Wednesday, September 29, 2010

God's Sense of Humor ... and some not-so-humorous other things

While dealing with my typical "I must find something to eat" problem this evening, I decided the easiest thing would be to stop somewhere near my house after Mass. I was a little worried because all I had was a 10,000ft note (about the equivalent of a $50) and knew I wouldn't be spending very much on dinner. The first place I tried was a chinese bufe (cafeteria style restaurant... they are everywhere) near my apartment. My family may remember it from the first time we were here. We got dinner there and while we were eating they played various versions of "that song" from "that movie." The song that makes me twitch. As I was walking to the restaurant, I remembered that experience and thought about how long it had been since the first time we were here. Before ordering I asked if it was a problem that I only had the 10,000. The girl behind the counter said that it was so I apologized and left. After walking a couple more blocks, I stopped at another Chinese bufe. This one was a little more "upscale" (it's closer to my house so more touristy) and they said my money wasn't a problem. I ordered some food and sat down to wait (this place had cafeteria items but also made to order - I figured I shouldn't get the cheapest thing since I just had the large bill). I was sitting, innocently reading my book, when the music, which I had basically been ignoring, shifted to something terrifyingly familiar. Yes, after going to a different Chinese restaurant 9 years later, I was, once again subjected to "that song." I quite literally started twitching. Thankfully, it 1. wasn't the original but a jazz sax solo and 2. it only played once. That was plenty more than enough. In the middle of this aural assault, my food came and once I started eating it finally ended. I figure everyone is allowed to have an irrational fear and at least this isn't something I have to deal with on a regular basis.

On a quite different note, please pray for me. This eating problem isn't getting any better and I'm starting to think that I'm becoming anorexic. Not intentionally (is it ever though?) meaning, not because I think I need to lose weight, but between my meds and just not thinking enough about planning food into my day it seems to be getting worse. This is very worrying because 1. it's not healthy, 2. I really can't afford to lose more weight, and 3. changing my meds isn't a feasible option right now (if that's what's causing the problem). My paperwork is coming along and I should be getting my insurance card in the next few days (socialized medicine... joy) but I really don't want to go to the doctor's right away to try to fix my brain. Somehow, I can see it becoming a big mess -- not that I know more than the doctor would, but I know which things haven't worked in the past. Who knows, if this doesn't resolve itself/I can't figure out how to get more food into my life, I'll have to do something about it.

(Back story for those who don't know - I've been on antidepressants for years and although the ones I'm taking now are helping mentally, they've really hurt my appetite. Plus, I've been living on my own for a little more than a year and have had such crazy schedules that I often forget to eat. The combination of these two things resulted in my losing a bunch of weight over the past year and a half. My doctor advised that I make sure to eat enough. Now, I realize that I'm not eating enough, but am still struggling to fix that.)

The past few days have just been generally rough. There were a bunch of problems in school on Tuesday, some that I have to take the full blame for but others that I've literally no control over. Today was better but still stressful. Although I know I'll make it through, my respect for people who actually choose to work with middle school has grown exponentially in the past few weeks.

That's about it... drop me a line or a comment if you like - I'd love to know who is actually reading this :-)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Only in Europe...

although, "Not in America..." might be a more accurate title.

Can you buy
1lb fresh stew beef
1lb fresh peppers
1lb Granny Smith apples
1/2lb fresh mushrooms
4 ears of fresh corn
1 fresh purple onion
1 head of fresh lettuce

for around $4.50.

Gotta love European markets! Pretty happy with how I did Hungarian-wise too.... only one small hiccup when I almost ended up with 1 kilo of purple onions (about 2lb!) rather than 1 single purple onion. Sorted it out alright though. Also, I need to buy a better shopping bag; my beautiful mushrooms aren't quite as beautiful after being repeatedly bumped against my hip on the walk home :(

And now, if you'll excuse me, I've got cooking to do :-D

Friday, September 24, 2010

Stamping and fainting and belching, Oh my!

