El día de amor y amistad

For this was on seynt Volantynys day
Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make.

Geoffrey Chaucer, Parlement of Foules (1382)

regalo-de-la-chica Yesterday, Tuesday, was the day of love and friendship in much of the Latin world, a name which to me is much more pleasant than Valentine’s Day, a day named for one or more guys named Valentine or Valentinius, one of whom was a 3rd century Christian martyr and who was canonized and later de-classified or de-feast dayized. If the Church could rid us of the incessant jewelry advertising around the day I could possibly become a convert.

The lines from Chaucer, which I couldn’t remember yesterday, are often given as the reason the day became associated with romance.

So I like the Latin world’s name for the day and yesterday, the 2nd grader who falls asleep during her mom’s English lesson, brought me the gifts pictured at left. I’m such a silly, sentimental fool, tearing up even now.  I still have yellow peeps that long ago were a gift from a child.

Besides English class, yesterday featured a visit to the doctor for the physical exam needed to teach in Hungary. She seemed pleased that I seemed to have so few health issues:  my blood pressure is down to normal from what it was in Portland and I’ve lost a few pounds but not enough to please me.  I think the numbers changed because since I’ve been in San Miguel, I haven’t bought butter, bacon, popcorn or ice cream and have bought only goat cheese (instead of the fuel for grilled cheese sandwiches and mac n’ cheese ).  I think this is firm evidence that the diet of young boys is not appropriate for a septuagenarian.

When I told the doctor I needed a TB test, this raised a red flag. As she was writing the lab request I told her the test was a requirement for Hungary she seemed puzzled and I explained that I’d be teaching in a public setting, a school, and that it was a requirement of the country. She seemed to understand and when she called the lab to arrange for my tests, I could hear her answering the lab’s questions regarding why the TB test was needed. I liked that.  At least two medical workers are watching out for the public’s safety.  I had the test done this morning.

The work and residence permits for Hungary and the Schengen regulations were clarified for me.  The permits end 30 June and I need to leave the Schengen countries for one day before re-entering one of them under the 90-day tourist limit. If I were to stay on at the school, those limitations wouldn’t apply.

During class yesterday I handed out the transcript from the scene below, taken from the movie Letters to Juliet, which I thought appropriate to the day as the story centers on the the wall in Verona (city of the Capulets and Montagues), on which letters to Shakespeare’s Juliet are posted.


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