Thursday, March 29, 2007

gotta love Google

so today I saw where someone on the internet had used Google Maps to get directions to Sweden. on a whim I tried it myself, from Greensboro to Budapest. estimated time: 30 days, 5 hours. favorite step: #27. Swim across the Atlantic Ocean, 3462 miles. I also love the next step: #28. Slight left at E05. because, you know, if you can manage to swim almost 4000 miles, you can certainly manage to land at exactly the right spot in France. yeah.

for you Greensboro people -- I am desperately trying to work out a schedule that will allow me to see as many of you as possible! Right now I MIGHT be able to make a stop at SE Friday afternoon, depending on how long it takes at the dentist. You can also catch me at Westover's 11:00 service.

For those of you in Hungary -- when I was shopping last night here in Nash County, NC, I came across a) hot and sweet Hungarian paprika, imported from Budapest (they also had Hungarian steak rub, which I found highly ironic) b) boxes of Parmalat milk (but not the porn milk!) Who knew? Enjoy your much-needed Spring Break guys...

Monday, March 26, 2007

home again

Well, I think I'll bypass the unpleasantness of the UNC game, and more importantly the tragic death of the Tarheel mascot, Rameses. Such a shame.

Aside from those two things, though, my trip home has been pretty enjoyable! I've visited some family, washed and dried my clothes, and eaten a variety of foods not currently available in Hungary (highlights: Reese's Cup Blizzard from Dairy Queen, my cousin's amazing Shrimp and Grits, and Cheetos -- don't laugh. I'm serious!) Mostly I've spent my time in kind of a daze. The jetlag has hit me pretty hard this time for some reason.

Visa stuff: so in DC I made my way to the Hungarian embassy. I suspect I may have been the first person to visit there in some time, partly because it's in the middle of nowhere. I felt like I had walked to Maryland by the time I finally got there. But they were friendly and I got to dazzle them with my Hungarian. OK, so I only said hello, thank you, and goodbye in Hungarian. I still think I won some brownie points for trying. Anyway, my paperwork has all been successfully sent off and will be mailed back to me via priority overnight FedEx service. Here's hoping it's sooner rather than later!

Right now I'm trying to figure out which items to carry back (is Febreze more important than Crest mouthwash? hmmmm....), work on my presentation for church Sunday, and figure out just when I'm going to see everybody in creation. Good problems to have!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

back in the us of a...

So I've safely made it back to the states with no problems at all! Well, except for the questionable in-flight meal -- really, how do you ruin pasta? I thought that was the safe choice! And I was pretty exhausted when I did get here; you know I'm tired when I fall asleep during Lost! I did get to see the part where we finally find out -haha Lisa, you totally thought I was going to give it away, didn't you? :) I would never, my friend.
Anyway, I'm currently in DC and planning to try for my visa tomorrow at the consulate -- please pray!
Some observations on being back:
*It's nice to be in a place where I can understand what's being said. I greatly enjoy being able to be polite rather than just point and gesture. It's also overwhelming, however. Plus most of the conversations I overheard were complaining -- no wonder Europeans, who often understand English, hate us!
*How I have missed real showers... our stupid hand-held (oh...just caught myself complaining! oops) showerhead doesn't even have a stand, so I loved being able to wash my hair with both hands this morning! I know it doesn't sound exciting, but trust is.
*At the restaurant last night, the menu was coherent! and the food was great and actually included vegetables! and the service was fast! and they gave us separate checks!
*American money really is boring compared to Hungarian.
*I was once the queen of the remote and loved my DVR with a passion that bordered on fanaticism. Strangely, now that I don't have a tv in Hungary, I find that tv, and especially commercials, wear me out. or maybe it's the jet lag!
* I really, really, really miss my cell phone -- because I'm here and can't talk to you!!!! but hopefully I'll see some of you soon... much love to you all!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

before I go.... are some recent pics. Two are from the Diosd celebration of Hungarian Independence Day, and the other is springtime in Diosd! Enjoy! I'm off to pack..

