#1: A Day in the Life, circa 2005

#1: A Day in the Life, circa 2005

When I lived overseas, Amy would email me almost every day to check in with me.  She’s awesome like that.  I’ve saved all of those emails, because they include some of our best stories from that era.

In August, 2005, here’s what I had to say:

OK, so here are two moments that may be included when they make the movie of my life.

So I am on my final flight from Paris to Budapest on Saturday morning Europe time.  I am tired.  I feel gross.  But at least I have a window seat with no one next to me.  So I settle in and put on my earplugs to listen to some soothing tunes.

That’s when he arrived.  He is the picture I would like to flash when people say, “You could marry a Hungarian!”  He is my age-ish, missing a tooth or two, and has already loaded up at the airport (hence, one of the smells).  He is traveling with his friend, who is sitting directly in front of me.

So instead of sitting IN HIS ASSIGNED SEAT, he spots the empty middle seat near his friend and comes on in.  I take a few deep breaths.  I get the idea, in spite of my having little Hungarian abilities, that he hasn’t flown much.  He seems to be commenting on everything.  That’s when he finds the airsick bag.  He makes a noise that I interpret as, “Oh, well, since it’s here, I’m sure I’ll need it!”, and unfolds it, wraps down the edges, and puts it in the pocket right in front of him for easy access.  The beer and BO stenches are already getting to me, and I am SERIOUSLY bargaining with God regarding the possible use of the barf bag.

Luckily, the barf bag remained unused, and my faith has increased (isn’t there a verse to that effect somewhere?).  He ordered two beers with lunch, which he thought was pretty funny, and talked to his little friend in front of me the whole 2 hours.  Thank God for portable music.

Good times.

The second one occurred tonight at dinner.  I came back to the room right after our session ended at 4:30ish to finish my take-home exams.  At 8, I was feeling pretty hungry and walked over to the restaurant for dinner.  All the others were gone or getting ready to leave, so I sat by myself, congratulating myself that I was totally OK with that.  That’s when the newly-arrived harpist, accompanied by a muzak track, began to play “On the Road Again” (Willie Nelson).

If you haven’t ever been in Eastern Europe and heard a harp belting out the melody of a redneck song while accompanied by cheesy synthesizer riffs, well… you just need to get out more.

My apologies to handsome Hungarian men, talented harp players, and Willie Nelson.


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