too could be forced to take free days in the middle of winter.