Living in a fruit salad

“Catherine, it’s so delicious. Oh, it’s so sweet! Finom, ez finom!

This is Anna the fruit pusher (aka Zsolt’s mother) trying to convince me to eat a piece of the orange coloured melon she’s just sliced. The table is covered with fruit – melon, apple, pear, peach . . . this morning there were raspberries, now finished off, and a few weeks earlier there were cherries too.

Hungary in the summer has a never ending parade of fruit. Organic, locally grown (aka the backyard), sweet, juicy, fruit.

 But I’m no fan of melons, with the exception of watermelons.

“Oh de jo,” she says, meaning ‘how good’ and looking earnestly at my face. You know, there’s something about her lovely blue eyes and absolutely eager expression that almost temps me to try the melon piece. But that would open flood gates. First comes one piece, then suddenly a slice, and then, of course, a whole half of the melon she’s trying to have finished.

“Lots of vitamins,” Zsolt reminds me. That’s the ultimate argument around here: lot’s of vitamins.

So I say to Zsolt, “how come your Dad isn’t eating fruit?” Laszlo is finishing off an ice cream (I also don’t want an ice cream; it’s too sweet for this hot weather. And I do not want a melon. Instead, as all this transpires, I’m slicing into peach after peach – recently picked from Zsolt’s grandmother’s peach tree in Pecs.)

“We’re all thinking of you,” replies Zsolt. “You’re the one who got sick.”

And it’s so freaking true too. For years I was saying his family eats too much bread, too much sugar – actually, I think too much anything is probably too much. And then I go and get the cancer. So there’s egg on my face. But nevertheless, I’m not eating an ice cream when fruit will do just as well; mind you, I’m also not eating that melon.

Jo borat, finom.” I comment – nice peach, tasty. And the conversation is deflected into peaches. Ground has been held, no melon has passed my lips.

Next up in the fruit parade will Hungarian-grown watermelons. I’m looking forward to this stage of the summer, because unlike those other melons – watermelons are wonderful.

Now Anna has turned toward her husband, Laszlo, and is trying to sell him the melon. He’s not budging either, though his ice cream is nearly finished. I feel like he and I are allies in our dislike toward melons (just ignore that I tried to throw him under the wheels in an effort to deflect attention from myself – we’re allies now. It’s all okay.)

This is a fruit salad summer. Lots of vitamins. Lots of juice. Lots of natural sugar. I’m not sure if so much fruit is or isn’t cancer fighting (I’d say all those raspberries were probably quite helpful), but they are certainly delicious.

Anyhow, no melon for me, thanks very much. But I’ll certainly have another peach.