Highlights of the last few days:
We continue to enjoy the walkability of this city. Everything is so convenient, lots of tree-lined streets allow for comfortable walks, nothing seems quite too far away. On an unrelated note, the washing machine worked perfectly for each of our four (yes, 4) loads of laundry today.
With our small fridge it is still somewhat inconvenient to go grocery shopping so much. Spar is a quick 5 minute walk away, but I’m not yet used to grocery shopping 4 or 5 days a week. Speaking of grocery stores, there are several around us. There are five grocery stores within a 10 minute (15 in the heat) walk. They range from the small and “slightly uncomfortable to shop in” Penny Market to the 24-hour Tesco Hypermarket which is basically like a European Walmart. Tesco is also know as the #1 place in town to find a taxi, probably because people walk there, then buy way too much to walk back home.
Today, we went to yet another grocery store which I discovered yesterday. It is actually inside the mall…a tiny mall with about 25 stores. But this grocery store, called “Match,” seems more upscale. They had several foreign products (Tabasco sauce, couscous, soymilk, etc.) as well as a more upscale wine area, and a much nicer-looking deli and produce section. They might have been slightly more expensive, but I’m not going to nit-pick when better quality food is involved. This is the furthest walk from our place, but it’s really only a couple minutes past the infamous McDonald’s of previous posts, and shouldn’t be a problem when the weather’s nice. I imagine we will still use Spar (the closest one) for most of our shopping. There have been several times lately when we have needed a particular ingredient and I was able to just head out the door and come back a bit later with what we needed.
In other food news, I found out that a co-teacher at Munkacsy, and her husband, grow a large amount of produce in their large garden just outside the city. I was told the husband is the Hungarian equivalent of a Master Gardener. The most important part of this story is that I can get fresh, organic fruits and veggies (and flowers) for 400ft per kilo. That’s less than $1 a pound! Thursday, I said I was interested and when I arrived on Friday, 1.5 pounds of fresh tomatoes and 2.5 pounds of red bell peppers were sitting on my desk…it cost $3.45 US. In just the last 24 hours or so,we have made use of one pepper and about half of the tomatoes. I plan on being a regular customer throughout the growing season. Here is a picture of the goods, along with the highlight of the day: letters from my family and from Aubrey [I though I would be creative with Photoshop and make the envelopes confidential…I could have put more effort into it if I wanted]
The internet has been working lighting fast the last couple days (good news)
We tried the fast food gyros stand today and they were great (good news)
Skype has worked with several friends and family (good news)
We made a shrimp dish from our home cookbook tonight and it was great…wonderful aroma and wonderful memories (good news)
I still can not find a single postcard in this city…although I did get some ideas from students on where I might look (temporarily bad news)
I have not purchased a tripod or yoga mat yet (bad news)
Finally, here is a news video of the President’s visit to my school the other day. All of the students who were interviewed, and the ones on stage are my students. And when it showed a diverging stairway with people standing on it (40 seconds in) , I was just out of view on the left side.