I’m in love with Budapest! Don’t get me wrong, Serbia is has its lovely side, too, but once we crossed that border, I almost felt like I was in Canada again. (Of course, this is a big almost.) When we were in North America, US soil didn’t feel so foreign when we crossed the border from Canada. Language was the same, food was similar, grocery stores were similar, infrastructure similar. When we crossed from Serbia into Hungary this weekend, it amazed me how instantly different the countries were even though they shared a common border. The infrastructure was markedly in better condition, grocery stores were larger, had more selection, felt more Western, if that makes sense. Hungarians even reminded me of Canadians, as they were more apt to smile and converse with us, greeting us enthusiastically. I think it’s this enthusiasm that I miss most. Canadians bleed a certain kind of energy, a certain underlying joy, even if we don’t feel it, even when we’re complaining (about the weather, for instance, we complain with joy). A need to acknowledge each other thrums under our skin. I don’t feel this too keenly in Serbia, with most drivers almost running us off the road or nearly taking out my children as their cars unnecessarily speed by wherever we walk, or in wait staff who often seem bothered that they have to get up from their chairs to take our order, or in nearly everyone who hangs up on me once I speak English. Canadians are eager and I felt like the Hungarians we met were all nearly as eager as Canadians. Of course, we’ve had the privilege to meet many amazing, helpful and kindly Serbs, but it doesn’t seem to be part of the national repertoire like it is in Canada. Maybe I’m wrong, but this is our experience so far.
On to AquaWorld! We had THE best time at this resort. Obvious effort to consider kids was evident, from mini robes, to a kids club, to pool depths, to a lowered breakfast bar so the kids could help themselves. The pools were clean and amazingly warm, even outside. We’re already planning our next trip back. On this note, I’m hoping for a less graphic trip during our next visit. We always wear goggles when we swim and my head was underwater when I saw an older fellow, maybe 60, take his penis out of his shorts and either scratch it or play with it. A real, live penis underwater. Unclothed. An old penis. I watched it for maybe a little too long then surfaced when I couldn’t hold my breath any longer, naturally. When I surfaced I asked Chris if that was what guys do. That maybe he’s just adjusting and that guys need to take it out to fix whatever needed fixing. Wide-eyed, he assured me that it doesn’t need to come out to fix it. (Lesson here, people!) So, me being me, I dip beneath the surface again. Lo’ and behold, the serpent was out of it’s cage and the charmer was still adjusting or playing with it. Either this guy was very itchy or was warming it up. We did not want to be near an itchy penis or a happy penis, or any open penis, so we left the area a little disturbed. We did not see itchy/happy again.
We also toured ruins along the Danube, with some spectacular architecture cozied among greenspace and winding streets. (Unfortunately, I did not get the names of these, please forgive me). Strangely enough, parts of the city reminded Chris and I of London, Ontario. I almost felt like I was home. (Send Tims!!!!)
I’ll leave you with some other tidbits for today:
– We miss Canadian bacon. Not the ham-type stuff, but real, honest-to-goodness strips of salty, crispy pig. We haven’t been able to find bacon similar to what we’re used to in Canada and then some fabulous expats told us to go to Budapest. We found some and filled a cooler full.
-I’m not a huge junk food person, but when you can’t have something you tend to want it. We bought 10 bags of Cheetos in Budapest. The bags are smaller than what we’re used to, so I’m thinking it’s the equivalent of 3 bags back home. I’m sticking with that.
-I haven’t stepped on a scale in months, but I’m pretty sure I’ve lost weight. This is not intentionally, though I do need to tone. I’m finding that my body is having a hard time adjusting to the new foods here. I could eat an entire pizza and it won’t stay with me, let’s leave it at that. Probiotics have been a friend, but a lazy one that laughs at you when the going is tough. I started CrossFit last week and have been intending to go yesterday and today but I don’t think my body will show up. My mind is ready, my body is saying “stay near a toilet.” (I figure since you’ve been with me this long and haven’t left, you might as well know everything. I’m a sharer.)
-Lastly, I got accepted to Middlesex University last week. (YAY!) I figured that while I was out here, staying at home, I might as well continue my education. I have a degree in management but, to be honest, it bores me a bit. I’ve wanted to be a novelist since I was 13 years old and I had a good friend in Sarnia who strongly suggested I pursue my passion. I think she might have kicked my ass if I didn’t. (Thanks Lisa!) Truthfully, I’m happiest when I’m writing, even if it only entertains just me. I start pursing an MA in Novel Writing in just a few weeks and I’m thrilled. I’ve been bouncing around since I got my acceptance letter. Nearly shitting my pants…..