Thursday, March 08, 2007

Women's Day

Today marks the third year I’ve been in Hungary on Women’s Day, and the third year that it caught me completely by surprise. The first year, my semester abroad, I was at my roommate Anna’s house for the weekend. Her father gave us flowers and little candies, but between my nonexistent Hungarian, his nonexistent English, and Anna’s limited English, I didn’t really comprehend the reason why.

My second year, my students showered me with flowers and candy, and once again I got through half the day without having a clue why. Eventually some kind English-speaker clued me in.

This year I did slightly better. When I walked into the flower-filled teachers’ room this morning, I knew immediately that it had to be either Women’s Day or Teachers’ Day, and that was soon straightened out.

I got fewer flowers this year. The best present I was a little conversation with one my 6th grade girls. Imagine her speaking Hungarian, me answering in English:

Kinga: And next year, what will you do?
Me: I don’t know.
Kinga: Okay, fine, but will you be here?
Me, more forcefully: I don’t know.
Kinga: Oh, please stay! Otherwise who knows what kind of stupid new person we’d get.

Even thought it’s not really a stunning endorsement, it was still heartwarming.

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