Monday, March 19, 2007

ok, ok...

...I won't mention basketball in this post, I promise. I know not all of you are Carolina fans! (but I'm doing my best to convert you!) :)

However, that is basically the most exciting thing to happen lately, since I've been spending so much time at school working on lesson plans for weeks....sigh. not fun. ok, that's not exactly true. I did go into the city the other day, watch Lost last night, and watch a couple of movies. Plus the weather was gorgeous over the weekend. but still, it's awful to do so much stinkin' school work!

so I'm heading out first thing Wednesday morning, and I'm getting really excited! Is it weird that most of my excitement is reserved for food? ChickFilA and Ham's and Natty Greene's and Krispy Kreme... I am going to gain so much weight while I'm home!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

and we're back...

I guess my strongly worded letter had its intended effect, because now I have no problems accessing my basketball games!

Go Heels.

Friday, March 16, 2007


I tested out March Madness On Demand ahead of time.

I signed up weeks ahead to assure VIP status.

I read the FAQ about overseas availability.

I watched parts of three different games on a computer here in Hungary last night.

and now, this: "This content is not available for viewing outside of the United States."

Oh, no, they didn't! to drop a little ghetto slang....

That is cruel, CRUEL!

Fortunately, the miracle of YouTube ensured that I was able to watch Christian Laettner as he saw Dook fall to VCU.

There's nothing like basketball season to make me lose my religion! :)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Happy Hungarian Independence Day!

Today is a national holiday here in Hungary, so Heather, Austin, Jonathan, and I went downtown to try to catch the riots! Sadly, the riots this time basically consisted of about 10 drunk people singing Hungarian folk songs -- although that was pretty entertaining. Soon I'll update with pics and hopefully some video, because it was really neat to be part of the celebrations. People carried flags all over town, and kids did all kinds of fun crafts celebrating their heritage. Good day.
For now, though, it's time to watch some basketball! Thank God for March Madness On Demand VIP pass.... I'll be watching the Heels win tonight at approximately 3:00 :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


I've had a little bit of a sore throat for a while now...but yesterday I noticed that I couldn't sing too well -- and you know how I love to sing! Then last night I woke up coughing and realized I could barely speak. So today has been loads of fun, since I taught by writing everything on the board. Thankfully, all I have left today is yearbook!
Two other things about ICSB I'm grateful for: a) we have a doctor on staff, so we can go to him during our planning b) we can leave the building! I used to hate it at SE when we had to "buy" a planning period away from school with our charitable donation to whatever cause was important at the moment. Here, we just sign out and go on our merry way -- or home to take a nap, as the case may be. Now I'm off to the local CBA to pick up some lunch and then to the pharmacy. Have an excellent day...

Monday, March 12, 2007

tarheel pride

So last night I pulled up GameTracker on espn to watch the State-UNC championship game. I only had time to "watch" the first half before we left to go out to eat. I enjoyed eating out and all, but like a true Carolina fan, I was a little preoccupied.

and then it came: a text message from Kathy that simply said "TAR!"

To most people, that would seem strange, but I immediately knew what that meant! The Red Jacket luck couldn't prevail, and the Tarheels had claimed their rightful place at the top.

I replied back with "HEELS!"

I love technology. How else could sisters and die hard fans join in the cheering even across an ocean and several countries?

Now on to the Big Dance!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

lesson plans, patty griffin, and milkballs...

I've been at school a long time today. The downside of taking a "vacation" from work is that there's actually far more work involved than just teaching. sigh. so I decided I'd tear myself away from debating whether to have my students start Tale of Two Cities or Return of the Native while I'm gone. It's much more fun to update the blog and listen to a little Patty. I adore her songs, and I'm kind of jealous of her. It's just not fair that she can sing like that and write amazing lyrics!
Anyway, you're probably wondering about milkballs. That's from last night, when 6 of the teachers at the school had an authentic Indian meal cooked by one of the parents here. It was soooo good... I really like Indian food, but I had never had dessert before. Parker had assured me that milkballs (which, by the way, is his made-up name for some Indian words we can't remember) are exceptionally yummy, and they were. It's kind of like a doughnut in syrup, but made with powdered milk and (I think) saffron and cardomom. Tasty. My favorite, though, is still samosas. I am going to learn how to cook those at some point.... I really enjoyed getting to spend time with my student's family, and be in a real house! As grateful as I am for my apartment, it is definitely a Commie Condo and not too aesthetically pleasing :)

Friday, March 09, 2007

It's official!

