Saturday, May 23, 2009

Viszlat, Gellert.

It's official.

Gellert is no more; yesterday I sold our 1990 VW Golf for parts in a transaction I hope was legal. :)

Lisa and I both teared up when it was done. I've never loved a car more, and I've definitely got lots of memories. Most involve some form of breakdown, but there's also learning to drive stick shift, riding in the trunk, driving back from Etele Ter on the eve of my 30th birthday, and singing ridiculous songs in order to make up for the lack of a radio. Good times.

My week of birthday fun has been fabulous. I've gotten to spend time with Kay Myers, the Hollowells, my mission, current and former students, the Custers, Heidi, Audrey, and Lisa. I've done a lot of reflecting -- and I'm convinced there is an abnormally high percentage of amazing, Godly, and fun people here in this community. Truly, I have been blessed! Also, I found SoftBaked Pepperidge Farm Chocolate Chunk Macadamia Nut Cookies at the local CBA; I choose to believe this is a sign of God's love for me. :)

The senior class asked me to sing at graduation, and naturally they failed to choose a song before they left for Cyprus on their senior trip! Any suggestions? I'm desperate!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I got pied.

in a sneak attack by Laurel Farina.
She faked everyone out by first going for Austin and then getting me instead! cute.
but sticky.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Happy Birthday to me!

Cinco De Mayo Carnival from Andrew Curtis on Vimeo.

ok, so the video has nothing to do with my birthday; I just thought it was cool.

but birthday fun was had, even if carnivals were not involved!

I slept late and enjoyed my morning, went into the city, did some shopping, spent some time at Coffee Heaven, came back to see the school musical, had the cast serenade me, and went home to a birthday pig pickin' cake! (For those of you not from the Nash County area, a pig pickin' cake is a yellow cake mix with mandarin oranges in it. The topping is vanilla pudding, cool whip, and pineapple pieces. I love it, so Mom sent all the ingredients! I may have had a large chunk for breakfast this morning, too!)

Today Lisa and I took the Custers out to Wasabi as a thank you for their friendship during our time here. They're expecting Baby Custer in about a month! It was good to chat with them -- and especially to do so over delicious sushi. yum.

This week will be busy -- I'm having a Lost marathon to finish out the season, meeting with the Hollowells for my goodbye dinner, attending HS awards night, going out for my birthday with some friends, and going out with UWM people. crazy, but fun!

Friday, May 15, 2009


is the Hungarian word for garlic. I love garlic. I cook with it all the time; I increase the amount in all my recipes. I'm a big fan.

I do NOT, however, love garlic jelly beans!

One of Lisa's supporters sent a huge bag of jelly belly pieces. I was happily munching away until I thought I had a coconut jelly bean -- and it was in fact garlic.

For the love of God -- why is there a garlic jelly bean?!

Just for fun, today when we had a few extra minutes in class one of my students and I had a garlic jelly bean showdown. for real. I had at least 15, but we ran out before either of us backed down. :)

And the room still smells like garlic.

Yes, this is what teaching at the end of the year looks like -- I taught for an hour about the Holocaust, and then the class cheered as I tried to eat garlic jelly beans.

I am so ready for summer!

or at least my birthday weekend -- I'm clearly SO mature now at 31 :)

Thursday, May 14, 2009


This morning I woke to Fats Domino singing Blueberry Hill.

This was followed by Pussycat Dolls, Lady Gaga, and some unidentifable Hungarian rap...and then Frank Sinatra.

all on one station.

Hungarian radio... there's nothing else quite like it.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Szaz.... Szaz..... Ket Szaz....

I feel like that's what I said all morning long at the rummage sale. It's roughly the equivalent of 50 cents, 50 cents, and 1 dollar.

But those added up quickly -- Lisa and I together sold around $500 worth of things we don't want to pack up to take back home! Woohoo!

It also meant I had yet another opportunity to practice my not-so-stellar Hungarian. I can't tell you how many times I had to explain what Lisa's quesadilla maker was... It went like this in English: mexican food. like a sandwich press. tortilla, and cheese, and meat, and veegetables. yeah -- my grasp of the language is astounding.

I enjoyed my conversation with the cleaning ladies much more. They got first dibs while we were pricing our goods last night, and they started to ask me about leaving -- all in Hungarian, naturally. This translation doesn't quite do it justice, but I nearly cried over this conversation:
Erzsi: You leave to go to the States?
me: yes.
Erzsi: and there is pain in your heart?
me: yes, I am very sad.
Erzsi: Perhaps you will return.
me: Perhaps.

sigh. I hate leaving.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

moving back...

Earlier this week, I stopped at my local CBA to get some food. The workers recognized me, smiled, and gave me a friendly Jo reggelt. I confidently placed my order (20 dekagrams of sliced turkey and two rolls, please), and then proudly reflected on three years ago when placing that simple order would've terrified me. How far I've come! I proudly thought. Even that horrific meatchunks-in-congealed-fat concoction doesn't scare me as much anymore. I understood every word that guy said! He understood me! I've got this living in Hungary thing downpat.

And then the guy handed me the seven rolls I had apparently ordered. Fortunately, bread goes well with pride...

In other news, I am truly sad to announce that our beloved/hated car Gellert has finally left us. Yesterday, we received word that repairs would cost almost $500. That's more than the car is worth. We still owe 18,000 forint for what's already been done, but fortunately we had an offer to buy it for parts for 20,000 -- leaving us with a grand total of $5 each in profit! Woohoo! :)

We're also packing up to sell things at the rummage sale on Saturday. Things are really coming to a close. Sad.

I saw this video on a New York based website this morning -- it's an ad for a place I actually recognize from my time in Greensboro. For those of you not blessed to live in the South, here is a hilarious taste of what I have to look forward to:

Oh, NC.

*If anyone is able to find and send me the link to the first "Mary, I've got a broken windshield!" commercial with the original Grandma at the end, it will make my day. Worst/best commercial ever!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

when it rains, it pours.

actually, I think I can safely say this past week would be more like torrential downfall and extensive flooding....

I really don't want to relive the technological issues, the parent emails, and the yearbook frenzy, but let's just say it was a rough week. So I was kind of looking forward to staying with the Martin girls over the long weekend. They're in high school, so it takes minimal effort, and they're just fun kids.

On my first night with them, I scratched their car. oops. (Michelle's response was, "It's not that bad. I'll use a marker on it when we get home, and they'll never know!")

On my second night with them, I was getting ready to sing at the school coffeehouse when I suddenly learned that Michelle appeared to have broken her collarbone playing basketball in the gym. sigh.

Thank God for Lisa, Mary, and the Humphry family, who figured out transportation, navigated the Hungarian emergency care system, and kept me company until everything was over! I can't tell you how much I value being part of this community.

Michelle is doing fine, although the break is pretty bad. She finds out Monday whether she'll need surgery. We've spent the last few days playing board games and watching a ridiculous amount of tv and movies --- which, come to think of it, are pretty much exactly what I needed after this week!

Things are definitely looking up -- yay for May!

And congrats to Karen on her wedding! Wish I could've been there... :)