Cruising to Hungary!

So, we just bought ourselves two tickets to Europe on the Queen Mary. Yep. That happened. June 3rd.

Yay for Hungary! Yay for Sailing! Yay for Balaton!

(boo not getting onto studies. I’m officially on some other hormone blocker instead. Hmm. But hopefully the drug I wanted will soon be commercially available, so it won’t need a study. Soon. Hopefully. In the meanwhile, I’ll try the healing water of my favourite lake & work with my mom!)

Queen Mary 2 Front Cover

Suitcase Time Machine

I’m packing my suitcase for Hungary. We don’t have a ticket, and I’m still totally unsure when we are leaving – or how long we’re going for, but nevertheless, I’m packing my suitcase.

Easter Monday in the Brunelle Samson household is really all about packing. Actually, we’re finishing with the packing of this apartment. Today involved Zsolt pulling apart the living room with his old PHD papers, contracts from England, left over visa applications, books and video games and more video games.

I’ve been in the bedroom, emptying the closet and dresser of every single bit of clothing I own. One piece after another, I folded the shirts and tank tops and socks and sweater and trousers and scarves, and stacked them on my grandmother’s old sofa (for which I’d made a dark blue slip cover, and now feel sentimental about giving away).


Onto the bed I opened our burnt orange suitcase. This will be my case for the entire summer of displacement and –hopefully- escape.

Hanging from the curtain rod in my bedroom are a thick collection of dresses. Summer dresses, autumn dresses, cocktail dresses, gala dresses. I take the coral baby-dress from the rod and lay it in my burnt orange suitcase. The strap is broken, and I’m hoping Zsolt’s mother won’t mind sewing it since my kit is packed away. I can picture myself by the lake Balaton, wearing this little bit of coral nothingness, and feeling just like I felt almost a decade ago when I first found that slice of Hungarian paradise. I will pack this dress, Anna will sew the strap, and it can be like old times again.

There is the wine purple Karan Millen dress that I wear to nearly ever formal occasion ever. This is not a dress anyone would need at Lake Balaton in Hungary. But I slide it into the suitcase nevertheless, in hopes that somehow we’ll be able to take the boat between England and Halifax. I wore this exact same dress on the Queen Mary while we sailed to Canada (via New York) about two years ago. We were excited for Zsolt’s new job, and thrilled with the glamour of the cruise ship. It was a highlight in a life full of wonderful moments. So maybe, if I pack the dress, we can live it again.

There is this raggedy dark blue tube top folded and resting on top of the pile of clothes for consideration (do I put it in the suitcase, or put it into the cardboard box for storage in my friend’ basement?). I concoct some possible outfit in my head, and slip it into the suitcase. Maybe if I pair it with my high-waist black skirt… maybe I can get away with wearing it again. And even better, maybe my husband will notice. This is tube top I wore one fantastic night in Nice while out at a nightclub with a group of Hungarians. I’d had some light mesh shirt over it for most of the evening, but when we ended up in a club’s crowded basement sweating and dancing like crazy, I’d headed to the ladies to cool down. Off came the mesh top, up went my hair into a high ponytail, and on went the vibrant blue headband that matched the sleeveless top. Walking out of the ladies, I passed that cute Hun I liked. He did a double take and said, ‘woah.’ . . . he liked me.


So, I’m here packing my suitcase for a trip that isn’t planned, and reliving memories imprinted into my clothing. And I stopped just now to write this blog post, because I didn’t even realize what I was doing until about 10 minutes ago. I’m taking action. I’m doing something to make this all real, and to have another summer, hopefully with a few new piece thrown into the wardrobe, to make all kinds of new memories.

The suitcase is now nearly full. It’s packed for Hungary. And whenever we get there, it’s going to be a damn good time.

Sick at the Same Time – Adventures in Hungary

Well, we’re in Hungary!

After 10 hours of flying, 12 hours of train-riding and a few days spent in Budapest, Zsolt and I have finally arrived in the beautiful Pecs. So be prepared, because the next little while on Bumpyboobs is basically guaranteed to be adventures in Hungary-land (i.e. Magyorszag if you want to say that in Hungarian).

Our first adventure in this country of fruit, paprika, barking dogs, salami, red roofs and a language that continues to baffles me:

Catherine and Zsolt’s totally awesome adventures of getting SICK!!

soupWe’ve never been sick at the same time before, and I have to admit, we handled it rather differently. Zsolt was cheery as anything. I was full of WTF!! anger, at least on the first day when I felt like a heavily congested achy grumpy zombie lady.

I ought not to go into specifics. . . but I will just a little. Ever since chemotherapy (I don’t like how often that line reappears in my stories), I’ve been avoiding getting sick. My mantra is “Happy, Healthy and Cancer-Free.” Though lately I try and remove cancer from the equation entirely, and just say, “Healthy & Happy.” Therefore, this means keeping a minimum two or three meter distance from sick people – and running away as soon as possible, not touching anyone who is sick, not using the same cutlery or food, and just NOT getting sick. Because sick reminds me of being sick. And I never want to be that sick again.

So I was rather pissed when I caught this cold. But it’s only a cold, and I was being stupid. However, no matter how logical my brain was in saying that, my emotions were throwing me all over the place and were desperate to lay blame, and simply not-feel-this-way-anymore.

Zsolt, meanwhile, was sipping his tea and wearing his comfortable clothes, and enjoying this little reprieve from the business of life. He says to me, “We’re sick at the same time!” like it’s cause for celebration.

So I decided to try and lighten up. These stupid colds are going to happen in life. And when I’m a mother, I reckon it may become inevitable. Holding so much deep rooted anger toward illness isn’t going to do me or my body any favours.  It’s my personal take-away: I need to address this source of anger.

But in the meanwhile, we’ve been eating meat soup, which is really chicken soup. Oh my God it is delicious. Zsolt’s mom puts all kinds of vegetables into the broth (e.g. carrots, radishes, broccoli, potato, brussels sprouts, turnips, garlic, onions, etc.) along with the chicken, and then she strains everything out so what’s left is this golden tasty broth that might of well have descended from heaven.

This has been our medicine for the past three days, and it’s basically all I’ve eaten (chicken and veg bits thrown in).

I’ll tell you what, when the body is feeling down, there’s nothing better than chicken soup. Actually, yes there is! Chicken soup that I didn’t need to make for myself. Add some paprika potato chips to that arrangement and you’ve achieved perfection.

Anyhow, this is really just the first adventure. And while it might not be a typical travel-log experience, it was actually quite revealing for me. I still have no interest in voluntarily getting sick, or ever getting sick, but it would be good not to get so angry about life’s small & inconsequential bumps.

Interesting Magyar (Hungarian) Fact:

It is chive season in Hungary at the moment. People are allowed to pick the chives (cut the chives?) from the forest since it grows there all over. However, each citizen is restricted to 2kg of chives.

Now, isn’t that interesting?

One of my favourite things about Hungary (yeah, I might be saying that often), is that the year revolves around a calendar of food and/or occasions that honour that food. Some day I’d like to make a calendar of all these lovely seasons, just for my own pleasure. Forget the months and the days – live by the seasons. 🙂

And that’s all I got for today! See you later 🙂