Sunday, December 18, 2005

Unrelated Incidents

The title is meant as a semi-warning. Just in case you expected me to write continuous, flowing prose: it’s not going to happen tonight. Right now, disjointed paragraphs is what I feel up to.

So how did my second Oxford class measure up to the first? I don’t know, because none of them showed up for class on Friday. Well, Jacek did, but since it was only him, I got to cut out early and make it to Laura’s a whole half hour earlier. It was dark, cold, and snowy. I got about 20 yards (or meters, if you prefer) down the highway and when a car stopped and offered me a ride. I debated with myself, for a good 5 seconds, if getting into strangers’ car, on a dark, cold and snowy night was a good idea. It was, and I did, and I made it to Laura’s. Unfortunately, Laura and Mariah had started walking out to meet me halfway, and neither had their cell phones on them. Long story short, they made it back, we drank, we had Jell-O. I love Jell-O. We called many, many people, some at unacceptably late hours. Sorry, guys.

In the morning, Laura’s bathroom exploded. There was a pool in the bathroom for a while. They shut the water off to the whole building, which was a problem because Laura, Mariah and I (some more than others) were in a certain Saturday-morning state where being able to drink water was crucial. Various town-dwellers stopped by to examine the excitement at the American’s apartment. Eventually, the plumber from Miskolc arrived and fixed the problem. Life went on. Other Americans arrived. We drank, made cookies, watched Monty Python. An excellent weekend.

On the way home, I was on the train from hell. It was as hot as a furnace, filled with people, and many of the windows were painted shut. Maybe the heat fried my brain, because as I was falling in and out of semiconsciousness, for the first time I was hit by a smidgen of Christmas-related homesickness. Part of it was the knowledge that some people (Chad and Gaines) are already home, and that several more are leaving this week. My every-second-Sunday phone call home didn’t help either: I mentioned getting a cat to my mom. She asked what I would do with it at the end of the year. I balked for a second, then blurted out something like, “Oh, well, maybe I’ll stay a couple of years... or maybe I’ll give it to someone else.”

I guess I never realized that she assumed I was only staying one year, because it’s such a given to me now, and to everyone that I’ve met here, that I’ll be staying here pretty much indefinitely. What can I do in the States? I’m not qualified to work as anything worthwhile, I don’t have the money or the scores to go to grad school yet. Here, simply by having had the luck to be born and raised in an English-speaking country, I’ve become a hot commodity. Why would I not take advantage of that?

After that conversation, I banished my gloom by decorating my tree. Yes, I bought a tree, a cheap, plastic, Cora tree. It’s a good size; with the special branches on top, it’s almost as tall as me. I decorated with tinsel and szaloncukor. So it’s scrawny, but shiny. I like it.

Wow, this turned out almost coherent. Good job, Em. I'm amazing.