Friday, February 24, 2012

Hungarian Kid Whining at the Playground (per Aaron)

Haven’t made a journal entry since Monday.  I guess that means things are moving swiftly but the reality is, it seems like time can crawl by.  Actually, from my perspective, the last few days have been difficult.  Harder than the first couple days we had them.  I think that it will be bad or get worse before it gets better, or at least I am prepared for that.  We have gotten into a pattern.  The boys wake up at 6 to 6:30 every morning.  I feel exhausted, and try to get some more sleep as Kimbo tries to start their day right.  Then its breakfast, a trip outside, then back for some Oil Vac work, and playing then lunch, a nap, more playing, trip to the market, supper, Barney, then bed.  It has been cold the whole time we are here.  Between 15 degrees to just about freezing, low and high every day, except today it finally climbed up to 45 degrees. 
Some places and things we have done:

One day we walked to the Catholic Church again, hoping to maybe find somebody who knew some English.  Couldn’t find anybody, but discovered that this little church that we are attending was visited by Pope John Paul when he was Cardinal Karol Wojtyla and then again a few years later when he was the Pope.  Why I don’t know.  Poland does border Hungary in the north, a few 100 km’s from here so that makes sense, given John Paul was Polish. 
Close to the church were 3 museums we went in with the boys that cost us about 7 dollars to get into all 3.  One was a 50’s pop art/communism memorabilia museum, another was a modern art museum, and the other was a Hungarian village life from the 1800’s.  Thrilling.  They aren’t like museums we would think of.  They were basically converted houses. 

I have been on a city wide search this week for beef “marha.”  Turns out, not a lot of beef available and being consumed here in Eastern Hungary.  I found some.  I was itching to fry some hamburgers one night and I found the last package of ground beef that one corner store had.  It smelled kind of sweet and a little past its due date, and the cooked burgers carried some of that smell/flavor.  Everybody like them but they weren’t like 80% Certified Angus Ground Beef from Market Street.  Also, I found one butcher shop that had “marha” (beef) cuts.  I couldn’t tell what cut it was but Kimbo needed some for the Goulash recipe.  I asked the butcher if he knew English and he said “yes, vat kan I hep you wits?’  I said “is that marha?”  he said yes, then reached down into the counter and felt of it and looked at me and stated, “it is cold,”  and awaited my response?  What was I to say to this except, okay, “ I will take a half a kilo.” 
Hadjuszoboszlo is known for natural heated mineral waters that come out of the ground, so it has capitalized on this with one of Europe’s largest outdoor pool and mineral public bath (both closed because of offseason) but they also have an indoor water park which is pretty cool.  Because of that, it is sort of a resort town and lots of French, Germans, Polish, and Russians come here for vacation.  So there is a lot of shopping and restaurants, which is one of the reasons they put us here. 

We took the boys to the indoor aqua palace on Wednesday.  They like it, everything was good, except Sam tried to poop in the pool (see Kimbo’s post).  They are tentative in the water, not scared, but not like Gus was at their age, All IN.  I suspect they have not had the opportunity to swim much. 
There is a fruit stand, a liquor store, a bar, and a butcher shop every 100 yards around here.  A person could spend all day going in and finding out interesting things and attempting interesting conversations.  A few times this week, I have ventured out for a half hour and tried to carry on some conversations.  I have had limited success. 

We are only 2 weeks in and I know I am going to be dying to get on the plane as the time grows near.  It doesn’t do any good to count the days or go on about it, because it is still a long ways off and it is what it is.  It has been difficult the last few days.  The boys just don’t seem like they can play peacefully and on their own yet.  This is going to sound horrible, but it’s like breaking a horse or training an animal.  They don’t realize that there is a new, permanent “Sheriff in Town.”  They can’t figure out why these strangers they have been hanging with the last few days are trying to tell them they can’t repeatedly turn the light switch on and off.  However, the oldest one Drew/Christopher is starting to realize it and more than Sam.   A difference in learning curves is starting to develop between the 2.  Which makes sense given that he is older.  He has started to act out the most, object the most, be super happy, then super mad.  And the most heartbreaking, he will start to sob and cry randomly.  That deep kind of cry when it seems like he just can’t catch his breath.  There is nothing really that sets this off, it just happens, and I am sure he wonders why he can’t go back to the life he has known. 
Kimbo and I have eased up on the “strictness” a bit.  Realizing that we can’t make it happen overnight, we can’t “NEM!” everything. 

There are high points, they love practicing the sign of the cross and the blessing before meals, and taking out the trash downstairs and picking things up, Kimbo has written about some also.  And they have started to randomly give a hug or come up and give a kiss on the cheek. 
Today, was warmer outside and to help combat cabin fever, I told Kimbo I would take them to the park nearby for as long as I could.  This I thought was going to be a major hit.  This is a nice playground, climbing forts, swingsets, and even a Pomel Chair Zipline that is really cool.  We started out on the swings.  They liked it for about 3 minutes, then started doing some Hungarian whining that I can’t understand.  One starts and the other one jumps in and the next thing you know they are chewing you out and there isn’t a thing you can do, except look for random translator walking by.  I couldn’t help at this point to think, come on dudes, Gus would be all over this playground, what is wrong with this?  I wouldn’t be able to peel him away and here are these 2 complaining Hungarian style at the rope climb that they should be able to scale without any problem.  I thought for sure they would love the zip line and they rode it twice and then didn’t want to do it anymore.  I then rode it 5 times in row strictly for my own personal enjoyment.  Now they are really getting upset and the older one is in tears screaming at me, and I have no idea why.  The other one jumps in and now people are starting to look.

Sidenote:  As we are in public, locals will look at the boys and talk playfully to them and the boys will talk back, then many times the adult will look at me and speak in Hungarian awaiting a response.  All I can do is smile and say “Amerikai.”  The person then will look at the kids, then look at you and get a “What the?” look on their face.  They walk away thoroughly confused and double taking.  There has been about 3 or 4 people who have realized this and said in broken English, you Amerikai with Hungarian kids?  How?  Then we explain and these few have been supportive. 
Back to playground……..I am trying to get them back to the apartment as they run away and yell at me.  I literally have to drag them across the street kicking and screaming back to the apartment.  By the time I get there I am “fed up” and ready to drop them off and go do my own thing.  When we get back I am venting with Kimbo and describing their actions in-depth.  They are watching me.  Finally, I just sit down and lean back, totally dejected.  I realize they are just standing there quiet, not moving, looking at me and Kimbo.  Then unprompted, Drew/Christopher comes over and gives me a hug, followed quickly by Sam.  They realized I was put out with them and they felt bad about it.  I feel a little more encouraged. 

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