Monday, December 29, 2003

hello. obviously on blogging hiatus. possible return mid january.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Back in Brussels. Budapest, I miss you! Yep, it was a really nice visit. And I have to make amends with the poppyseeds - contrary to statements in my previous blog, the poppyseed pastries are very good when baked by someone's mother in her kitchen and served at a friendly Sunday lunch.

There is so much of my trip that I didn't write about. I learned more in Budapest in 10 days (about history, modernity, people in general) than I have in Brussels in nearly 4 months. And then there was the Incredible hospitality. And so many tea houses, I mean, how cool is that. (I went on a sort of tea-house crawl and got many ideas for my pretend entrepreneurial plans.)

So I will go again. And next time I will bring a camera.

Sunday, December 14, 2003

That was no coat closet! Wow those were excellent incredibly cheap opera tickets! Sure, it was the second balcony and we had to enter through the side door to get there, but we were front row and CENter. I mean, these were some of the best seats in the house. The only thing that would have made it even better would have been my understanding the Hungarian surtitles. But I knew the general storyline and the performance was well done. The set was strikingly amazing and beautiful. So, it was a success. And then over hotchocolate and apple pancakes with Emma my opera date we missed the last metro to the last bus home. So that provided an adventure which involved my drinking the typical Hungarian short-drink which has a red poison/medicine looking cross on the bottle. Dont worry, I only had one. Though it wasnt too bad (short drinks are rarely my cup of tea).

Speaking of tea I went to a splendid tea house yesterday. Very similar to the pretend one in my head that I like to imagine opening. The visit rekindled that little dream of mine.

But so far I think perhaps my favorite thing about Hungary is the greeting and farewell -- seeya. Of course, it's not really "see-ya" but a Hungarian word that by random chance sounds precicely like "see 'ya" (later alligator). But the better part is that "hello" is also used as both a greeting and farewell, less by random chance than the evolution of language influenced by pax-americana. So leaving stores and cafes I say "bye" and am likely to hear "hello" as the door shuts behind me. When my friend says "hello" and hangs up the phone I can not help but giggle.

Friday, December 12, 2003

So, I've got a new pair of shoes (they're digging in my heels that have seen nothing but the same wearing out birkenstock for the last four months) and I am off to see La Boheme at the Budapest opera house, so life is pretty good. The tickets are nearly free, 300 forint which is roughly 1.5 euro, i.e 1.6 dollar or something, but we will see approximately 15% of the stage (the part where people rarely stand). But, and I emphasize But, the sound will reach us and the building is gorgeous and I would pay a buck fifty to sit in the coat room. Ok, maybe not the coat room. But definitely the second balcony.

Buda+Pest is a pretty big city but I'm conquering it tourist style bit by bit, and I only wish it were not winter. But then again the Christmas lights, ice skating rink, and Christmas market are cheerful and maybe make up for coldness that has taken up residence in my head, abundant sneezing and all. But my coworkers are all too friendly bringing me lemons and honey and boiling water and tea, and "get better bears" (sore throat lollipops) too. I have had all night heart-burn only twice from peppery Hungarian food, and I am sure I have gained 5 kilos from the pastries. By the way, if you are used to American versions of poppyseed cakes/muffins whathaveyou, beware the Hungarian poppyseed. This is not sprinkling of tiny seed amongst a lemon muffin. No, this is inch thick poppy paste stuffed in a roll of pastry dough, or crepe, or whatever you like. I'm telling you this poppy paste if thick, and if you are me, not very good at all. Just so you know before chomping down.

I'm an editing machine at the Gallup Hungary office, and let me tell you, it is nice to have an appreciated skill (even when that skill is nothing more than the presence of a native language, which, admittedly, everyone has).

Monday, December 08, 2003

im going to write about budapest, really i will. this is just a quick and strange attempt at communication.

Adam - hello, your emails dont show up on my web-based gallup address, so i dont have your number. mystery. the normal outlook isnt working on this guest computer. but i am, obviously, now in budapest and started working at the office. so write to my other email, please: liveconscious@yahoo.com

I saw a group of dancing christmas trees in Brussels today. They were very jolly and shakin it to jingle bell rock. I love the christmas market here. love it love it. I want to buy everyone something and myself everything and overdo the hot wine and waffles. Please come visit the christmas market. you should witness its splendor. oh splendiforousness. Grand place is currently filled with blinking blue lights, cows that glow pink, and sheep that eat hay and look cuddely. But I have to tell you (those of you who will come because I say you must) my great gaufre wisdom: The closer you get to mannekin pis the more expensive and crappy the waffles become. If you want a waffle, a really delicious gaufre chaud, you must purchase it from the sweet old man who runs the stand in the Schuman metro station. The best in town and cheap too. Dont say I never taught you anything.

Friday, December 05, 2003

PS. I really need a new pair of shoes. just fyi.
Im feeling better about those applications, but dude, i am so on the verge of being late. My transcripts arrived in Belgium, but not in Philladelphia. Explain that. Tomorrow morning at a ridiculous hour I go to Budapest for a week and a half. I am very excited but have very few clean cloths to pack. I am feeling unsettled and uneasy. And for some reason my complexion doesnt like Belgium. Explain that. The water? Surely can't be the chocolate. Im not eating that much chocolate. My desk is a mess and today I am working for Nada - have we all been introduced to my slightly batty french teacher for whom I work weekly in exchange for lessons?. All day I am working for Nada. I think today we will try and tackle her computer, which is a mess and old and there is nothing really I can do. But at least I understand that when you push "save" and turn it off, it will be there again when you turn it on. She doesnt seem to get this.
But I am sure as soon as the plane hits the runway for Hungary Ill be better. Tonight however, I do not plan to sleep. Too much to do. I don't sleep well here anyway.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Internal Error! internal error? Makes me nervous. So what more advanced blogger than I knows how a person would save all their past blogging? I could cut and paste into word, but there must be a better way than that. I know nothing about such things as these. But I would hate to lose my journal to some random internet monster.

About journals and feelings, I am feeling unsure about life. Well, I am fairly sure life is there, out there, somewhere. But as I sit at this desk feeling uninspired and unsure of what I should be inspired towards, I am left to wonder. About what I can not tell you. My head is empty and I feel invisible. Hmmm. I wish I were. For a day or two. Invisible.

My first application due date is past, the recommendations and transcripts unacounted for, alas I have not completed the complete version on time. Pity.
Next due dates approach soon. But bombed GRE scores loom and I think
what is the point in begging?
Hate to be negative. Perhaps it is all relative. And really I didnt want acceptance


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