Saturday, June 30, 2007


It's been a draining day. I estimate I've gone up and down the stairs in my apartment building at least 20 times today. That's a heck of a lot of stairs!

Not to mention the exhaustion from extensive cleaning.

and saying goodbye to Mom and Dad.

and, in a way, saying goodbye to my apartment.

I cried both times! Isn't it kind of pathetic to cry over an apartment? and yet I did. We had a great time living there. Sad to say goodbye!

I'm kind of ready for bed, except it's 6:00! Fortunately, my new (temporary) place at Heidi's is great. She's got wireless, she's got a stocked kitchen, and she's got a bookshelf full of books I've never read before. That pretty much makes me happy in spite of the long, long day! So I think it's time to choose a novel...

Friday, June 29, 2007

nagyon beteg

...which means, I feel really, really sick. not surprising really, given the insane temperature changes we've had. It's lot of fun packing up the apartment with a horrible cold. I didn't know we had accumulated so much stuff!
Anyway, Mom and Dad are packing up to head home tomorrow. It's been fun showing them around. Here are some pictures from Mom and Dad's trip...
sampling Hungarian cuisine at Fatal.

Dad at the cukraszda, which he at first called the crescendo. Almost as funny as Mom calling palacsinta (Hungarian crepes) pilates! haha...

Mom with her new Hungarian friend at the bus stop.

proud Dad after successfully navigating Budapest without me!

Turkish folk dancers at the festival -- which is kind of odd considering that the Turks were hated and despised for taking over Hungary!

me and Mom at Statue Park, where they keep all the Communist statues that used to be in Budapest.
Mom and Dad at Fishermen's Bastion, with Parliament in the background.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

nagyon hideg!

which means, it's ridiculously cold outside!

Yesterday I was miserably hot, but last night a storm came through. The temperature dropped an insane 15 degrees Celsius. I'm not sure what that amounts to in Fahrenheit, but I know it's cold. As a result, mom, dad, and I found ourselves the only stupid tourists wearing shorts in a sea of coat-clad Austrians. Such is life. It did warm up a little during the day, happily.

Vienna is beautiful, and I've enjoyed being here. Today we toured the Hofburg Palace, home of the 1800s version of Princess Di, known here as Sisi. She's important in Budapest too, where pretty much everything is named after her (Erzsebet), her husband (Ferenc Jozsef), or her lover (Count Andrassy). It was really interesting to finally see why she's so important. Also, while we were there, we happened to look outside a window and see a ceremony for the Italian president. We think so anyway! It was fun; the army was assembled and presented arms, while the important people filed down the red carpet. Not something you see everyday.

Also today: the art museum, where I particularly enjoyed Titan and Vermeer; the Museum Quarter, Wiener Schnitzel and bratwurst, and Starbucks! Good day.

We head back to Budapest sometime tomorrow, where I will frantically pack up my apartment and try to move out by the weekend. And hopefully post some pictures!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

nagyon meleg, part two

Despite multiple quantities of ice cream (and I scored a free scoop at Gerbaud!), it's still ridiculously hot. This probably didn't help my little excursion yesterday. so we're getting ready to go to Vienna by train in the morning ($40 for two way train tickets and all of our public transportation in Vienna!), and I go to our local train station to pick up tickets. The not-so-nice lady tells me the international ticket seller is sick, so I must go to Keleti. That's a long ways away! On the tram into the city I got kicked off by a ticket inspector. I had my ticket -- but I couldn't produce it quickly enough, apparently. so that added a little extra walking to my day.

We decide to break up the trip by checking out a parade across the Chain Bridge and down the river. We caught the tail end of it, so I miraculously managed to wind through backstreets until we saw the beginning. We got to see a lot of traditional dancers from several countries. It was really fun -- pictures coming later!

I decide to leave mom and dad to rest while I head to Keleti to get the tickets. I am so proud of my navigation skills that I attempt to head off with no map --and I did quite well, until I got to the metro station I needed. The line was down. Rather than catch the temporary bus, I decided to walk the rest of the way. I coudn't quite remember how far down it was, but I knew how to get there.

Let's just say I definitely got my exercise.

and I learned never to walk to Keleti Station in near-100 degree heat!

Mom and Dad have done really well. They learned how to say the truly important words: Hello and cukraszda. :) We've decided Dad must have some aura of mail carrier around him, because he's been stopped three times by Hungarians in Diosd looking for directions. Needless to say, Dad hasn't been much help!

My favorite time was yesterday, when we were at the bus stop with this sweet little old lady. I knew enough Hungarian to talk about her family and their ages and where we were all going on the bus. And then a car pulled up and the guy asked Dad for directions. She walked over to the car, talked to them for a minute, and then came back to us. She said, in very animated Hungarian that even mom and dad could figure out, "He wants to go to Belgrade! Belgrade! I say, you go to Budapest. It is there!" and sat down. It made us all laugh.

