Friday, April 30, 2010

dancing with myself, oh oh

All day long, kids tug at my sleeves. "Miss Lauren! Miss Lauren! Is it good? What do we have to do? Can I sit with Frank? Miss Lauren!" My teaching partner has a small crisis or a parent is upset about something, and we need to deal with that. Or just discussing how to split a unit. My colleagues pat me, smile at me, and fuss over my attempts at their language. I attempt a social life, going out to bars where people bump into me, beer is splashed on me, and loud music blares. I ride a bus, and old ladies lean on me. I ride a bike, and cars honk at me. I walk down the street, surrounded by barking dogs, traffic noises, shop keepers chatting up customers, people on phones. I make plans with friends to spend the afternoon outside, playing games and shouting at each other, laughing, talking. I have a flatmate, and we chat, plan, complain, and talk at each other. We watch various things on the internet. Laughter, togetherness, noise.

And I love it. As most of you know, I'm rather emotionally needy. I need that smile, that eye contact, that bit of banter. Quietness in the company of others is something that is extremely difficult for me. I become nervous, twitchy, and inevitably start blathering something just to fill the silence. I love living in the city: the energy of it, the noise and busyness, always having options of things to do and see.

But I am never alone. And sometimes all of it becomes too much, and I find myself overwhelmed. Stressed. And maybe scolding a student much more than I should have done. Maybe teasing a friend a bit more than is actually funny. Maybe not saying my "please and thank you"s enough.

So tonight I stayed in. I'm catching up on the news, working on some projects. I'm laying on the couch. I'm going to bed early. I'm sitting in absolute silence, disturbed only by the faint clickety-clack of my fingers on keys. And I'm sharing a beer with one of my best friends. It's a good night. It's always good to remember that I can actually be alone, that I'm actually comfortable enough with myself to have some fun without anyone else.

Benci likes Soproni.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Full credit to Mike for the discovery and Julia for the typing, but I wanted to share this with some of my readers. Enjoy!

Hówhite és the Seven törps

(a fairytale in Hunglish)

Hole volt, hole nem volt, lived egy king meg egy queen. Egy day, nekik lett egy daughter. Her haja volt mint ében, s her skin like hó. Így lett her name Hówhite.

Mindenki volt happy, de a queen meghalt. Hówhite’s apja lett nagyon sad and Hówhite too. But, nem sokkal after, the king gondolted that, ’Kell feleség for me!’ So after pár hét, the king megérkezetted with egy nő. She lett a new queen.

But, jött the influenza, so the king meghalt too. Maradt hát Hówhite és the mostoha.

The mostoha was very gonosz and she had a tükör. She often kérdezted a tükröt, ’My tükör, my tükör, tell me, I am the legszebb or nem?’ Erre the tükör, ’You are so-so, but Hówhite is szeb mint you!’ Erre the mostoha very angry lett. Felbérelted a vadász to kill Hówhite. Hówhite így stayed in the erdő where lots of állat van. Hówhite találted egy house, ami was very kicsi. Be is mented és rögtön el is sleepet.

A end of the day, the törps coming haza és they látják that valami nem o.k. They with ész, like Colombo’s, rájötteked, hogy is itt valaki. Erre már Hówhite is felébreted és fast elmondta to nekik az ő troubleját. A seven törps befogadted Hówhite-ot, hogy majd she cook and takarít for ők, mert they were nagyon busy egész day and nincs timejük.

Meanwhile, the gonosz mostoha rájött that Hówhite még lives. Főzött quickly almakompót with méreg, hogy kill Hówhite with saját kezüleg. Másnap, the törps ment to bánya for arany and Hówhite was left egyedül. Aztán came the gonosz mostoha, dressed mint egy granny, with the almakompót and said to Hówhite, ’You voltál so kedves with me és adtál water to me, hogy now én give you kis almakompót.’ So, hát Hówhite meg is ate it and meg is died.

When the törps arrived at házukba, they láted that Hówhite had halotted. Their szívuk were zokoging and they építetted big-big kopor-coffin with üvegfedél to beletenni Hówhite. Then came the királyfi on fehér horse and he csókolted Hówhite mert she was oly beautiful. Hówhite felélelted from the meglepi.

The törp’s sziv összeszorülted from the öröm and the királyfi felülteted Hówhite on his fehér horse and they elmented into the lemenő nap.

The törps were very boldog, mert know that the mostoha lebucskázotted hazafelé menet egy nagy stoneról.

And mindenki volt happy and lived boldogan ever after.

End of Mese!

Take a time out, open up ya mind, and then peep the giraffe.

I imagine that many of my readers aren't aware of this whole Insane Clown Posse "Miracles" video thing. But it's hilarious. And really not safe for work or little ears. But oh my goodness. Treat yourself. It has brought the following into my life: Stand toe to toe with the ocean at night and tell me that s*** ain’t amazing. We appreciate all this s***. Especially a yellow a**, long neck giraffe.

The original:

The article where the fat clown, who has dubbed himself "Violent J the Happy Clown Serial Killer," addresses the hubbub surrounding his video here.

