Sunday, October 14, 2007

public transportation

Kevin and I went to visit Nusi at her house yesterday. She invited us out for a barbeque with her friends and family. It was so fun to see her family after 5 years! It was also neat to go back to the home I lived in while I was here 9 years ago. Her mom is so sweet and tried communicating with me the best she could, not knowing much English at all. It's amazing how much gestures and pointing can help you communicate with someone!

Nusi studied in Spain when she was acquiring her fourth language, and some of her friends from there are now living in Budapest for the year. So this party was with Hungarian, Spanish, and American friends. I understood more of the Spanish than the Hungarian! And by the way, Spanish sounds different from Spain than those from Mexico or other Central and South American countries. I was told that but have never met a Spaniard, so it was neat to hear the differences.

Anyway, getting out to Nusi's house took quite a while because we live on the extreme opposite sides of Budapest. We couldn't have made the trip any better on the way home as we caught every train and bus just as it was leaving. It has turned quite cold, so standing outside waiting for public is no fun. But we were at Keleti to catch a train to her house on the outskirts of Pest. We were able to buy our tickets all by ourselves and figured out how to do it without any help. We are feeling pretty impressed by how much we have figured out during these last few weeks.

Riding public is just interesting. You get to see a whole new set of people you'd never meet or see if you're always in your car. Yes, I miss the convenience, ease, and speed of a car. Everyone tells us that we will have to get one once we have a kid, but we are waiting to see about that. But I love to watch the people on public. I love seeing the little old ladies with the scarves tied around their heads, carrying their day's groceries and flowers in baskets. I like to see the people with the huge baskets on front of their bikes carrying those same things. Many people put in ear phones so they don't have to talk to anyone or look like they're even paying attention. You can always tell who is traveling with friends because they are loud, while most everyone else rides on silently. You also get to learn where most people travel. The bus, tram, metro, or train always gets super crowded at certain points and empty at others. That always interests me because I don't know the city well enough to know why they all tend to get on and off at the same places.

There are lots of homeless people and beggars in any major city, but yesterday I saw this one homeless woman searching for food in a garbage can at Keleti. We were sitting on the train, waiting for it to depart, and I just watched as she put her hands into the garbage and took out all sorts of stuff, trying to find food. She found a plate wrapped in aluminum foil and took it out. She smelled it and put it back. Moments later after she searched further down, she came back and took that out. As our train was pulling away, I saw her dig out a fork and start eating off of the plate, pulling out either something she didn't like or maybe garbage that had gotten on the food.

I can't get the woman's face out of my mind today. I have just prayed for her and then thanked God that I haven't ever had to worry that I have to go find food for the day out of a garbage can.

1 comment:

Kristin said...

Thanks for the great reminder of the abundance that we have! I am glad to hear that you and Kevin are starting to feel more comfortable traveling and getting around...I think that would be really hard! I love reading your blog and getting the updates about what is going on. I especially loved the pregnant picture from your girls night :)