Now our gestures
grow both more hurried and more delicate,
we stand on one foot to remove a boot,
take off our hats and jackets, as if for
sex or prayer, exposing ourselves to
each other and the officers, the officers
our lovers and our prophets both.
Observations at the Security Checkpoint, Joel Brouwer
On Friday I made it to Zalaegerszeg with the help of Hajni and settled into the apartment with the help of the Assistant Principal, Erika. Thursday night was spent in a Budapest hostel (the Goodmo House), which was comfortable: I’d never set foot in a hostel before, let alone stayed in one. On Monday I’ll sit in on a few classes while paperwork shuffles through offices.
Once again I managed to get my biggest suitcase to hit the big 50 without an ounce over – yay no overweight fees, and I didn’t have to throw anything away. All the things I took out at the last minute back in Oakland were good decisions.
Chicago was a bit dreary, with rain and snow and the nice lady at the Midway information desk giving me the wrong information for getting to O’Hare – she was off by just one stop, but in the Loop there’s no backtracking by trains but one can backtrack on foot by dragging one’s bags down stairwells as there was no escalator or elevator at the one-stop-too-far stop. It was a short two block walk to the correct station and – because I hadn’t processed my ticket properly on the way in, it worked a charmed second time so I didn’t have to buy a new one. The CTA, thinking somewhat wrongfully that it is a concert venue, has made arrangements with some company to sell its tickets, so a $2.25 ride actually costs $3.00 after one adds in the ticket vendor’s fee. A Plus One for Chicago: the nice young man who offered to help me with my bags. The Negative Two were the two guys offering me used CTA tickets (although they did so at a severe discount – my words, their concept).
In Zurich workmen were dismantling the internet stations in the airport terminal. My departure gate for Budapest was located between the Camel and Winston smoking areas.
Every step of the journey, every delirious sleep-deprived thought turned on whether I would bail or continue. Each stop brought on the questions of what am I doing, why am I doing, am I too tired to be doing, and thoughts of turning back to some warmer clime where language wouldn’t bend me, yet somehow I’m here.