Saturday, May 30, 2009

Firefighters

Steve had another big event today. It was Hungary's Children's Day. United Way puts on an event with free activities for the kids. There is tons of entertainment from puppet shows to school bands. There are booths where the kids can have their face painted, play music and sing along with friends and tour the inside of a fire truck. The weather tried to participate but gave bits of rain throughout the day. I visited Steve and said hello and took a bunch of photos. Here is my favorite.

Panka asked if these guyes would take the photo with me. She explained that both my grandfathers and father were all firefighters. (I have a gut feeling that all firefighters have a little jokster in them. The guy on the right looks like he would participate in some of the jokes I have heard about....)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A visit to Esceri Market

Our friends Sasha and Laura visited us last week from Seattle. We had a great time showing them Budapest. It was really nice having them visit. We took them to all our favorite places and introduced them to a few of our new freinds. One of the places we visited was Esceri Market. You can find anything at this huge Hungarian flea market -- antique furntiure, Herend Pottery, portfolios of artists (made me sad), old paintings, clothing, and toys. Not to mention a few war relics and tons of textiles. Here are a few photos I took at the market.

This made me so sad. All I can say is
that they look ashamed.
I wanted to buy
them all and give them a home.


Buy me! Buy me!
Aren't I cute!
Kinda Creepy.

Monday, May 25, 2009

We have internet...finally!!!!

Visual representation of the internet (above). 
We once lived in darkness. :-)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

At least there are roses

I got a call yesterday from T-home and they said...
"Sorry but you can not get internet from us. We cannot tell you why but we can tell you that it won't work. Also, we recommend you don't cancel your account and you have to keep paying until Sept 29, even though we can not give you service. You do have two options: sell your contract to someone who needs internet or pay 35,000HUF ($165) to cancel."
We are obviously going to fill an official complaint. We have gone to a new company and started this process over. We paid 5000HUF ($25) to have the internet set up quicker. We should have internet by Friday. Keep your fingers crossed.

On a good note, we love our new flat. The roses are blooming and I have bought some potted herbs along with some hanging plants. We are eating many dinners outside and will relax tonight with a glass of wine on the patio:) Here is a photo I took earlier today. If you click on the photo it should enlarge and you can see all the roses in bloom.

We miss you and hope to see you on Skype soon.
-diane

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A weekend getaway to Kunhegyes

Steve and I headed to the country side last weekend (May 1-3). We needed to escape the city, the pollution, the noise, the busyness...and our laptops. So, we headed to Kunhegyes. A small town east of the city. We took a 3 hour train and arrived at a beautiful town where making lace, home-made palinka and marmalade are still appreciated! We were treated to a lace demo by the owner of the home. I was mesmerized by her handwork. Such patience and perfection. I tried to get an estimate of how long she has worked on this one piece. The answer was “a long time”. If she worked on it 8 hours a day everyday, it would take a few weeks!

We stayed three days and came back well rested. We road bikes, took naps and read books. A perfect weekend.
Photos of where we stayed. Below is a picture
of the door to the house we stayed in.
Our view.
On our front porch were tons of old boots.
We took a bike ride around town. Here is what we saw...
Friends we made at the farm

The amazing lace!
click below to watch the movie
video

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Hot Jazz Band

Our friends, Panka and Evi introduced us to an awesome band called Hot Jazz Band. Evi, Panka, Attila, Steven and I have gone to see them play twice now. They perform at a place called “Alcatraz”. (The bar does a great job of looking like a jail.) Last week we headed to one of their shows. Not only is the band awesome but the dancers that show up give a great performance!
Hot Jazz Band
Panka and Evi
Diane and Attila
Click to watch the movie
video

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Goat Poo = Energy

We visited an alternative energy farm a few weeks ago. Our friend Willy drove us about 1 1/2 hours outside the city to where his project is located. The plans are drawn and they will be breaking ground soon. They will create energy out of goat...poop. The plans are exciting and extensive. I can’t wait to visit once things are up and going.

We all loaded into the back of an old soviet van and road around the different sites of the farm. It is absolutely beautiful!! Enjoy the photos.

Did you know that when Steve retires he wants to live on a farm and raise goats and bees. Goat cheese and honey sound good to me!


The goats seem to like Steve
Rape Seed (canola oil is made from this)
It is so bright it is blinding and it is everywhere!
Traveling in style
The day was so beautiful and windy! Although I am
a city girl, I think my heart is in the country.
video

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Easter Celebrations

I know it has been a month since Easter but I have to tell you how we spent the holiday.

Our friend Andi’s parents invited us over for a traditional Easter celebration, including “sprinkling”. Easter meal is on Saturday and consists of boiled eggs, ham and horseradish (4 types of horseradish were served!). On Easter Monday, it’s customary for boys and men to sprinkle girls and women with a few drops of perfume (yeah right! I think more than a few drops was sprinkled on me!) They’re rewarded for this with an Easter egg (painted or chocolate). Most girls (myself included) wash their hair thoroughly on Monday evening to remove the strong smell of cologne. Early customs were much more exciting, with village boys splashing buckets of water over the girls.

Andi prepared me for this tradition by telling me I must bring 4 decorated eggs to her house. Four eggs for the four men who would sprinkle me. Not only was perfume sprayed on me in quantities that would kill any insect that came close to me, but also a nice seltzer bottle filled with ice cold H2O was used to squirt us down. You can see by the photos this was fun for the boys.

It was a great day. Fantastic food, great friends and lots of laughs.Enjoy the photos.

Steve helped me dye eggs the natural way
(I always used the kits growing up).
We used rubber bands and onion skins. I think they
turned out beautiful. They look like chocolate or wood.
Do you think our personalities come through in the way we decorate the eggs?
Adri and Diane
True love-Ed and Andi
Diane-after sprinkled with the water...cold
Adri running. She looks like a little girl in this photo.
Joszef running after Adri.
Chaos
Andi
Joszef, Adri and Ed
Be nice
Mom and Son
Sorry there are no photos of Steven. He was busy taking photos and I was busy running from the boys.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Cinco de Mayo Street Party...Budapest?!?!

On this coming Saturday, we and hundred of others--expats and Hungarians alike--will get together at the only really good Mexican food restaurant in Budapest, The Iguana.  The highlight will be a Mariachi band all the way from Vienna, Austria.  We are told that the band is made up of 3 Mexicans and 1 Austrian.  ¡Olé!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Still no internet - Part II

In this exciting blog entry, we can write that we still have no internet.  The battle continues.  The good news is we have lots of blogging to do once we get a steady internet connection.

Perhaps a little unfair, we but do want to share a US-to-Hungary comparative point:  Our friend Kate who lives in Seattle requested on Thursday to move her internet service to a different flat.  The company said they could move the service within 3-days. So on the third day--Sunday no less!--they arrived on time changed the service and she had working internet.  I believe too the service change was free.  In contrast, we are waiting now for almost 3-weeks now...have been told that the service is working when it isn't...and of course are having to pay for the service while not being able to use it + a change fee is charged!

p.s.  We continue to update our Twitter (see to the left-side of our blog).