Another way to look at bacon

The point of migration is the return.
We’re nomads without the base knowledge
of where to find water. These moves are
like arranged marriages; economics now,
love later.

from How to Move Away, Lynn Pedersen
zala countyI went shopping on Saturday for bath-type things and food.  I tried a new grocery – named Lidl – that had the same stocking arrangement as Penny – I hadn’t noticed anything like this helter-skelter type of product display in Budapest -so is this a country mouse-city mouse thing? I found the same brand of pasta in three places – not with any other pasta – and one of the three locations was refrigerated, but this was dry, not fresh pasta. Cold cuts were stocked with dairy items, bras and pasta sauce and chips were next to one another in another aisle; clothing was, for the most, part in bins, but I didn’t look to see if any was sorted according to size, article or gender; the only items that seem free of the randomness are beers, meats, fresh produce and in-store baked items. Lidl also had the same locking cart arrangement as Penny.

DM. the cosmetic / bath items / toiletries store stocks its similar products in an orderly progression.

A dream – I’m working in a remote village, northern Canada, Arctic Circle maybe, and people whom I’ve worked with throughout my life are all there, they all know one another, they’re all involved in installing fiber optics. Then, while I’m talking to some of them, wire-like fishing monofilament comes out of my mouth.

Instructions in the apartment are often missing – what’s to be recycled, where to put it, information about stores in town, where to find resources, how to clean the glass-top stove, use the washer, etc. The apartment is somewhat like an AirBnB without the usual helpfulness of such.

Today, Monday is my longest day – six classes, all ninth graders – starting with the first period and ending with the eighth period, the last period of the day. They seem more mature than American kids of the same age – certainly more mature than I was at their age. Some are “dormitory students” living in an apartment building during the week as their commute from their village might be too long on a daily basis, or their parents work in Austria or Germany and are home just on weekends. One of the teachers invited me to visit her and her family in their village that is about 15 km from Z. Another teacher proudly lost a student to professional football – he was recruited by a team somewhere in Europe outside of Hungary.

The population of the county is about 282,000 (down from the 1980 record census of 318,000) and Zalaegerszeg, the county seat, has a population of about 58,000 (down from its record population of 62,000 in 1990). There are two cities, eight towns and more than 235 villages in the county. The population of Hungary has, for several decades, been declining and getting older.  Politically, the county council has nine members from the conservative Fidesz party, four from the more-right-than-Tea-Party-right Jobbik party, one socialist and one member from the Democratic Coalition.

Yes, so bacon. One way to buy it in Hungary is diced, hundreds of the smallest pieces ready to grab by the handful or spoonful to use as flavoring.  It’s not easy to find it sliced as it is in the U.S. or Canada or Mexico – I haven’t yet seen it done that way here.  I found it cut in extremely thick slabs (3/4 to an inch-and-a-half), which I bought and diced and then used as a stew starter.

Luminous (from the movie Perfect Sense)

Max Richter also wrote the score for the movie Sarah’s Key.


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