Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas tree!

Story A: The day after Thanksgiving, actually on the way home from the feast, I said to Tomi that we should put up the Christmas tree. He guffawed and said we would put it up on December 24th like everyone else. In my role as cultural ambassador I explained that in America we put up our trees at the beginning of December. He patiently reminded me that I wasn't in America, and what would the neighbors think? I stomped my foot and declared that my home was extraterritorially part of America, and we would put up the tree NOW. Fighting ensued. After a long debate, we compromised on a date in mid-December.
Story B: Sometime in the first week of December, I said, hey, we should put up the tree. Tomi said, what, so early? I said, yeah, like in America. He shrugged and said, okay, do what you want. I, being lazy, got around to it a week or so later.

Well, which story do you like better? At least one of them is true... Anyway, here's the tree. The first picture provides a lovely view framed by the pipes on the wall; in the second picture you can see the cabinet which was the subject of an earlier post:

Saturday, December 13, 2008

We could have been at a pig-killing today, but instead...

Hey Jamie, remember last week, when we ended up at Cora on a Sunday morning. and I swore that I would never set foot in a shop on the weekend in December again? I'm sure you remember me saying that, because I said it dramatically. And repeatedly. And yet somehow it slipped from my mind...

Hungary of course has no Thanksgiving, which means no Black Friday, no post-T-day Official Christmas Shopping Season. But they have a different tradition, which holds that the three Sundays leading up to x-mas are bronzvásárnap, ezüstvásárnap, és aranyvásárnap - Bronze Sunday, Silver Sunday, and Gold Sunday. Shops are open later, hell the fact that they're open at all on a Sunday is a miracle. In terms of the number of people out doing their x-mas shopping, these 3 weekends translate to insanity, super-insanity, and oh-jebus-save-me-jebus-insanity.

And yet I allowed myself to be dragged into it. Actually, it was surprisingly bearable; the only problem is we managed to spend three hours shopping, spend several thousand forint, collect bags and parcels from 5 or 6 stores... and yet only buy one present. The rest - all for us.

Anyway, the shopping adventure was nothing compared to the insanity of the afternoon. Tomi's dad bought a new stove, which turned out to be 5 centimeters shorter than the kitchen cabinets. So either the stove had to be made taller, or the cabinets made shorter. For some reason, he chose the latter. Tomi was understandably a bit pissed about having to dedicate an entire Saturday to helping with this foolish undertaking, but what could he do. Thanks to me, he's pretty well used to people doing stupid things with kitchen furniture (ahem) so maybe the idea of sawing 5 centimeters off the bottom of an entire row of kitchen cabinets seemed feasible. So over we went to help out; being a girl, I was assigned to cleaning. I left when The Men started waving power tools around. But, lo and behold, only 5 hours later Tomi arrived home with all his fingers still attached and a smile on his face - success!

Sweet. Next time I want to do some grand, well-thought-out but ridiculous-sounding project, I can bring this up...

By the way, new favorite Hungarian word: aránytévesztés "loss of one's sense of proportion." I love my dictionary.