Causing other people pain

Alright – here it is. I am packing, things are being packed, the packing is nearly complete. Who knew an entire room full of stuff could fit into two suitcases? Well, now I know. The bigger question at this moment (after combining my room of stuff and two suitcases with Zsolt’s one suitcase and carry on) is how are we going to fit it all into the car?

One of life’s fun challenges.

Another fun challenge? Heat waves. Today I think it might push forty degrees here in Pecs. That is hot. For this little Canadian who likes her summers humid and near thirty and her winters cold and below zero . . . 40+ degrees is absurd. Absurd. Absurd!

Yesterday I was like a tired dog on the doorstep: sprawled out and panting. Today, I’m expecting a similar activity come three or four in the afternoon.

And between the packing and the sweat – there has been a lovely parade of family gatherings this week here in Pecs. You know what, if you ever feel like your social life is lagging – just move! Move and the whole world will erupt with plans for a visit. It’s a bit bittersweet because yes, for sure you want to see all these people. They are your people. They’re worth more than gold. But the clock is ticking and the paperwork for immigration isn’t finished and the luggage weighs too much and you still need to clean the apartment before moving out . . .

But the grandmothers and Zsolt’s aunt came over for lunch yesterday. Only for a couple hours since no one could stand being too social in this heat. It was nice. Oh my goodness, one of these days I’ll have to write about Zsolt’s grandmother and his aunt (mother and daughter). Together they are a team – like a comedy team. Not intentionally funny,  but with their bluntness and their humour and their age and they way his grandmother laughs herself into tears . . . really, you would like them. I like them.

So the grandmothers came over for lunch. We had BBQ chicken (in Hungary, BBQ means an electric Teflon grill . . . but hey, they’re trying) and beautiful salads and potatoes and rice followed by ice cream. Everything was going so nicely until they all started crying.

Sometimes I feel like a vixen who has knocked Zsolt on his head with a love-hammer and stolen him from his family. And I wonder if they feel the same about me (though they love me very much, that’s so very clear. And I love them too . . . but I just can’t help but wonder. . . hmm, maybe my parents secretly feel the same about Zsolt. You know before I went to Europe and met Zsolt for the first time, my dad said to me, “Catherine, don’t go falling in love with any boys over there.” And I was like, “Duh, Dad. That would be stupid.” ) Growing up can have its fair share of tricky decisions. But it’s also full of freedom to choose and opportunities to grow. Life takes us forward. Zsolt is my forward.

So there was a round of crying. I guess that’s fairly normal (it’s normal in Canada too – mostly between me and my mom), particularly after having spent such a long time here this summer and it really feeling like we’ve been living  in Hungary rather than visiting.

Anyhow, it just reminds me that Saturday will be one heck of a day. We’ll have to rip off the Band-Aid, and no one looks forward to that moment.

Speaking of Saturday – here is the plan so you can follow along (yeah, right) as we head toward the New World.


Go to Balaton for lunch with Zsolt’s sis and bro-in-law.

Go to Austria and check into the flight.

Fly to Brussels. Spend the night.


Get to the airport and check into the flight.

Fly, fly, fly to Montreal.

Do the immigration dance.

Head over to the Cottage and catch up with my family for the next week.

Nice, eh. It will be great. Just need to get over the hurdle of saying goodbye. And need to live through the next couple days of extreme freaking heat. Oy!

And that is that. Now I need to go and melt into a puddle. Have a lovely day 😉

Early morning ‘To Do’s

This morning is waking me up with a mental ‘to do’ list knocking at the door. It first started knocking around 5.30am, but I sent it away through various mental images of babies being put to bed, boats adrift in the water, river currents taking away my thoughts (plus the addition of a shirt over my eyes to block any/all light) and it must have worked because eventually I fell asleep. However, it didn’t work for sooo long, or maybe the t-shirt fell off my face, because here I am typing away at 7.30 am and hoping that the clackity clack  of this keyboard doesn’t wake up Zsolt.

TO DO: Firstly, call the various utility companies and request a cancellation of their services. Unless I want to pay for another month of service, this needs to be done today.

TO DO: Zsolt has to drop by the printers to arrange a hard-binding of his thesis. It’s an expensive errand (most are these days) but the results are forever. For generations to come, his work will sit somewhere in the University of Southampton’s archive of past graduates, and maybe one day – when either he or I become hyper-famous, they’ll remove the book from its shelf and display it in the small gallery tucked toward the back of the library. “And here we have the writing of Zsolt, Hungarian scientist extrodinaire”. Well, regardless of whether that happens, the thesis, hard-bound and pressed with gold leaf lettering, will take a place of honour on our bookshelf.

TO DO: Little Peugeot needs to be sold. This is a must. Today we’ll be taking it around to the used car dealerships to see what type of prices they quote (so we have a sense of its value, but also, if we don’t find a buyer before leaving we’ll get the best of the worst prices, because used car dealers probably wouldn’t offer the ‘actual’ value of a car, considering they need to sell it later and make money from the exchange). Poor little Peugeout, she’s going to be poked and prodded.

TO DO: Sell the blooming mattress. Unfortunately despite being quite comfortable and good quality it has two strikes against its favour: strike one – it’s used, even if only for a year, it’s nevertheless used. Strike two – it’s a king size, which apparently doesn’t jive in this chocolate box land of petite and practical housing.

TO DO: Clean this apartment! Life imitates schedule. I’m busy : my apartment goes bizerk. For the past month things have been quite smoothy running in terms of housekeeping, but as soon as I began my marathon of goodbyes (aka, a great excuse to go out everynight and many mornings), the tidiness of this place has suffered. IF time allows, I’ll pop in a DVD and clean this entire mess up. When cleaning, always have a source of entertainment – whether it be music or a show in the background. For me, who hates cleaning in general (it’s not in my DNA, just ask my father), entertainment is essential.

TO DO: Say more goodbyes, heart breaking stuff. Yesterday I left a friend who I’ve known since my MA days at the Uni – she’s one of those inspiring women I was raving about the other day, and it was quite crap to say goodbye. And today there will be more of the ‘goodbye’ing, no crying, as work begins to wind to a halt. Friday is my last day.

TO DO: Pack. Ugh. Not worth discussing at this point.

TO DO: Write! Which clearly I’ve started on, and will need to continue once a bit of sky breaks in my day of busy activities. Yesterday I had some time alone in the flat, which is a rarity, and was able to use the main computer to begin my article-writing adventure. So far, so good.

Okay, time to get a move on – and maybe draw a picture. 😉

Thank you for your company, and for reading my to-do list. Now that I’ve blurted the whole thing out, it feels far more manageable. Writing as therapy always does the trick. And so, onto the dishes.