Sunday, April 18, 2010

Catching Up With Family

Mariana’s cousin Anna picked us up with a friend on Saturday and drove us to Saint Margaret’s Island which is wedged in between Buda and Pest on the massive Danube River. The park is well known for the monastic ruins located on the island that date back to the 13th century. The monastery was the home of Saint Margaret and must have been a site to behold in its prime. In its more recent history the island has moved on from its religious significance to play host to a more modern carnival/park atmosphere. So we walked along its well manicured pathways and took in a few of the attractions like a small zoo and a concert hall. We then rented bicycles built for 4 people that had a maximum speed of 5 km/h. After biking through the rest of the park and viewing a number of gardens, the four of us headed to Anna’s mother’s house for Easter dinner. Two delectable bowls of traditional Hungarian bean soup, one sweet fruit filled crepe, and a couple handfuls of deviled eggs with ham later, I found myself sipping a glass of local red wine and fighting the inevitable sedation of my food coma. After a few yawns and some heavy eye lid head pops, I decided to buck up and join in the odd sounding familial conversation that was occurring all around me. Mariana and I proceeded to provide updates on our family through our trusty translators Anna and Evi (Mariana’s other cousin) and we even had a chance to Skype Mariana’s mother so she could enjoy our Hungarian Easter with us. After nightfall, Evi invited us to a concert in downtown Pest, so we politely said our goodbyes and made our way across the Danube. The rest of our evening was spent enjoying Palinka, beer, wine, and good old fashioned Hungarian techno jazz.

Mariana’s extended family is among the kindest and most accommodating people I have ever met. They provided us a free place to stay, countless meals, and even transportation tickets for the city’s mass transit system. They immediately made me feel like one of their own as they humbly offered their services as daily teachers and guides. So, Mokus, Tomas, Bea, Anna, and Evi, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything. Mariana and I will never forget your kindness and we will miss you greatly. Until next time…

No comments:

Post a Comment