It’s the weekend!
First off, I love seeing students around the city, outside of school, passing them on the street, etc.. It reminds me of Olympia; I saw at least one NOVA student or parent just about every time I went shopping. And why wouldn’t I? Students and teachers are regular people, right? I remember how freaked out I was the ONE time I was 14 and saw my English teacher eating at the same restaurant my family was at. WHAT…teachers eat at restaurants???
After classes today, I went out around town to run some errands and had the smoothest time yet. I first went to the post office, passing Kinga, who was going to sports practice. The post offices here have a little…newsstand (?) with lotto, newspapers, DVDs, uh….blood pressure monitors, and things like that. I was told by students that postcards can also be found here, even though they aren’t visible through the window. So, I walked up, asked for “két képeslapok, kérem?” [two postcards, please]. The woman showed me two different styles so I ended up purchasing four cards at 70 ft. each.
Then I walked down to the train station, since we are going to Budapest early tomorrow, for the weekend. I walked up to the jegypenztar [ticket cashier] and calmly asked for “két jegyet, a Kaposvári budapest déli holnap, és helyjegy – IC 807.” The cashier showed my the price, I used my credit card, and had the tickets. As I was leaving, I passed Melinda and Aliz heading to their trains, and chatted for a few quick seconds.
Then I crossed the street and went into Spar, the grocery store, where I decided to buy Energizer AA batteries. My point-and-shoot camera now works. Let this be a lesson to you all–don’t buy generic batteries (unless they are costco batteries). Spar also had a quick charger with 4 energizer rechargeable batteries for the equivalent of $17 US. That will probably be worth it in the long run, actually I’m sure it will.
Finally, I headed toward Kossuth Square, visited the ATM and had a plan to buy some gyros from the fast food stand. I was going to bring one back to Kellie when she got home from her classes, so I texted her and waited. As I sat around the fountain in the main square, Oleg (a student) and his family wandered over. His father actually set up a music stand and he and another woman were playing guitar/violin music in the square. I caught myself singing “Amazing Grace” out loud. It was really nice. Also, I should mention that the church bells ring at 3pm. But they don’t just ring, they ring like the bellringer has a death threat if he doesn’t ring them as loud as humanly possible. It’s quite intense, but enjoyable! In the interaction with Oleg, his parents came over and introduced themselves, and wouldn’t you know, his relative from Seattle (!) happened to be visiting.
I ended up ordering the two gyros, and when the man offered me the special (+fries+drink), I declined and said it was “elvitelre” [to go], so he ended up wrapping our gyros in aluminum foil. At 550 ft. each, the bill came to 1100ft. I gave him 1500 and said I wanted to pay 1200. Actually, I said I wanted to pay 1002 ft. But I quickly caught myself, and I’m sure he knew what I meant. But oddly, he gave me back 415 ft in small change (mostly 10 and 20 ft coins). Umm…hmmm…. awkward….. (1500 – 415 = 1085, not 1200).
I walked hesitantly back to the window and said “1100, yes?” then pointed to him and said “1200” while I handed him 100 ft back in change. He thanked me…I’m still not sure what that was all about. As he was preparing the gyros, he had a friendly demeanor…he asked if I spoke angol [English] and I responded, “yes, I am an English teacher at Munkacsy Gimnazium,” but I said it in Hungarian. All was well! Ahh…Conversation, I’ve missed you.
Other thoughts: I love walking around town with my ipod. And I will admit I enjoy listening to Taylor Swift. There, I said it. I have also been listening to AFI and Joy Formidable more than average lately.
Finally, today was the first day I missed some American stores. At points in the day, I had distinct feelings of missing Starbucks, Panera Bread, and Trader Joe’s. I didn’t miss their products…I missed the atmosphere of just being in those stores.
Next time we meet, you’ll hear about our weekend in Budapest. Hopefully, I will be returning with a yogamat.