Friday, April 20, 2012


So on Friday night I went out dancing with a girlfriend.  And I had a lot of fun, until my purse got stolen.  Now, when your purse is stolen from three inches from your hand in the ten seconds it takes you to order a drink, and the phone is already disconnected when you call it a minute later, you can only assume you have been robbed by a pro.  So, while my friend freaked out, I was rather calm at the moment.

The next day I got up super early and headed back to the island, where the club was.  I combed through the bushes, and even gave my flatmate's phone number to some homeless guys who were doing the same, asking them to call me and promising a reward for my ID.

Still in my party gear, I then went and waited for the bus.  Two dudes started to sort of harass me, and I snapped at them that I had been robbed, and demanded a bus ticket.  Mollified, they actually gave me a bus ticket, and then turned friendly and non-creepy enough.  I guess it's easy to pick on the girl in a sequined dress at seven in the morning.

So the next step was canceling my Hungarian bank card, which Anna helped me with.  Then it was off to the police station to file a report, which I was able to do myself.  Actually, the male police officer at one point had to go ask his female colleague exactly how to say "sequin" in Hungarian, which I found amusing.  I'm glad I'm not the only one who doesn't know everything!  After that, a new phone.  Then going to the bank to order a new bank card, and last of all heading to immigration for a new residence card, which, as usual, was a nightmare.  The only good thing was that Balint pointed out that we needed new locks on our door and was able to change them out for us.  It's good to have a handy person around!

I really recommend you don't get your bag stolen.  I mean, it could have been worse: it was only a small bag with some essentials in it, so I still have my passport and all my other cards.  But, really, this has been one annoying, expensive, week-long hassle.  So hold onto those bags while you're out dancing, ladies!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Fluffy Boys

Laying in bed, watching silly TV shows while reading a good book, letting my two little fluffies climb all over my back and kiss my cheeks...

sometimes it's good to just be lazy.  Real blog posts about Paris and Copenhagen coming soon!  In the meantime, a funny kid story: yesterday during tutorials, I had my sixth graders play a game from the television show Whose Line is it Anyway, where they each are given a prop and have to come up with different mini-skits using the prop as different items each time.  And they had just tons of fun with it, actually taking the whole half-hour session to play.  I had expected they would take about ten minutes and then it would be time for a new activity.

One group of boys had a lot of fun with it.  They had a little bulb-shaped timer as their prop.  And, surely enough, at one point they used the little timer as a bong.  I kind of just pressed my forehead to my hand, and asked where they had learned about these things.

The kid turned to me, scoffed, and said, "Ms. Lauren.  Youtube," as it it was the most obvious answer in the world.  Which, really, I suppose it was!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Free bird!

This is a traditional Hungarian folk song, rethought.  I've kept coming back to it over the last few days.  The lyrics, translated by me and repeated in various patterns throughout the song (I'm translating in the full order, starting at 1:40ish) are:

Cold winds are blowing.
They do not bode well.
Free life, free as a bird.
Oh, how beautiful is the one who travels free.

This is important for me to remember.  Maybe cold winds are blowing right now, but who knows what they will bring?  More importantly, I am free.  If the winds blow too cold, I'll breeze into something better.  It really is beautiful to be free.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


So this weekend, one of my sorority sisters was in town.  Nobody I was ever particularly close to, since she was a freshman when I was a senior, but still a really nice girl.  So I took her and her friends out for dinner on Sunday, and then we had some drinks last night.  It was nice to see her, catch up, and gossip about Lycoming people for a little bit.

After she left the bar last night, I stayed and had another drink with my friends, and then headed home.  As usual, when such things strike, it struck on the bus.  I became horribly dark.  Now, most of you know me, and know that I'm not really all that dark.  I'm regularly described as a "sunshiny" person, for goodness sake.  I think this is mainly because I keep my darkness to myself.  So I rode the bus a few extra stops, then wandered home over the back of my little hill.

I'm not sure exactly what it was that tripped me over the edge into an emo midnight wander.  Certainly, it has to do with roots.  I'm not really in touch with anyone from America anymore, and while that's ok and understandable, in many ways it's also awful.  I have a life that I genuinely love, and I'd like others to understand it with me, and yet there really is nobody who can.  This whole experience is also changing me so drastically, in so many (mainly) positive ways, but I don't know anyone who knows both old Lauren and new Lauren.

At the same time, as soon as I feel like I'm putting roots down here, the ground starts to become sort of shaky. The international and financial situation here in Hungary has always been something that, as a foreigner, I could happily ignore.  But it's reaching a level where I can't ignore it any more, and I have to consider the future of this little country that I adore in my life plans.  And that is so upsetting to me.  I hate the feeling of uncertainty where just a few months ago my life was laid out in front of me, for the next few years at least.

Beyond that, so many of my friends are planning to leave in the next few years.  And that's fine, and I'm happy for them, and I know that I will make new friends.  But... still.  Add to that the fact that this weekend I met a boy that I think I could grow to really like, and I think he feels the same way about me, and, of course, as usual... doesn't live in Hungary.

Then mix in the fact that this feeling of uncertainty is not unique to me.  All across the world, young people and especially young women are starting to worry about their futures.  We have to care so much about everything, while pretending to be cool and not care at all.  We have to worry about our bodies.  Appearance is tantamount, and we have to present a perfect feminine appearance, but we have to also act like men.  More than anything, though, we feel a bit cheated.  We have to deal with living our whole life being told we could be anything we wanted to be, and then coming out of college into an economy where we're all still sort of scraping by five years later.  So many of my friends are still in an entry-level position, or back in school racking up more debt.  It's ridiculous.

And last night it all became too much and I became a little bit angry.

Happily today's the last day of my work week, and tomorrow I'm heading off to Sweden and Denmark for Easter.  And I'll remember that I'm one of the lucky ones.