Sunday, December 09, 2001

Slug Day

Slug Day

Even when you are not working, it is incredible how your body seems to sense that it is Sunday. It seems to know when the stores are closed, the traffic is almost nonexistent, there a few people on the streets, and the

museums could care less whether you visit today or not. So we slept in.

Ron did manage to get up and go to church. I stayed in and read, watched CNN International, and napped. When Ron came back from church, I asked him what he was able to get out of it, not knowing the language. He said his Uncle Henry used to comment that, “No matter where you go in the world, the mass is in Latin.” It is the ritual that draws him. Then he napped.

We did exorcise the demons from our butts to get out the door by 3:00 and walked to the area that had the Christmas Market. We felt an honorable need to taste test the hot wine here in Hungary vs. Germany, so I could give a report. We would not want anyone to visit one country over the other with misinformation as to which had the better Christmas wine. The taste test is in and the results are that the German wine wins for flavor and presentation. The German wine is spicier and is served in attractive ceramic mugs. The Hungarian wine does not have as much clove, though smooth, with a pleasant bouquet, it does not quench the palate quite as nicely as the German wine and to add abuse they serve it in a plastic cup that will nicely warm your hand for the first thirty seconds. If you hold the plastic longer than that, your hand will be the same color as the wine after the blisters form. We were sure the wine would melt right on the spot and give our chest third degree burns.

There are some really nice things in the market and once we have a home, it will be time to go shopping. The hand made ceramics are very attractive, but too heavy to cart around or to ship home. Pity! They do have some hand painted tea candleholders that would certainly brighten up the apartment during the Christmas season and after. We will need a few small Christmas decorations for brightening up the apartment.

The apartment, tomorrow is the day we get the apartment. I can hardly wait. We will have a place to unpack our luggage, unpack our entire luggage with abandon like children tearing through the presents under the tree. We will be surprised at some of the things in the suitcases; we have forgotten what is there. Planning is half the fun, fantasizing about what life will be like with this new venture. With this settled feeling, I can spend more time writing with the computer out all of the time, rather than putting it away and taking it out again. There are ideas noted for at least six children’s books sitting there waiting for me to have time to work on them, then the research of finding a publisher or agent to handle them. It may be a turning point in my life. I will still be looking for some work teaching English once we are settled in, probably after the first of the year, after my birthday on January 5th. Hey, we will have an address, so all of you can send me a birthday card. How about that!! Better get it in the mail now before you forget. It may take until January 5th to get here.

After going back to the room for tea, we were slugs again and it was not until after 8:00 that we decided we had better have dinner. We found a Chinese restaurant in the area, the price was right and there were plenty of tables. It is really a culture shock to hear Chinese people speaking Hungarian. I wonder if Hungarian tourists coming to the States find it as strange to hear them speaking English. Hey, look! That Chinese person is speaking English. I thought they only knew Chinese and Hungarian, how funny. Travel certainly makes you confront your ideas head on and rethink them in a new light.

Years ago, I read a story about a husband and wife who were psychology researchers. They had a young child and a Siamese cat. Siamese cats have blue eyes. When their child came face to face with another cat that had green eyes, he could not assimilate that this was a cat, since in his mind cats only had blue eyes. Piaget would say that the child was not at the developmental able to accommodate that cats can have variable eye color. The older I get, the more I travel, the more I realize that regardless of our age, we are sometimes quickly regressed to a point of having to shift our assumptions to accommodate new information after we are face to face with it.

I did get in touch with Dawn, my friend from USF. The three of us are getting together for dinner tomorrow night. It will be fun to have someone here that we know and who knows something of the city.

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