…to start, there were definitely no goodbyes. I plan to see all of my students next year.
This week, I only had classes Mon-Wed at the elementary school and Mon-Tues at the high school.
Oddly, I have been so busy finding ways to entertain myself and keep busy these last two days that this week seems extraordinarily long. I am truly struggling to remember exactly how my Monday and Tuesday went. But here goes:
Monday: One of my long days – 6 classes. Except that two of my classes were
modified cancelled. That is, my 10e class “needed” to have a double Hungarian lesson at the teacher’s request. I honestly didn’t need to see them today, so I consented. Besides, I was told, this meant I could go home early. Except I still had two more classes that day. In one, we watched School of Rock. Then the final class of the day was cancelled because our new washing machine arrived. And what a beautiful machine it is!
Tuesday: Hmm…what happened on Tuesday? I truly have no memory of my classes on this day. I swear. I’m sorry.
Actually, I believe I went to the class and they weren’t there. In fact the school was empty of students. Maybe they got out early? I went back to the teachers’ room to find out about the rest of the week’s schedule.
Also Kellie and I met with the elementary school principal to briefly discuss next year’s arrangement. Kellie will be teaching a bit there, too.
Wednesday: Final day at the elementary school, and at this point I considered the high school to be over as well. But it was “activity day” or something like that. Movies…Zumba…I’m not really sure. There was a student drama performance during the day as well. I went back to their night performance and really enjoyed it. It was mostly my 12e students. Some great actors and actresses, even if I couldn’t understand the words.
Oh yes, Somewhere between Monday and now our toilet stopped flushing consistently (something inside the tank). So today begins the quest for this fairly urgent fix. I’m sure it was damaged by all the rust in the hard water, which has solidified. For the last couple days, just imagine that the toilet flushed maybe 10% of the time…and if I got up high, reached into the tank, plunged my hand in, and imagined I was magically fixing something by fiddling with the moving parts, I could increase it to 25%.
I used Google Translate (which is not the best choice) to covert my announcement of this problem, which I wrote on a paper and took to our maintenance man, Tamás, as he was cutting the school yard. Stay tuned.
Thursday: No school! Technically, I am invited (?) to the student activity day. Also known as “Lake Deseda Hangout Day.” Also known as “Lots of Fun Stuff Day.” Of course I stayed home because I said I would be available all day for the toilet to be looked at. Tamás came over around 9am, tried to solve the problem for a while, replacing parts. No dice! Then said he would come back around 3:30, which is fél négy (half four) here in Hungary. SO I got out of the house and walked to Tesco.
He came back with a new(er) tank but the valves didn’t match up. He must have taken 20 trips back to the school for parts, though it’s just a two minute walk each way. Every time something didn’t work. Eventually it worked, but when the toilet flushed, the valve would leak and drip down the pipe. Tamás was here, on and off, until 7pm! At one point, we thought it was fixed. I helped him carry the tools and ladder back to school. He opened the refrigerator in his workshop, he poured us some pálinka. And I taught him the English names for the different fruits used in the drink. I went back to our place, flushed the toilet and…drip, drip, drip from the valve.
I went back to get him, he returned with a caulking gun and silicone sealant. He put it on and said not to flush for 15 minutes. I repaid him with some homemade limoncello!
Sixty minutes later, I tested the toilet. Still a slight leak. Damn it!
Friday: Today, Kellie and I went with Árpi to the government office to renew our residence cards. It was a limited success, but I am not going to go into how inefficient, inconsistent, ancient even, the system is here. I am truly not sure the government makes use of computers. Anyway, the paperwork we were missing can be taken care of while we are away…so I think we are in good shape. I need to get Árpi a gift sometime for all of the help and effort he puts forth on our behalf. We would be truly lost without him.
Kellie then went to school for most of the day while I stayed home and packed for Poland/Germany/the USA…the whole summer. I did some errands, cleaned the house. Oh, and I carefully pulled down all of the travel collages Kellie has worked so hard on because Árpi said the school was planning to (read: might, if they get money) paint the flat.
Also, our toilet was serviced again, with another seal and thread tape. And…it is still slightly dripping occasionally. I am comfortable with this being a temporary fix- I also wrapped the leak with duct tape (which seems to be unsuccessful at its job) and have a towel draped underneath the leak. It only leaks when water is flowing so I imagine the flat won’t be flooded, unless someone breaks in and flushes the toilet some unnatural number of times.
Actually, Árpi also mentioned that they are planning (read: actually has a good chance of happening) to completely redo the bathroom during the summer. So the toilet situation will hopefully be fixed for good.
I gave one of our keys to the office today, along with our email addresses and phone numbers so they can contact us. I will remind Árpi that people are welcome to come in while we are away, especially if they are going to fix something. I actually should specifically ask him to have Tamás check the leak again next week. Then he can work in peace without me standing nearby trying to be a good host and offering to help.
Tomorrow, we leave this city, not to return for more than two months. I know we will have lots of exciting journeys and memories within that time, though. Tomorrow, dinner with friends in Budapest. Sunday, Krakow Poland. I admit I have high expectations.