Sunday, February 12, 2012

Third full day in Hungary (per Kim)

Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012 – We just had our third day with the boys.  On Saturday, we picked them up at the foster home and took them to a local plaza (mall).  The foster parents warned us that they might cry or be scared because they had never been in a big place like that.  There wasn’t much for them to do there and we were supposed to be there for over 2 hours.  We rode on the escalator first and they thought that was pretty fun.  It was a 3-story mall.  On the top floor, we went to the pet store and looked at rabbits, fish and snakes.  We walked around with them and rode on the escalators and in the elevator.  They liked the elevator because the back was glass so they could see out into the mall.  We had lunch there.  The boys wanted hamburgers which looked pretty suspect.  Aaron asked Adam if it was beef meat and he shrugged like it may not be.  It looked like a ‘beef’ product.  But they liked it.  Aaron and I decided on pizza, which was pretty good. 

By the end, we were all pretty bored.  The boys had missed their naps again and it was hot in there.  We took them in a children’s store and bought them each a little Lego set.  They were like bulls in a china shop.  They thought they could open everything and ride everything.  We could tell they probably hadn’t been in a store like that. 
We took the boys back home.  The foster parents were very excited that the boys did so well and didn’t cry.  Aaron and I were exhausted.  On the way back, we wanted to find a church to attend either that night or Sunday morning.  We stopped at one church and went in to find out if it was Catholic or Orthodox.  Adam didn’t really understand the difference and just thought we could go to any church.  He found someone to ask and while he was talking with them, I looked at some papers hung in the window.  I saw the words “Gorog Katolika” and thought this was probably a Greek Orthodox church.  I remembered seeing the words “Gorog Salate” at the restaurant Calypso and this meant Greek salad.  Adam came back and said that mass was at 6:30pm.  I told Aaron that was fine.  We could look later or go there if it was the only option. 

George met us at 4:30 pm to take us to Tesco.  This is the European version of Wal-Mart.  They have groceries, clothing, appliances, tools – everything.  I had been to one in Wales so I knew what it would be like.  On the way to Tesco, we saw another church and Aaron said that it might be a Roman Catholic church because there was a crucifix.  George said that we could stop on the way back.  At the store, we bought water, cheese, bread, fruit, wine, beer, and paper towels.  It was less than $20.  The 1.5 liter bottles of water are 46 Hungarian forint (HUF).  The exchange rate is 215 HUF = $1 US.  So each bottle of water was about 20¢. 
Interesting things at the grocery store –all the meat (chicken, beef, lamb, pork) is just laying out in the open air.  It’s behind a short glass wall so you can’t touch it but the cases are open on the top and back.  You point to the meat that you want, and the employees put it in a bag for you.  The bags are like the thin, clear bags we use in United for fruit or vegetables.  Makes me think how different the US is with meat safety, especially with chicken.  There were aisles of smoked meats from different countries.  Who knew there were so many salamis, hams, and sausages! Good wines are about $3-5 US.  Individual beer is 70¢ for a tall boy (16 oz).  Most of the milk is sold at room temperature.  This is fairly common throughout Europe.  It is only chilled once it is open.  If unopened, it can last for several months, but it will spoil in about a week once the milk carton is open.  The milk is found on the regular aisles alongside the juices.

On a side note – Both Aaron and I really like the coffee over here.  It is very strong and has lots of flavor.  Cappuccinos are very popular here.
We left Tesco and drove to the church we spotted earlier with the crucifix out front.  Aaron and George got out of the van to go inside and ask if it was a Roman Catholic.  They found a lady coming out and George started talking with her.  Aaron heard her say Romani Katolicka so he thought it was a good one for us.  George and Aaron came back and said that it was Roman Catholic and mass started at 6pm.  Since it was 5:45pm we decided to stay and wait for mass to start.  George and the driver agreed to pick us up at 7pm.  We went inside and there were about 30 people – mostly elderly ladies – and a priest saying (what I assume) the litany of the saints.  Several people were in line for confession.  The church was beautiful!  We could tell it was very old and it was very, very cold!  No one took their coats off and all the ladies kept on their hats.  Right at 6pm, the bells rang and mass began.  We didn’t have our mass materials with us, but we knew when to say the right responses.  After the homily, about 100 people went up for the Anointing of the Sick.  I assume this is what it was, because oil was placed on their foreheads and in each palm – just like the Anointing of the Sick at St. Mary’s.  Then mass proceeded as normal.  I had hoped to speak to one of the priests to see if they knew English, but they went out the side door after mass and George and Cornell were waiting for us.

We came back to our room, had a light supper of bread, cheese and sausage, and went to bed.  This was probably our best night sleep since we arrived. 
This morning, we picked up the boys again and went to a shopping center that had an indoor play area for kids.  Most people would drop their kids off while they shopped, but Aaron and I were to stay and play with the boys.  They enjoyed playing with the cars and trucks.  We colored for a little bit.  Then they found a toy ironing board and 2 irons.  They got the bucket of doll clothes and each boy started ironing the doll clothes.  I couldn’t believe it!  They were so careful and precise with the clothing.  I knew their grandmothers would be very proud of them J.  They did that for a long time.  Then Drew (the older one) started playing with the toy kitchen.  He found a little doll pan, put a toy chicken in, and put it in the oven.  He kept opening the door to check on it.  Then he spotted a doll bottle and opened the oven door, put the bottle tip in the pan and then acted like he was basting the chicken!  I knew his foster mother had done a good job of cooking and cleaning after watching all of this.  Of course, there were 2 girls in the home so he probably learned some of this from them, but they had to learn it from somewhere.

We left and went to another mall where we were just supposed to walk around with them.  I think the plan is to get them familiar with crowds and loud places before we take them to big airports and fly halfway around the world with them.  We only stayed for an hour before we came back to our hotel.  The plan was for us to have lunch here and possibly get them to take a nap. 
We weren’t really prepared for lunch, so Aaron had to run to the store while I stayed here with them.  They had to check everything out – our suitcases, the bathroom, the windows and curtains, the light switches.  They wanted to jump on the bed.  I was so relieved when Aaron came back!  They ate pretty well.  We let them play for a little bit and then tried lying down with them.  They just wanted to play, but we finally got them settled down and they both fell asleep.  I covered them with their blankets while they were sleeping.  They were able to sleep for about 45 minutes before we had to wake them up to go back to the foster home.

We took them home and the foster parents spoke to Adam for a long time.  When we got in the car, he said the foster parents were very pleased that the boys had taken naps.  Adam said that this meant the boys were very comfortable with us and the foster parents were very happy.  Adam said that he had seen times before that everything seemed to be going okay, but that the kid wouldn’t sleep at night so they would know that he/she wasn’t comfortable.  He said that sleeping (or not) was a good indication of how the kids were doing. 
We came back to the hotel and decided to go have some pizza.  We walked to a good pizza place about 2 blocks from our hotel.  Luckily, they had an English menu.  Most of the pizzas were pretty weird (clams, octopus and tuna…uh…no thank you!) but we settled on a ham, cheese and tomato pizza.  I had a small beer ($1) and Aaron had a large one ($1.75).  Our total bill was about $12.  We came back to our hotel, fell asleep for about 1.5 hours and skyped with Gus, Aaron’s parents, and my mom.  Aaron would have liked to see the snow in Amarillo. 

Now it’s almost midnight and we need to go to bed.  We’ll continue to keep everyone posted on our progress.

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