Wednesday, June 07, 2006


[palm tree picture]

So I’m sure that none of my three regular readers noticed my absence last week. After all, 5 days is barely a long time to go without posting. Five days is actually a very short time. And it seems unbelievably too short when I spent those five days on holiday in a sun-drenched island paradise.

Imagine this: it’s Wednesday afternoon. Szolnok is cold and rainy. I hate this place when it rains; it emphasizes the ugliness, the concrete flats, the unending pavement, the garbage, the miasma of unpleasant smells. So I finish teaching, and get to Budapest. At midnight, I hop onto a plane, and within three hours the scene has completely changed: I’m standing on a beach, the sand still warm from the previous day. Waves crashing. Palm trees, orange trees, lemon trees. As we leave the airport, the sun is just starting to make streaks in the sky. We drive along the coast. On the right, distant lights from small villages in the hills; on the left, the dark emptiness of the ocean. We arrive at the flat and sit out on the balcony. As the sun comes up, the ocean changes color - from pale gray, it begins at the horizon to become bluer and richer. By the time the sun comes above the buildings, the entire ocean is deep blue, streaked with sky blue and green. The sky is clear but not yet blue, it’s still white from the sunrise, and the first breezes of the day are already warm. We talk for a long time before going inside to nap. When we wake up, it’s like a whole new day beginning.

But that was only the first few hours.

In the interest of discretion, I’m not going into all the details. Enough to say each day was better then the one before. We drove all over the island, saw the cities, got lost in the villages, took short-cuts and long-cuts, ate in restaurants and at home, drank on the beach and on the balcony, swam in the ocean and sunbathed on the beach. It was amazing, in every possible way. Even the things that went wrong resolved themselves eventually.

With one exception. There’s still one problem that I can’t fix: there’s no happy ending. How can there be? The holiday ends, we go back to normal lives, and real life is just weaker and colder and emptier and more boring and more colorless by comparison. There’s nothing now to look forward to; even going ‘home’ (back to America) in two weeks isn’t exciting. I don’t know what to do. I’m hoping the post-holiday lethargy will wear off soon. Otherwise, it’s going to a long, long summer.

1 comment:

EZA said...

You are one of those people I mentioned in my blog who are touristing all over the place while I muck out horse stalls. :)