Monday, October 27, 2008
Except that farewell parties are not supposed to be cheerful because the next day you not only wake up with a nasty hangover, but that's when the reality sinks in--yet another friend is gone for good.
I've had it with farewells. If I had a euro for each friend that left Budapest in the past two years, I'd earn a fortune (or at least considerably more than with our ill-timed investments).
We feel like the last survivors of a once great tribe. Ana Maria and Roberto, Tina and Marco, Iva and Codru, Giorgia and Marco, Dana, Eli, Todd and Radka, Laura and Claudio, Robin and Ayesha, Loucine and Tom, Natalie and Michael, Willo, Lucija and the rest of the Habitat crowd, Sergiu and Wiolka, Adriana, Pavel and Emese, and now Robert--all gone.
It's the downside of the expat life--you hang around with other foreigners and they tend to leave, sooner or later. Budapest is not the kind of place where many people come to stay and settle, unless they have Hungarian roots or a significant other. You come with a job, you leave with a job but the in-between can last for longer than you planned or predicted. It's a beautiful city, and it's an easy, comfortable living; even if it's not all perfect, it feels damn good most of the time.
Then someone leaves, again, and you're thinking, 'have we overstayed our welcome?' Whose turn now?
Monday, October 20, 2008
The phone started ringing at 4:43 on Sunday, startling both of us out of deep sleep. Ruslan quickly picked up and I knew it was time for him to leave, but for a nanosecond I just stared at the darkness outside, my heart beating hard (waking up in the middle of the night to the sound of a very loud mobile makes you think of bad news instinctively).
Only we knew this was good news--we had agreed with Tsvete that she will call us when the labour starts so that Ruslan can go and stay with Lia while they head to the hospital. We've been waiting for this phone call for a long time, but days just dragged on and "Masodik" (baby's working name) showed no signs of wanting to leave his cosy environment.
Ruslan left quickly and I tried to go back to sleep, but it was impossible, I was too excited. I thought of Tsvete dealing with contractions, and everything that was to come--fourth floor of the hospital, doing paperwork while the midwife measures the baby's heartbeat, the obligatory shower, waiting for the doctor to appear, then going into the birthing room....and all that follows.
When Boris and Andrej woke up, shortly after 8, there were still no news. I remember thinking, "well, it should be over really soon." Good guess--Maxim was born at 8:35, almost 4kg and 60cm long. It took a lot of pushing but Tsvete managed without the epidural! I am still in awe of that completely heroic dead.
So, well done Tsvete and welcome Maxim!
Friday, October 17, 2008
Saturday, October 4, 2008
So, on Friday I dropped him off in the morning and went about my own business. To be on the safe side, I returned to the nursery about noon, just in case there are problems with lunch. It turned out the morning went quite smoothly, but when they sat him down for lunch he started crying.
He is a bit fussy about eating in places he doesn't know--usually he gets overexcited by the new environment that he refuses to eat. This time he was a bit tired, too, and he told me he wanted to play with cars. I had to explain that it is time to eat, and that other kids are eating, too. The sight of his new friend Dora eating right next to him was persuasive enough so he attacked his rice and meat.
I'm a little bit worried that he might fuss about food until he gets to know the place well and feels comfortable. That's one fear I never had with Boris--mealtimes were his favorite in the nursery and we often tempted him with the thought of food to come when he was reluctant to stay in the bölcsi.
I still remember one breakfast during Boris's first week in the nursery--the kids were all seated at their little table, eating some bread with butter and ham. We, the parents, sat behind because that was part of the introduction process. Boris sat next to Ami, a Japanese girl who would later become his best friend. He quickly finished his portion, while most other children were not even half way through. Ami was fussing about her food, clearly not hungry or not interested. At some point she turned to see where her Mum is and, without much ado, Boris grabbed her piece of bread and stuffed it in his mouth. He later become famous for always asking for a second or third helping. I even once saw him trying to scoop up some soup that fell into his bib while eating. No, definitely, food was never a concern with Boris, at home or anywhere else.