• Monica Montanari

Day 10: Back to Blegh


Well let's start with this: when I tell people I'm going to Hungary or in Hungary, they all make the joke "You're Hungry? Let me get you something to eat!" Haha. Funny. Well a few centuries ago, anyone who said that would be living under a rock. The Austria-Hungarian empire used to be the most powerful and threatening in the entire world. They controlled over half of Europe; but as time went on, Hungary started to shrink, ending up tiny by the end of WWII. WWII hit Hungary pretty hard, since it borders Germany, and it's defense wasn't strong enough, so the Nazis ended up taking control of Hungary and installing communism (which is when Shane's grandma fled the country, at the age of 16).

Almost everyone in Hungary is part of the a class between middle and poor- they live in cracked, small, dirty homes and cities- but to them this is normal- this is their middle class. The lasting effects of communism are everywhere- people don't earn too much money, the cities and towns are dirty because the country cannot tax people what the U.S. does to keep the cities clean and roads paved nicely. The only roads leading to Budapest from Gyoma are two lane highways with cracked pavement. Some of the buildings still have bullet holes telling the history of their struggle, and some of the buildings ruined in WWII are still in shambles, though many have since been restored. If there were ever a more charming country, though, I'd be surprised.

These people don't know great riches and greed- so they are close to their families and neighbors, and sacrifice everything to help each other. They admire Americans and worship the English language- littering their clothing and literature with English influences- they even listen to American music. Another tidbit about the people? Instead of a distant handshake or cold hug, they greet you with a giant smile, warm hug, and two kisses on the cheek (which was super confusing to Shane and I at first; by the way, you usually go right first). They also eat nutella like the Australians eat Vegemite- even putting it on dinner rolls and toast. Not my style.

But about our day, Shane woke up feeling absolutely AWEFUL this morning, which was very upsetting since he felt pretty good last night except for a stomach ache. So instead of taking a boat to see the gorgeous city on the other side of the lake, we decided to have Shane's grandma pick us up and take us back to Gyoma, so Shane could finally get what he's been wanting the most- cold water. (A bit of a bummer though.) So we drove back, and here we are!

Shane has been eating a little bit, and doing better, and we finally got an English-speaking doctor to make a house call to come see him, and she told him that this virus is actually pretty common in Gyoma among young children and older adults- so how he got it we don't know, but she said it usually lasts between 1 and 7 days, so his should be gone soon, and she gave him a prescription for some medicine that should make his recovery a little easier, and she'll be back tomorrow to check on him. How nice! I'm glad that I finally have some help getting him better! Yay!