Wednesday, January 31, 2007

A Boy, A Beer, A Bird

It was a cold and windy night. A brave young boy found in him a deep thirst for something and ventured alone out into the cold of winter. He braved the elements with nothing but his thoughts and his whit. He searched high and low to find a full filling beverage. He traveled for days when he stumbles across something in the snow. It was a long journey where he defeted a bridge (named after him) and took the time to start a new city (also named after him).

Laying under nothing but a newspaper and making such a noise was an elf. He rose slowly said something that was incoherent that they boy thought maybe he is speaking elfin. The boy being a smart one decided that this elf might be of some benefit to him. With his elfin magic and skills he may be able to fight against the might powers of the dragons that protect the beer. His name was Beni

They traveled down the steep hills of Buda when they had to battle the Gyros dragon. The elf proved useful. Joining the battle was a huge warrior. With his help the Gyros would hurt no more, Csongor the warrior drove a metal spike into him and he stayed burning in the flames of Moricz Zsigmond. The two convinced Csongor to join the quest. He agreed, fighting the dragon did leave in him and incredible thirst.

In those days the streets of Budapest were pitch dark at night; one lamp at Gellert Hegy, one at Man lady liberty, and one on freedom bridge to give the last light to those who need it. No others anywhere. The boy took the road with his followers known as "the genius carrot" once translated from its ancient language. It was a district of ill repute, a dark lane between the town and the cave of beer, in which at night fallen women with raddled faces and dishevelled hair loitered, after being driven from their haunts in the massive market place. This is where they ran into two fair maidens who were said to know the ways and mysteries of Beer Cave.

It was not easy to get passed these women, or to convince them why they should join the band of thirsty travelers. First to be confronted was the lady in red known as Piroska. They thought she would be an easy target because of her docile features yet with one swing she knocked them all down, they only convinced her with the promise of the first taste of the might might beer. Next up was the loud and obnoxious dark one. It was decided, a battle of the trees. The boy used his cunning in eliciting the help of wayside trash to defeat this one with a hit to the head with a moldy cardboard box. To say the least she joined in the quest.

They walked for a distance, through a gorge walled on either side by rocky cliffs until they saw a cave. Guarding the cave was a bartender and his giant white cockatoo. The ladies of the night told these misfits that if the bird did not see peace and good in you with his glowing red eyes her would gouge out your heart with his large talons, but if you were in fact true and good he would shout your name through out the Cave of Snooker.

The gang sat at the round table drinking the wonderful beer and rehashing their adventures when a sound was heard throughout the cave ARPAD, ARLO ARLO.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

A Party for me in Hernadnemeti


What is the occasion one might ask in a situation like this? One, its spring, the sun will be out, the birds will be puddling cheerfully, and love will be in the air.

Who is invited???

The guest list is rather small, but very significant.

One: Cathy Jo Stigen

This beautiful women holding the adorable babe, is my wonderful mother. She is the experienced one leading her offspring to join the one who flew furthest away.

Two: Amie Louise (Stigen) Olson

This gorgeous mother of two will be adventurous and leave her children at home and join me in Hungary. She is a little apprehensive of this undertaking, but I know that she will succeed and it will be well worth it. Collin asked if he could come too, but we told him that if he came how were we suppose to bring him so gifts. He is a smart 4 year old, and opted for the gifts.

Three: Eric Roger (Lewis) Stigen

This handsome devil, not the one holding the baby, not the baby, not the women in purple, but the striking young man in the maroon polo!! That is my brother Eric. He too will hang up his working hat, strap on some boots and journey to join in the festivities!!!

As you can see I am a little excited that my family is coming in March. I will probably mention it about 8,234,875,903,746 more times before they get here. So deal with it. I appreciate them so much for digging into their busy schedules as well as their wallets to come to see me! Thanks guys, I love you!!!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Good News From the Homefront!!

I was very excited to hear from my family this week. I am always happy to hear from them, but this week it was better then usual. My mother and my older sister have decided to make the trip to come and see me in Hernadnemeti. This happiness will be doubled if Eric, my brother, can also get some time off and join us in our adventures.

Amie will be embarking an many firsts...this is her first journey to Europe, her first time flying over the whole ocean, and the first time she will be leaving her two boys home for this period of time. I am so happy she has decided to do this, though I wish James, Collin, and Kade could also come. My head is whirling with all the things we can do together.

My mom, however, is an old pro at this traveling business. She will be the captain in their journey and guide them safely to Budapest where I will grab the reins. They will also act as my carriers on their way home. I will be filling their suitcases with my things to make the move in June go smooth. I love my family for doing this for me.

