For this was on seynt Volantynys day
Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make.
Geoffrey Chaucer, Parlement of Foules (1382)
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.