Monday, September 6, 2010

One Month In

Kent and I are really hoping that our shipment arrives this week. It's very echo-y and loud in the house. It will also be nice to get our stuff because it's gotten cold here (unseasonably) and we only have towels- no blankets. I'm trying not to feel sorry for myself and instead, harken back to my younger, bohemian days of sleeping on the floor. 

I've also reverted to some of my younger bohemian college habits- namely, hitch hiking. The other day I missed the bus and had to wait a half an hour, or walk, which would add 25 minutes to the 25 minutes I would have to walk from the center of town, so was feeling kind of bummed. Then, this man in a British car (steering wheel on the right) pulled up the the bus stop and asked me for directions) 

I said "Do you speak English?" in Hungarian -- one of the few phrases I know-- and he said yes and asked me where "Szeles Utca" was. Now, it just so happened that I actually KNEW where Szeles utca was, which made me very happy. Impulsively, I said- "I'll show you where it is if you give me a ride." He said "Sure" and so I hopped in the car and grabbed a ride to the town. he dropped me off close to the end of the bus line and I only had the usual 20- 25 minute walk (without the kids). I was pleased with myself. One day when I had borrowed someone's car, I also gave a ride to a fellow hill-dweller; a woman flagging people down in front of the élelmiszerbolt- the convenience store. She had a bag full of water and other heavy things, and I could relate-- so I gave her a ride up the hill. I won't make a habit of it either way- but it sure was helpful. 

School is in full swing. The routine of school seems to hold the center a little bit. Nate is doing his usual adjustment to the new schedule by lamenting the existence and point of homework, but when he gets down to it, it doesn't take him that much time. He's playing soccer (on the B team, which he is a little disappointed about). I said "I'm glad you decided to try out and that you're playing." He said "Mom, that wasn't even a question. Of COURSE I'm playing." So, he has a good attitude, and he was told that sometimes they pull from the B team to sub on the A team, so he has something to shoot for.  I hope that 2 years playing in EU will sharpen his skills enough that he comes home to AHS and makes the freshman team. If he ever grows into his feet, it will be an immense improvement. 

Kent and the kids are pretty busy, and I'm busy, spinning my wheels with the unfamiliarity of the place. It takes me an eternity to get anything done. It's getting better though. And no-- no McDonalds yet. This weekend I went to the butcher and got some beef to make goulash. It was more like beef stew in my rendition (needed more spice), but not bad. I go to the butcher every couple of days; he says the "Kezét csókolom" (which is an old fashioned term that people use here in Nagykovasci, but not many other places; it literally means "I kiss your hand") and smiles at me; I use my polite hello's and point and nod and smile apologetically that I can't say anything else. I buy a whole chicken once a week and he asks which one I want, as if I can tell the difference. We have a mutual crush. If I start going to the butcher every day, you should stage an intervention; but at this point it's harmless. :-) I never knew I had such a thing for a guy in a crisp white apron and a big cleaver. 

We went to immigration last week with all our paperwork and hope to get our residency permits in about 2 weeks and then we can buy a car. Kent has been researching and we'd like to get a used Zafira by Opel. the used cars here seem to hold their value longer than in the US-- fewer people buy new cars I guess. But we've been warned that everyone turns the odometer back, so- buyer beware. We'll see what we come up with. We'll probably sell it when we return to the US in 2 years. 

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