Thursday, January 18, 2007


The other night, I was sitting in my new flat finishing the last pages of a good book when I was overcome with the feeling of content. It had been awhile. My new flat offers some extra comforts, my book was wonderful, and I was eating jelly beans from my new Super Duper Reindeer Pooper from me recently acquired Christmas package from my wonderful parents. Any of these things could have aroused this sense of content, in any case it got me thinking...

Tuesday I was sitting at my small space in the teacher's room at school. Since I prepare everything at home and we have 15 minutes between classes, I took the time to observe, some say eavesdrop, and reflect. (It is one of my favorite thing to do at school!) Most of the time I am reflecting on what I think I hear from my co-workers, not so in this case. On the foggy, dreary day my reflections focused on life.

This is a hard thing to reflect on on such a depressing day, thankfully we can not predict what life may bring we just have to live and be happy. Many questions come shooting to the surface of my thoughts many I might add without answers.

I was a little shocked at this one thought I had while observing the teachers. This is their life. Sounds ridiculous to have thought such a sentence, of course it is and mine too for the moment, and I know very little about the lives my co-teachers live, I blame the weather like any good Hungarian would. But, I am content with my life and situation knowing that I have only six months left. Mostly, this is because this is the longest I have been anchored somewhere and I am one who enjoys being on the move.

I love my job here, my experiences, and what I have learned, (which is a lot more than I can write), knowing it is going to end. This is just one chapter in my book of life. For others it is the whole book with a few paragraphs her and there to liven it up.

I do not feel bad, nor do I think this is horrible for them. It is a wonderful life, just one that I do not want to have. I am too young to be forever in one place. So at the moment I am having a blast here and enjoying every moment that I have before I have to make the journey home. But, unlike last year I am decided in my plans to go home and stay for a while. I am sure after a year of that I will be ready to move on yet again.

I was once told by a friend, Jenna to be exact, that people are either starters or finishers. I am definitely one who likes to finish only in anticipation of the next big adventure!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

When all else fails, tell a big Hungarian man with friends!!

UPDATE: The phone has been recovered!!!

As I said yesterday, I was outwitted by five ten year old kids. I had to move on with my day however, so as planned I went to my private lesson at 4:00pm. This private lesson happens to be with the husband of my contact teacher. He is a pretty big guy, and I told him what happened (in Hungarian since this was his first lesson). He was not sure if he was understanding me so he called Aniko, my contact teacher, home from where ever she had been. The story was confirmed, I was robbed by some kids.

Before I know it, the whole village is involved. He calls a friend, the police, my headmaster, and the mayor! Luckily for me, the kids were out witted by their mother. She returned the phone to the school where I got it back. Good things always happen to me!!!

It is my understanding that one of these kids was the one who is going to trial for injuring a teacher at my school. Nine years old and already in so much trouble. I am just happy to have my phone back. Although I did feel a little stupid in school when all the kids were like "Hey do you have your phone now?"

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

E.T no Phone Home

Eternally. Thoughtless. and now I can not phone home!

So today I was walking home from school and happened across some of the village's children. They are not in my class, but I often see them and often join them as we walk towards our homes. Today they were very touchy feely and I could see that they were up to no good. I tried to keep my distance, but being the only foreigner they have ever seen, I often get my three feet rule broken.

I was carrying many things with me. I had my computer, my wallet containing important things, and my phone. I was worried that these particular children were being too touchy so I protected my computer and wallet. As I was focusing on these items, these clever little devils had at my phone without my even noticing. And who says 10 year olds are not clever?

I am sad that I have no phone, I am angry that I was stupid, and confused because I walk with them everyday and nothing like this has ever happened. I guess it goes to show you that niceness does not go far, and that when you least expect it expect it!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Hernad makes the News

I went on a weekend to Szolnok and upon my return on Monday I found out that Hernadnemeti, my wonderful small village, has been on the news all weekend! I was also sad to find out that it was not for good reasons, and sadder yet when I found out that the reason happened on Wednesday. Damn the language barrier to disrupt my knowledge of village gossip.

Apparently a nine year old student swung a bag at a teacher, who is the tiniest women I have ever seen mind you, and in the bag there was some wooden object. With one swing of the bag he knocked the teacher to the ground injuring her. Now this student will have to go to court to find out the consequences of his action.

The thing of the matter is however, this child happens to be a Gypsy student. Tensions are high in my school this week pinning Hungarians against the Gypsies. I wonder, being from outside the conflict between the two groups of people, if things would be as escalated as they are had this student been a Hungarian.

What happened was no doubt wrong, but why did it happen? Was this student a jerk because he is a Gypsy? Or is this student a jerk because he is a jerk? As of yet I do not know all of the details of this event, but as I figure out more I will be sure to comment on it, because I am often bored and good gossip can go a long way in an environment where you only understand half of what is said, and more importantly I like to understand what is going on around me and question how I would feel if I were a Hungarian or a Gypsy living with these unwritten rules of conduct.