Saturday, November 12, 2005

Further benefits of Oxford

1) They know everyone. Seriously, between Juli, Anita, and Tamás, I bet they either know everyone of note in Szolnok. For example, last night Juli, Chad and I were having a nutritious dinner at Pizza Pronto, and Juli pointed out that two of out fellow diners were the American and Brazilian members of Szolnok’s basketball team, Szolnoki Olaj (Szolnok Oil; don’t ask me). Chad, being the fearless person he is, immediately moved to their table and introduced himself. And me. And Juli.

2) Free Polish snacks, courtesy of Anita’s husband Jacek, who works for some sort of Polish company which, as far as I can tell, exists for the sole purpose of giving Jacek bags and bags of snacks and candy, which he turns over to Oxford. In theory, these snacks are for the students, but since they exist in the hidden recesses of the kitchen cabinets, they mainly just feed Chad and myself.

3) Squash. Not the snacky kind, the exercise-y kind. I went this afternoon with Juli, Chad, and Dóri (Tamás’ wife) for my first-ever attempt at what I assumed would be a strenuous, dangerous, rule-bound game. Nope. At least, not the way Juli and Dóri play. For those of you unfamiliar with the game (as I was 12 hours ago. Now, after one game, I’m an expert), a squash court is an enclosed room, Chad said like a racquetball court. I wouldn’t know. There are lines on the walls and floor (we mostly ignored them). Two people take turns whacking the ball against the far wall. Hm, that’s about it. I’m sure there’s some sort of scoring involved, but we didn’t bother. The only place where it gets complex is the running around while trying to hit the ball, but avoiding hitting the other person, the wall, or anything else. It was great. Despite having damaged myself slightly, I’m going again on Monday.

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