I should probably get going, since I have a number of things to do tomorrow before I leave for Vienna. Have an excellent day -- and enjoy your air conditioning!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

nagyon meleg!!!!

...which means, it's freaking hot outside!

Mom and Dad are here busily touring Budapest. So far in a whirlwind tour we've managed to hit tons of important sites, and I only got off track twice. They're getting the real Hungarian experience, in that we have had to chase down a bus, we lost power in the apartment, and our water ran out again. Ha! What a way to get to know Hungary!
It's been fun showing them around and realizing that I have, in fact, come a long ways since I first got here. I was particularly proud today when I ordered food and drinks for all three of us in Hungarian without making any mistakes! Yes! Anyway, we're all exhausted from the ridiculous heat -- 38 degrees Celsius, which is 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Probably not the best of days to try to climb Gellert Hill! so now we're going to cool off, and perhaps get a little ice cream. Like me, mom and dad have greatly enjoyed the local cukraszda... it's the best way to escape the heat!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

saying goodbye -- and hello

is pretty awful, really.

This time around, it hasn't quite been the waterworks that occurred when I left the States back in August -- but that doesn't make it easier. I already miss my roommate, and I'm saying goodbye to two people, Parker and Lisa A, for good. It makes me sad that they're not coming back next year :(

But at the same time I'm so excited about mom and dad coming in this weekend! I can't wait to show them around and speak fluent Hungarian -- ok, that's not going to happen. but I am taking lessons over the summer! Anyway, I can't wait for them to get here.

And I'm about to get a car! I borrowed one to take Heather to the airport and just drove around Budapest on the way back. I forgot how much I love to drive. I'm grateful for public transportation, but it just doesn't compare.

I'm off to take another load to our new house! Yay!

Saturday, June 09, 2007


really, really tired.

so, since I can't completely concentrate on finishing my grades, I'm taking them home once it's 4 and I can go (yes, we had a SATURDAY workday! sigh). While I wait, here's some recent school-related pictures.

This is the poster the kids made for me during Teacher Appreciation Week.

OK, I know I'm not supposed to have favorites...but here's a secret: all teachers do, whether they admit it or not. So here are some (not all!) of my chosen few...

Danielle, quite possibly the only student I've ever met who can out-read me. We spent entire study halls debating War and Peace and Tess of the D'Urbervilles. sweet girl.

Joel, who is one of the most gregarious people I've ever met. I can't imagine the school without him.

Arman, who at one point had us all convinced he wouldn't graduate. Thank God for Sr. Project!

Katie, one of the most cheerful people I know. She encouraged me all year long!

Marjorie, who is the most joyful person I think I've ever met. seriously. Full of enthusiasm for everything!

I hate that this picture is so dark! This is Han Jing, and I love her. Such a sweet, sweet girl.

ok, there are other students I adore, too -- but that's all the pics I have for now. I'm going home to take a nap....

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

the end.

And another year comes to a close. Sure I have to grade a few exams and finish some paperwork -- but I don't have to teach another class until August!


Monday, June 04, 2007

weekend wrap up

-- football. American football. The coach at Lisa B's old high school is married to a Hungarian woman, and they now live here while he coaches an American-style football team. We went to Margit Island yesterday to watch the Budapest Wolves whoop up on the Austrian team for the first half (34-0). It was both weirdly familiar (with American music over the loudspeakers and cheerleaders, although it was kind of like watching a middle school squad) and oddly Hungarian (like the unintelligible but --we think -- English chants from the crowd).
-- Karaoke. This time we met up with one of the girls in our ELL group, Petra. She is so sweet. She translated a lot of the songs for us and taught us how to say useful things, like "They are very drunk." Heather and I got pulled up for a Hungarian song, and I actually think we pulled it off. I was so proud.
-- House of Terror. I realize this sounds like a bad carnival attraction. It's actually pretty cool. It's the museum located at the former headquarters of the AVO, the hated Secret Police during Communist rule. It was interesting to see all the sad history, especially the torture chambers. We also started watching a movie about the 56 revolution. Sadly, I don't think it's available in the US -- but look for it anyway. It's called Szabadsag, Szerelem , which means Freedom, Love -- but it was marketed in English as Children of Glory. Hungarian history is fascinating. It's a shame we know nothing about it.
--outdoor dining. Heather and I decided to scope out new restaurants. We picked a cute little place with lots of opportunities for people watching, especially during the torrential rain that came through. I am most intrigued by the high number of Euro-mullets and fanny-packs. Seriously. People, these are NOT COOL. Get rid of them. immediately.
...and then we might have met up with Lisa B to visit the chocolate bar.... twice in one week! this is a bad sign :)
-- worship. I sang at Danube with Austin and various others yesterday. It's always fun to sing, although this time I didn't know the songs. three of them. I think I faked it pretty well, though!

Good weekend. now it's our final Monday of the school year! almost done...