I just made my reservations! I found a pretty good deal -- my flights cost a couple hundred dollars less than normal! I'll be in DC the 21st, be in NC by the 23rd, and back in Budapest April 12. I'm getting excited!!!!!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

The Little Mermaid-Kiss the Girl(Hungarian)

ok, I promise this is the last one -- but I can't resist! Enjoy

The Little Mermaid-Part of Your World(Hungarian)

Ha! Someone uploaded the song in Hungarian. If you're curious, watch. fyi, I can understand about 4 words :)

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

good news? bad news? I can't decide!

Well, it looks like we may have run out of luck on the visa situation...and that means I will probably have to come home for a few weeks while we get the paperwork straightened out! This, of course, is wonderful for seeing people, for eating American food, and for hearing the English language -- but not so wonderful to leave my students during Senior Project and the final deadline for yearbook. sigh.
I'll let you know as soon as I hear something official, but odds are good I'll be heading to DC and then to Rocky Mount in the next couple of weeks, and probably staying over Spring Break. If I can get a car, I'll make my way to Gboro, too. We'll see...

I was really down about it today. There's so much stress involved in this -- but fortunately, I found a ray of sunlight in this dark cloud, and his name is Istvan! He walked in today right before my 5th period class started and explained that he is my new student teacher and can sub for me while I'm gone! Hallelujah. Finding subs here isn't exactly as easy as calling the Guilford County hotline, so this is fairly miraculous. In the meantime, pray that this will all be resolved quickly, and that I will be patient!

Can't wait to see you guys -- Jess, I already penciled you and Loftis in!

Monday, March 05, 2007

one more video

and here's the girls winning. They're so excited!

ICSB school spirit dance

The tournament was a huge success, although it did mean I was at school from 8:30 am until 11:30 pm, with only an hour break on Saturday. sigh. But it was a lot of fun; our guys came in second, and our girls won. We had everything except flagrant fouls and nearly broken noses (but that was clearly unintentional. Yeah, right, Coach K....). There were songs by the pep band, creative cheers, overtimes, and buzzer beaters. There was also this dance, a school tradition with moves like "Wave your trophy in the air!" and "another foul -- oh no!" Enjoy your taste of Bulldog Pride.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

March Madness, Hungarian style

sadly, I am not referring to Carolina basketball -- the ridiculous British satellite system has opted to skip broadcasting Carolina vs. Dook this weekend in order to bring us Arena Football. as if anyone cares... (really, does anyone care? If you actually watch Arena Football, I'd love to hear why!)

Fortunately, we have our own brand of basketball tourney mania here at ICSB. This weekend is the very first tournament to be held here in the new gym! We're hosting teams from all over Central and Eastern Europe for two days of nearly non-stop bball. Very cool. oh, and we've imported lots of American candy to sell! I've already seen two students eating Reesy Cups today...

We just finished our pep rally, which I have to say is the best pep rally I've ever attended. That's probably because it involves the whole school, including the elementary kids who aren't concerned with 'looking cool.' :) They had their little cheeks painted with Bulldog paw prints and danced their little hearts out. I even saw the director's son lose his shoes in the midst of a particularly vigorous cheer! I love school spirit...

My favorite thing, though, is that in honor of the tournament, we have no classes tomorrow. That's right -- just basketball, all day. It isn't quite the same as watching the ACC tournament during class at SE, but it does make a NC girl feel right at home.

Sic 'em, Bulldogs!