Friday, January 30, 2009

Catching Butterflies

So, this week, my 2nd graders are learning verbs, along with the phrases "I can", and "I can't". Today, we were working on writing sentences and we were talking as a class about what we can and can't do...I wrote things on the board like: "I can ride a bike", "I can't skateboard", etc. Then I told the kids that they needed to write 5 sentences about what they can/can't do. They had interesting answers like "I can [play] Playstation!", and "I can play the recorder" (I should know, I hear "Hot Cross Buns" being played alllll day in the halls). Then two of my favorite little girls, Flora and Nori came up and wanted to say something about butterflies. They kept saying "I can't...", then jump around and clasp their hands. When I realized what they were thinking, I almost melted in a puddle right there because it was just about the cutest thing ever...they wanted to say "I can't catch butterflies with my hands." I automatically thought about non-kids, like myself, and I ran through my head all of the things we always say we can't do...."I can't be smart enough", "I can't be good enough", "I can't be beautiful enough", etc. It made me really wish we thought as simply as my students, who don't care about any of those things...they just care about catching butterflies in their hands.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Here Comes the Sun...(doo doo doo doooooo)

Important sighting in Budapest: The Sun (also known widely as Mr. Sun), who mysteriously vacated Hungary in early January without notice or explanation, was spotted in town this weekend. He was first seen Saturday morning, peeking through the windows of several inhabitants of Budapest. This writer also spotted Mr. Sun in several other areas around Budapest, including anywhere and everywhere. He was spotted on Castle Hill, where he was found emitting Vitamin-D and UV rays into the starved skin of countless Hungarians. His disappearance in early January shocked and saddened many, and he left behind him a trail of rain and clouds that have been reeking havoc on the smiles and hairstyles of Hungarians everywhere (not to mention this expat, who, up until this weekend was smiling only 90% of the day, rather than 100%). The reappearance of Mr. Sun has come as a huge welcome by many, but some are skeptical that the elusive Mr. Sun will stick around for long.
  • Below, Mr. Sun is seen hugging St. Istvan's Basilica
  • Mr. Sun was also seen leaving remnants of
himself in the form of sparkles on the Danube River.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Aw, crap....

I will tell you this story in the form of my exact thoughts as they played out while riding on the bus today....Hmmm...what a chilly day. Sun, are you there? Don't you love me anymore? What will I have for dinner tonight? Wow, what an unkempt looking man that is standing over there in the corner of the bus. He looks wiggly. That's a lot of traffic out there on the's getting dark. Wow, why is the unkempt man squatting down now? Wait, why are his pants at his ankles? WAIT a second...WHAT is that on the floor? Why are all the people backing away!? Crap. Literally. Uh-oh...laugh attack coming. The mysteriously unkempt man just pooped on the floor of a moving bus. The bus has stopped...people are angry. Maybe this is my que to get off the bus, which will soon be smelly and contaminated. Laugh attack starting. Ok, stop offending other riders by laughing. What the hell? A man just dropped trow and pooped on your bus. Laugh away.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Thanks Russia...but not so much...

So, Hungary likes to do this thing where they have designated "work days" on random Saturdays. This means that on several Saturdays throughout the year, the whole country of Hungary goes to work, as if it were a weekday(yes, that's 6 days of work in a week, people!). Being that I'm a foreigner here and do not speak the language, I'm often not notified about these workdays until oh, a week beforehand. So, when I returned from my lovely holiday at home, I (along with my fellow foreign teachers throughout Hungary) discovered there is a work day this coming Saturday...pardon my language, but BALLS! Don't get me wrong, I DO love my kids so much...and if I did have to spend my Saturday working, I'm glad I get to hang with them...BUT I also enjoy my sleep verrrrrry much (especially after a week of being plagued by jet lag). Well, in a seemingly totally unrelated issue, Russia has decided to turn off its gas lines leading to Europe this week in a bold political move. This means that pipelines all over Europe are effected, PARTICULARLY ones in Eastern and Central conveeeenieent. If you haven't heard about Russia's shenanigans, enjoy this little read over a cup of coffee... How is this related to me having to work on Saturday, you ask? Well, when I arrived to school this morning, I was greeted by rumors that that government might postpone our workday. Of course, I didn't dare belive and get my hopes up, only to be let down later on....yet, I was curious! I came to find that in fact, the government here in Hungary HAS postponed the workday this Saturday because they simply cannot afford to heat public buildings for a whole extra day. Woo hoo! But WAIT...I sure hope the heat in my nice, warm flat holds up for awhile so I don't freeze in this cold, dead winter in Hungary. Oh well, I get to sleep-in Saturday, so I'll worry about that later.

Monday, January 5, 2009

There's No Place Like Home for the Holidays...

Yup, just returned back to Budapest after an amazing two and a half weeks at home in Colorado. While I was home and in the two days I've been back, a lot of people asked me if it was weird going home...or weird coming back. I've thought about it, and was not so weird for me. At all. I really could not have asked for a better time at home, and I was equally happy about coming back here for another six glorious months. I really think that much of this attitude of mine can be attributed to a couple things: 1) I don't want to "toot my own horn" (what the heck...TOOT! TOOT!), but I think I am quite lighthearted and am enthused (sometimes too) easily. Going from place to place isn't such a bother. And, 2) something that makes all of this easier is that no matter how you leave a place, some things just never change. How wonderful. Here are some things I realized haven't changed since I've been gone from home (and I hope never do):
  • Maggie will ALWAYS come greet me at the door happily, and with her tail wagging so much it seems she might fall over. I wish having her nose in my butt at these times would change, but alas, it has not. Oh well...
  • Mom will always straighten up my room for me before I get home...even if I tell her not to. Her amazing spaghetti also tastes the same every time...THANK THE LORD.
  • Dad still falls asleep in his chair before 9pm, without fail. He also will always say "So, wanna wake up at 5am with me to walk the dog?"...maybe someday I'll actually say yes.
  • A Chipotle burrito still has such an effect on me that I actually get depressed when I see the last bite go.
  • Katie (yup, she's almost 20 years old, people!) still wakes me up before the sun usually does on Christmas morning...I also hope this one NEVER changes, even when we're 80 and eating chocolate cake for breakfast. :-)
  • That dang drainpipe on the side of our house (right outside my room) STILL makes the most horrible sound ever heard by human ears when there's anything more than a breeze outside.
  • Camp people (or as my dad lovingly puts it, "that cult you are apart of") are still the greatest people this world has seen in my eyes.
  • Hannah still wears her fluffy pink marshmallow jacket everywhere...I think she's owned it since I've known her...and I hope she wears it until she can wear it no more.
  • The mountains of Colorado...they remain as the most beautiful and comforting sight to me.
  • Quite possibly my favorite thing...even after being gone for any amount of time, there are those friends who see you, and everything just falls back into place as if you'd never left. Just wonderful.
Everything is still pretty much the same here in Budapest as well, thankfully (aside from the price of my metro pass increasing to 9,000 ft. Darn it!). My kids happily greeted me this morning as they always did, and of bus passed and then left the bus stop while I was still waiting to cross the street, as usual. :-)