Long overdue

*This post has been a long time coming and I’m full of excuses but I won’t bore you with them.*

After being chewed up and spat back out by London Robert and I recouped in the mercifully cheap and cheerful Budapest, in a rental apartment called Little Panther – so named for a reason that continues to elude us to this day.

Orientation passed mostly without issue, although the daily drudge up and down the five or six flights of stairs to the hostel was an unwelcome reminder of how unfit we’d become over summer. There was a mini production in which a fellow teacher was suddenly and dramatically expelled from our ranks, after revealing a decidedly rotten core and an uncanny resemblance to Steve Jobs, which Robert at least found suspect. Another event worthy of note: I experienced a sense of bamboozlement tantamount to discovering that Dumbledore was dead, then alive sort-of, then decidedly dead again – but also still hanging out in a painting, while watching my new favourite Cornish person manipulate a deck of cards.

Firmly-oriented we were packed off to our new home, which could also be mistaken for Burt Reynold’s Hungarian holiday home. Apart from a minor incident in which we suspect that we released the ashes (and possibly the ghost) of the long-dead previous tenant of our apartment and/or her cat via the ancient vacuum, there have been no domestic disasters.

Shag-rug and teak aside, the place is a vast improvement on last years’ digs, which resembled Hagrid’s cabin. We have an upstairs and a spare room and a double bed (sort of), and I will post photos at some point so that you can marvel at how much it looks like the set of Boogie Nights.

As for Székesfehérvár itself, well, it was major in the Middle Ages. Nowadays though there’s not so many royals passing through and the pace of life is decidedly slower. Still, there are nocturnal open-air euro-trance spinning classes, and, surely one of the greatest vanity projects of all time, Bory Castle.

crommars June2012 017
Erected in the 1950s by a decidedly eccentric gentleman who gave the structure its name, Bory sits slap bang in the middle of Hungarian suburbia (it is on a residential street, literally sandwiched between two middle-class homes). It is made entirely from concrete and features a number of different styles that aren’t traditionally featured in the same structure. It’s chockablock with Bory’s own sculptures and paintings, which range from ‘quite good’ to ‘exceedingly poor’.

Other things worth mentioning, in no particular order:

  1. My 12th graders look like Russian shot putters and speak better English than me
  2. Robert’s 1st graders look like Borrowers
  3. Hungary has made me realize my secret hated for unkempt grass
  4. In Hungarian the word ‘cookie’ = baby penis
  5. There is not an agreed sound for emergency vehicles here
  6. Hungarian mosquitos have loved me
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