Saturday, September 13, 2008

Flashback to Saturday

Last Sunday, we went to welcome another American who has come here to live for a year. Michael has come to study at Central European University for a Masters in History. About six months prior to his arrival, he was given my e-mail address through a friend of a friend of a friend, that sort of thing that brings people into connecting. We had many e-mail exchanges about living here, the quality of life, and then much ado about his decision to earn another Masters degree here versus in the States. Many quandaries later I suggested he was earning me a Life Coach designation due to my mentoring and haranguing for his making a change in a life he claimed was not satisfactory. The kicker was that he too is an MSW; both Ron and I are social workers besides. During these e-mail exchanges, we discussed politics once. He was a strong Hillary supporter as was I and both of us were disappointed she did not make it to the top. It was not until he arrived that I found out much to my chagrin that he is now supporting McCain due to Palin. My initial reaction was to rip his skin off to see if it was masking a hostage Democrat under wraps, but I controlled myself. We have limited friends here, so we have to turn the other cheek at times as much as I would like to sock his when he makes a comment about how qualified Palin is in comparison to Obama-Biden. I have suggested we disassociate ourselves from political discussions or the seed of friendship is never going to sprout past to reach the top of the soil. We have done well thus far. Being new to the city, everything is exciting to Michael. We have been here seven years and though we still find it a beautiful urban area, we don't have the need or desire to go running about to museums and such unless there is a new and grabbing exhibit that demands to seen. Michael has time on his hands until school officially begins. His first week was orientation only. We decided to replace one sofa bed in the small bedroom while replacing the sofa in the large bedroom with a sofa bed. After more than one guest has broken the frame on the bed in the large room, we have also caved in and put a new bed frame on the shopping list. This meant a trip to Ikea; we invited Michael to join us. There is nothing that makes my blood circulate at premium efficiency than shopping. I love to shop, but when I know I am actually going to make purchases, I am like a greyhound chasing rabbits. It did not take long to find two different sofa beds that were on wheels, not sitting on the floor like our current model. Both had extremely comfortable mattresses; unlike many Ikea We stopped at the food court to lunch and refresh our spirits. Their meals are usually excellent and bargain prices. Their Swedish meatballs are my favorite. Along the way, going around Ikea is like following the yellow brick road. They were ingenious in setting the store up so you follow the path they want you to walk, most of the time, you ignore the detours through departments. That is how I found the most wonderful blankets. They are ivory color, look like bubble wrap, but are soft and squishy. Mental pictures of curling up with one on a cold winter's night while watching TV prompted me to buy one for us and one each for the bedrooms. How could I not share this cozy pleasure with guests? We also spotted some bolster type pillows for the small room's sofa bed to add some color completing our shopping tour. With bin numbers in hand, we grabbed a trolley and scavenged for the parts we would have to assemble to make our ideals a reality. Our trolley runneth over as we headed to the cashier and then to the delivery services. Feeling satiated, we left, I was in seventh heaven. I had not been able to shop until I was ready to drop in so long, I had fears that my stamina had run dry. The day was a success with no political talk, but good conversation and an exchange of ideas on other topics. There is hope. products the choice of colors was not obnoxious either. We also found a bed frame suitable for the over sized guest, which would not make our hearts palpitate with fear of finding them sleeping on the floor some morning. Just for good measure, we assured ourselves by finding out which parts were replaceable 'just in case'.

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