Halfway through summer holidays and I am nothing short of exhausted. All our students this year are little, between 10-13 years old, and most arrive with nearly zero of their new second language; no ability to construct a sentence, and very limited vocabulary. Of course not, as they only start really learning English in 6eme their first year of middle school, and only about 4 hours a week. Most can conjugate their verbs nicely but they don’t quite know how to use the tenses correctly. So my job has been far more difficult than in the past years.
During our work this summer, this last week Alfonz has had his last wine tour and is in the process of shutting down his company. Which is lucky for me, as he will be here to help with activities, BBQs, and shopping while I try to manage all these little kids.
We also know it is our last summer in France so we are trying to really enjoy the activities; spending hours at the lake, beach and river, really enjoying the horses in the countryside, taking in these last few moments of French culture and experiences during festivals, and making sure the children see their friends during their vacation break.
So now that the house is sold, we are starting to look for another house in Budapest. It will be easy enough once we get there to explore the area around the children’s private school and to find a nice family house with extra space for visitors. We expect many of our French friends to visit often, especially with Ryanair flights from Paris to Budapest direct for low prices! Real estate prices are also manageable in Budapest on the Buda (hillside)in the family neighbourhoods of Budapest. We are starting our new expat life in our apartment in Budapest on the Pest side about a 20 minute drive from the school until we get settled in.
****House Hunters International has contacted us again,
but this time we are moving from France to Hungary, so the likelihood of being on TV once again is on the table. The children, Alfonz and I enjoyed the first two experiences, but this time it will be far more interesting sharing our beloved Budapest with people that still think it is communist, and is a scary place to visit let alone live in. It really is beautiful there; the culture, the traditions, the history, the monuments, the food, the wine…. and of course my family; cousins, aunts, uncles…
All our furniture is sold as well as our two cars. Alfonz rode to Hungary on his motorcycle to drop it off in storage, buy the VW Sharan, and drive it back. He left on Saturday around 6:00 am and was home by Wednesday 5:00 pm! He was only in Budapest for 24 hours. He quickly got the registration and insurance done on the vehicle, and turned right back around. Once home he was knackered!
We will be hiring a moving truck to take our mostly clothes and things to go to our storage unit in Hungary before we finish the summer in France. We work until August 27th and the movers will hopefully come on the Monday after which gives us one whole day and a half to pack up our lives and have our friends grab all the bits and bobs we don’t want to move.
We have our final signing on Wednesday where we hand over the keys at 15:30 and we should be on the road by 16:30 with the cat drugged up and kids packed in the new van to drive as far as we can before night fall. Once in Italy, we will stop for the night, most likely around San Remo. Then the next day we will drive straight to our apartment in Elizabethtown downtown Budapest to our apartment! We should be home by dinner time!
There is something so cleansing about getting down to nothing, getting rid of stuff that is weighing us down and then starting again. I know it sounds strange and unthinkable for many people, but life is long, and when an adventure presents itself it is our responsibility to embrace it, experience it and explore it!
Why is the world so big and diverse if it was not meant to be explored. Would a fish only stay to one side of his tank, no! He would explore every corner of his world. Are we any different? Why are our feet made to walk such long distances if not to journey out and see things? We are so curious, it is built into our souls to want to figure the why hidden behind every story and that’s what keeps us interested in our lives, and feeling alive!
I am going through our stuff and throwing away so much. I can hardly believe we are the same bright eyed family that arrived with two suitcases in hand Halloween 2011. Not a thing collected means anything to me except an interesting mortar and pestle my friend bought me for my birthday last year. Perhaps there are a few more little tokens but not really. I envy those people who touch their things to remember people. I would like to think that things can carry a charge from the person that gave them, it might carry memory and is then that positive energy passes on from one to the next. Perhaps after we die our things carry a small part of us along, mixed molecules, a microscopic imprinting. Perhaps time and space is connected through these items. Either way I don’t feel those connections. Perhaps when I am older and can’t explore anymore I will regret not taking souvenirs to remind me of my adventure. Will my website be enough and Facebook? I guess I am not as sentimental.
It reminds me that like elephants we never forget. Elephants pay homage to their ancestors by examining their skull remains long after a member of their close heard dies, able to identify elephant bones among other remains, a phenomenon that suggests that they too remember their pasts by touching. They are uber tactile creatures, and live in a very dynamic family group. I love this thought. They visit their family bones like we do a cemetery. Simply amazing.
To me things are weight to carry, items that bog down your freedom, and they tie you to one spot like a heavy anchor. Sometimes rooting is good. I have done it before and I am sure I will do it again. But today I am slowly moving my anchor side to side until it becomes loose, and eventually it will pull free. I will place it down again and let it drag a while until I find a good place to park my life. For how long, well I never know. Probably until I feel the winds of change and the anxious tide of ideas to start a new and better experience. Fickle. No. More like Christopher Columbus, exploring the seven seas.