Today was one of those days where things just go well. Thank God! I've really needed one of these. To start with, I had a good conversation with a friend from school. It's not my story to tell but he's got some really good things going on right now and seeing his excitement reminds me to appreciate what I've been given :)

I actually went to immigration.... finally. It will shock anyone who knows anything about the Hungarian immigration system to find out that I left the building a mere hour and a half after entering. The lady working with us didn't seem very happy with my papers - not really sure why - but she seemed to accept them... at least she was stamping everything so that's definitely a good sign. I need to go back next month to finish some things and they need a few more documents. Everything should be fine though.

On the way to work from immigration, I wasn't entirely sure where I was but found a bus going to a familiar place pretty quickly. After a few stops, people started talking loudly about opening the windows and asking the driver to stop and open the door. When they asked for a doctor, I really started wondering what was going on. Turns out a girl had fainted barely 4 feet from me. The driver finally stopped and let her (and most everyone else) off the bus. Most of us started walking to the next stop but the driver drove past and left us. I didn't particularly mind since I was able to get another bus to the commuter train station where I had to go.

When I got to work, my class was playing outside for about another half hour before lunch. Although they were a bit wild outside and while changing (I'll have to write about work and the many differences between here and the US), they calmed down at the table and were really well behaved. I was amazed and really, really happy during lunch because I definitely heard at least 5 of the 7 say "Thank you" (after being prompted of course) when I gave them their food/drink at some point. Considering these are 2-2.5 year olds, most of whom have not been exposed to English prior to September 1, that is HUGE. And, even the ones who might not have said it in English, did say it in Hungarian showing that, even if they don't know the English phrase, they understand the concept.

Sometimes it's a little hard working with the kids because I understand so much of what they are saying but am not supposed to respond to anything (unless it's important, i.e. "I need to go peepee) when they speak to me in Hungarian. Today at lunch, Oliver, one of my little boys, belched at the table. Viki, my Hungarian coteacher, told him to say "excuse me." He did but then belched again. Then he started making himself belch. Viki had enough of that after a minute and told him to stop. His response ... "I belch to say I'm finished eating." Viki and I looked at each other and violently tried not to laugh. It worked for a minute and then we both were nearly crying.

Later, after they got up from their naps, I took the two kids who were still at the kindy outside to play. Oliver was climbing on this big grass hill thing in the yard and Ella wanted to climb as well. I was watching but didn't want to help her very much (for somethings, I feel if the kid is going to do something, they have to be able to do it themselves). Oliver started trying to help Ella and it was really adorable watching them play together. Also, at one point, Oliver was bent over with his hands and feet on the ground looking at me upside down. I asked him what he was doing and he promptly responded "upside down." Gosh, these kids are smart!

Speaking (haha) of learning languages, I've been really pleased with my Hungarian lately. Last night I was able to translate (at least general concepts) for my English coteacher, Lauren, at our parents' meeting. Today, while the kids were napping, I had an hour long conversation with Viki -- who doesn't speak any English. Then, when I got home from work, I went to Mass, actually understood most of the homily, said the "Our Father" from memory, and didn't get too tongue tied reading the responses (including the Confiteor, Gloria, and "Oh Lord I am not worthy...") from my little Mass book.

I've still got lots to write about but I'll close for now... maybe this weekend I'll try to post while taking a break from lesson planning. :)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Yes, I'm still alive

I've started writing blog posts a couple of times but things keep drastically changing before I get them published.

~~ Moved into my new apartment.. it's great, I love it. Couple of pics... living room, the high wall closet thing in my bedroom, YAY actual kitchen!!

~~ Officially passed CELTA!
~~ Am now working full time, three days a week at the foundation kindergarten in Pomaz just north of Budapest and the other two days in the upper elementary school teaching music and a couple of English classes. Just started the classes yesterday but they went alright. I never have to have another first first day of teaching! It's quite a variety: teaching both the absolute youngest kids and the absolute oldest kids in the foundation programs.
~~ I've had some visitors - Teresa came the first weekend in September. She ran the Budapest Half Marathon and I ran around chasing her (haha... well, on the metro and trams) to get some pictures. Last weekend, one of Teresa's friends, Martha and another girl Abby, came to visit Budapest. I had fun showing them some of my favorite places in Budapest -- and of course, some of the tourist spots.

In a nutshell, that's the last few weeks... there are plenty of crazy stories outside of the nutshell, message me or something if you want to hear some. Also, more pictures will be on Facebook soon :)