What I did on my six months of summer vacation

Their hearts have not grown old;
Passion or conquest, wander where they will

William Butler Yeats, from The Wild Swans at Coole

birthday-party-aftermathThe fireworks and church bells for the Virgin of Guadalupe’s day ceased sometime around one a.m., but that may be only due to my falling asleep. I was aware of them again at 4:30, louder and more vigorish than ever, perhaps every church and neighborhood participated, and they lasted until 7:00 or 7:30, and there were sporadic booms as various neighborhoods continue to celebrate.

So, here’s the recap:

Two trips to Budapest

May and October – I’ve posted about the first trip and didn’t write about the second. The latter took place because I had the return half of a British Airways ticket that was to expire and which would have cost more to change than to use. So I found an almost-ideal apartment to rent long-term, which I visited. I liked the landlord a great deal, but in the end I thought it just beyond my means and if I didn’t obtain the residency permit, I would have lost a significant deposit (deposits in Hungary are equal to at least two months of rent). I had my hair cut (disappointing), my eyebrows done (same salon, best job ever) and stayed at Connection Guesthouse, which proved inexpensive, in a great location, and with helpful staff. Around the corner from the guesthouse was a tiny French-style cafe that served the best salmon quiche and quiche lorraine that I’ve ever had.  Ever.

An apartment and a house with my son and grandchildren

I spent the bulk of my time with my son and his two boys, and had the great fortune to experience both of the boys’ birthdays as well as Halloween. I did a lot of cat-sitting, and at the end of July helped them move from an apartment to a house in a Portland suburb.

A plan

I’m still interested in living in Hungary and the plan is to obtain my TEFL (Teaching of English as a Foreign Language) certificate and teach English there through a program called the Central European Teaching Program. The program’s director and I met (she lives in Portland) and the program might be a good fit for me at this stage.


The trees are in their autumn beauty,
The woodland paths are dry,
Under the October twilight the water
Mirrors a still sky;
Upon the brimming water among the stones
Are nine-and-fifty swans.

The nineteenth autumn has come upon me
Since I first made my count;
I saw, before I had well finished,
All suddenly mount
And scatter wheeling in great broken rings
Upon their clamorous wings.

I have looked upon those brilliant creatures,
And now my heart is sore.
All’s changed since I, hearing at twilight,
The first time on this shore,
The bell-beat of their wings above my head,
Trod with a lighter tread.

Unwearied still, lover by lover,
They paddle in the cold
Companionable streams or climb the air;
Their hearts have not grown old;
Passion or conquest, wander where they will,
Attend upon them still.

But now they drift on the still water,
Mysterious, beautiful;
Among what rushes will they build,
By what lake’s edge or pool
Delight men’s eyes when I awake some day
To find they have flown away?


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