I know, I know. What's going on in Budapest, Lauren? Where's that Berlin post? Or the Pe'cs one for that matter? Well... they'll come. For now laugh at stupid idiot clown rappers and enjoy.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Critical Mass

I went to Critical Mass this Saturday. While the ride itself was less than astounding, experiencing this was pretty damn awesome.

Friday, April 23, 2010

You're prescribing me what?

Well, yesterday I headed back to the doctor for my yearly physical. He checked me out and discovered that everything was mostly fine, but did recommend that I try to get more exercise, etc. etc. I sort of blinked at him and then explained that I ride my bike about 100 km a week. At that statement he ordered some blood work for me, so I look forward to going through that procedure in Hungarian and finding out the results.

So I walked out of the doctor's office with four prescription notes for various blood tests and some allergy meds, but I was really upset to not get a note for the fifth thing my doctor prescribed me. Because my doctor's fifth prescription? Sex.

"I find you to have a... unfulfilled vagina. Not enough the estrogen. You must have more the sex. Much more the sex," he explained in his lovely English.
I boggled at him. "Sex?"
"Yes! The sex it is very important for the women, especially the young women. Stronger your bones, stronger your muscles, happier your face. No wrinkles, thin!"
I laughed incredulously. "Are you prescribing me sex?"
"Yes, um... a recept?"
"Seriously! Yes! Yes! The sex is healthy for the womens too! Why such shamefulness feel the womens about the sex? Have it! Stronger bones. Much much much the sex!"
"Well... could you write that on the prescription pad?" I asked, laughing.
"You cannot buy the sex at the pharmacy!" he scoffed.

And that was that. And I am really bummed out to not have a prescription note with "szex" written on it now.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Benci's fine!

My little sweetie is feeling much better and thanks all of you for your well wishes.

I was thinking today while I rode my bike home under the gorgeous blue sky. I was thinking about volcanoes. Living over here on this side of the pond, the volcano eruption is rather a big deal. I know dozens of people that have had travel plans interrupted, everyone started coughing in the past few days, and the volcano continues to erupt. It's strange to think of how something so natural, like a volcano, can totally disrupt the whole world.

The last time this volcano erupted, in 1821, it erupted off and on over a period of two years. It also caused the eruption of a much larger and deadlier volcano nearby. The smoke and ash could be seen in the sky over Europe for months. The movement of the ash eventually led to the discovery of the jet stream, as people noticed the setting sun painting the sky unnatural shades of red and purple. Like this:

Apparently this is actually what the sky looked like in Denmark. Who knew?

And all of this ruckus got me thinking about the fact that I really am quite far away. I guess I never really noticed it before. For me a flight across the Atlantic is not a big deal, just a slightly inconvenient day. Remembering the time difference has become second nature and I do it without thinking about it. Hungary has become so natural to me that I rarely even notice how different it is. Sometimes I open my mouth and Hungarian just tumbles out without my having planned it. I can talk to my family on my cell phone while I'm out running errands and it's crisp and clear. I forget that I'm far. I just forget it, because to me the world is a small, cozy place.

The concept of not having the ability to fly for months or even years throws into sharp relief every one of those 4396 crow-flying miles (or 7075 crow-flying km for my metric-speaking friends) from Budapest to West Clifford, though.

Random funny thing:
The answer to "What is hard water?" killed me. KILLED me.

Monday, April 19, 2010


What do you think when you see the little face up there? Do you think, "Eww, a rat!"? Do you think, "Gee, Lauren sure is obsessed with her little rodent."? Perhaps, "Aww, Benci!"

I can guess what you almost certainly don't think. I would bet hundreds of forints (HUNDREDS!!) that you don't think. "Oh my goodness, a rat! What a mysterious, rare, and exotic animal!" Unless, of course, you are a veterinarian. In which case, come to my flat. Please.

It turns out that in Hungary rats are considered to be exotic pets. Which means that when you come home and find your little darling baby with a red crust all around her eye, steadily leaking blood from her eye and sneezing, and you call a vet to try to make an emergency appointment, you are told over and over again that that vet doesn't see rats. Nevermind the fact that it is Sunday. No vet will see you and your incredibly exotic pet.

Happily, it turns out that my precious ratty is most likely not dying rapidly of horrible eye cancer. It turns out that when rats are stressed or have a cold, they cry. And it turns out further that rat tears are blood red.

That's right. Bencelita is actually a Bond villain, crying tears of blood.

Why it's only one eye remains a mystery. I'll be trying again tomorrow when more offices are open to find someone to look at her.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Lauren, the absentee blogger.

I know. I know.

But hey, look.... the NYT did some of my work for me!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

In lieu of an actual update, I give you links

Friday, April 9, 2010

Graduate school

I got accepted to study on a grant at the University of Alcala in Madrid next year.

Lauren in Budapest will have to come to an end, though I figure that the blog will continue. Get ready for Lauren in Madrid.

New adventures. Sadness, trepidation... and a whole lot of excitement.