Hello dear friends! Sorry for the radio silence but as you can imagine, these last few days have been so wonderfully crazy. From Boston to Oslo to Budapest to the Hungarian countryside, I have seen and experienced such incredible, strange, and gobsmacking things. My mind is a wonderful jumble of wanderlust and new discovery, well past sensory-overload limits. As any writer knows, this kind mental state calls for a very particular type of writing/storytelling: stream of consciousness (DUN DUN DUNNN). So if you will allow me to bring chaos to the page, let me tell you about my experience thus far in the most jumbled way possible.
It starts at Logan Airport. Hug parents. Wave to parents. Wave to parents even when they turn around. Stumble through security. Set the machine off as always. Find my gate. Find the closest food store. Find the bathroom. Find the water fountain. Sit at gate. Think at gate. Think about all the spectacular people in my life. Realize I am sitting alone. Realize I’m never really alone. Try to write. Get up again. Bathroom again. Food store again. Plane starts to board. I trip down a crowded escalator. No one notices…I think. Find my seat on the plane next to very antsy travelers. Very antsy travelers take a lot of bathroom breaks. Fall asleep. Jump awake. I’m on a plane traveling alone. Yikes!
Long layover in Oslo. Lots of blonde people in Norway. Lots of security guards riding around on razor scooters. Fall asleep, jolt awake. Walk back and forth, back and forth. Bathroom break. Water break. Bathroom break. More razor scooters. More blondes. More blonde people riding razor scooters. Walk to my gate. Sit at my gate. Think at my gate. I’m doing this, I’m actually doing this.
Plane boards. Sit next to friendly Norwegian woman. Friendly Norwegian woman offers me some coconut chocolate. I conclude that sometimes strangers have the best candy. Flight ends. In airport. On shuttle. In small hotel. Get to the third floor. Can’t find room. Hungarian version of Tony Soprano and his wife help me find my room. Lights are dim and flickering. Bed is small but I sleep deeply and peacefully.
Long breakfast, short taxi ride to bus stop. Meet the coordinator, drink a coffee. Watch as marathoners run by. Meet some Brits, Australians, and a Canadian. Discuss trump, wagons, and wizardry on the bus. Meet an actor who played a background wizard in Harry Potter! Get to hotel. Meet some very friendly Hungarians. Lots of talking. Lots of smiling. Lots of spectacular people coming to light. Wonderful food, wonderful company. Two-hours worth of Hungarian vs. Angloville ping-pong. Wrist is sore.
Off to bed in a spacious room. Goats and horses and birds sing their lullabies. I curl into bed and think about my friends and family back home. I think about how I can find their endless love and generosity around the globe. I think about how it takes a village to raise a child. I think about how unbelievably proud I am to come from such a small town where compassion and support are the main currency. I think my pride for my town and its inhabitants will grow evermore.
I think about how much I love my family and how much they would love it here. I think about the new friends I have made and how they are not much different from my old ones.
I look up at the window above my bed and find the stars. I look for the big dipper but can’t find it. I think about all the luminescent people who color my life and then I realize, even if they are far, far away, they shine bright enough to find me here in Hungary. They are not the big dipper. They are the much grander, much warmer embrace that keeps me company, even when I’m on the long trek alone.
More to Come,
PS: Sorry for the lack of pictures! Until this recently-purchased,strange iphone thingy and I hunt down the ever illusive international sim card, I can only give you words and apologies!