January somehow disappeared, and I've been told we are already to the 3rd day of February! Between sick kids and then succumbing to "The Budapest Plague" myself (a really bad cold... possibly the flu), the last few weeks have left me feeling disconnected from "normal" life. Strangely, I draw comfort from knowing that Texans are dealing with the flu, too... like it's not an issue isolated to my current setting. That probably sounds terrible, like, "Yay! Y'all are sick, too!" I guess a common problem just makes the distance not feel so great.
Something I absolutely love about our time here is all the amazing people from all around the world that I get to do life with. We live in Hungary, so obviously there are many Hungarians with whom we interact on a regular basis, but the diversity within my social circles makes my heart happy. I regularly enjoy coffee with women from The Netherlands, Romania or Canada. A hug from my friend from India is a welcome greeting in the middle of the week. Last week Clark and I ate haggis and danced to Scottish folk songs at the Burns Supper with our Scottish friend. "Hello, mate!" from a New Zealand-er always makes me smile. Waving at my English friend when it looks like no one is in the driver's seat of her car is a bit unnerving, but then I remember her car is from the UK. In my short time in Hungary, I have made acquaintances with people from every corner of the world, and in getting to know them and a small bit about their culture, my life has been so enriched.
Being that we non-Hungarians are all in a land foreign to us, we have arrived on fairly neutral territory. There are perhaps European similarities from country to country that might afford one expat a slight advantage over another, but in general, we are all here representing our unique cultures, not trying to assimilate or blend in with the Hungarians, just trying to live well among many people different from us. And the varied struggles to maintain our individual, cultural norms somehow unite us.
Another blog for anther day would be about how different Texans are from the rest of the United States...
Sending Texas-sized hugs from Budapest!