Date: Tue, 26 Dec 2000 07:03:09 -0800
From: ef
Subject: dec 26


well, we are now the proud owners of a casket as yesterday i found grandfather in tears cause his one remaining brother (rudi, age 66) had died that morning and all the relatives together could not come up with enough for a casket. so today, we bought a casket, you and i. about $35 = one casket. the cheapest but kinda nice, carved.

the casket was brought to the widow's and mihaly and the other men shaved and dressed the old man and laid him in the casket. i think i am invited to the wake tho i don't know if i can attend since i did promise janoska that he could stay with me overnight. janoska cannot be separated from his airplane with the flashing lights so i guess that too will spend the night.

last night i had supper with the family. the hen had reached a ripe old age so it took about 4 hours to cook but cooked it did get and then we all ate it with lots of bread. then we drank some wine with grandfather and we sang songs at eachother. i think they now trust that i will not abandon them, huh. cause grandfather would say, oke, then there is this one, and then there would be another song. he sure does know lots. me, i only know about 5 in hungarian, tho they did meet with much appreciation.

mihaly's younger brother also came by and played some guitar. he plays very well and whistles the melodies along.

there was a bit of a knife fight late in the evening cause it being jeno's birthday at the same time as the x-mas thing, there had been a celebration that had lasted for two days solid. some of the people were very drunk and tempers flared. so then a fight, then a bigger fight, then finally some knives and someone got hit on the head with i think a broom or maybe a shovel. this all happened downstairs tho, we just watched from the window. the police came and took the worst drunks away. are you scared, don't be, nothing will happen to you, melinda said. not scared, said i, pissed off. you know, people can really be idiots. yep, she sighed. anyways, to be safe, mihaly walked me halfway home. i had two of the kids by the hand, they were coming to spend the night.

everynight, one or two come to spend the night. can't leave without them. luckily, that does not seem a problem with the owner of the little hotel. so then they come, i bathe them, stick them into the clean clothes we brougth along, a bit of a snack and off to bed. breakfast in the morning. i have to stick them into clean clothes cause there are a lot of bugs where they live. cockroackes and especially fleas. i am bitten into a solid itch from sitting around in the family's room. can't sleep at night for scratching. oh yeah, and coughing. scratching and coughing.

but them's some happy kids, lemme tell you.

me and the oldest boy, mihaly junior, we went to see zoli in kolozsvar, cluj-napoca in romanian. we took the 7.30 am train, had to get up at 6. he slept over, of course. so we took the train, they sold us a 1st class coach ticket, seeing as i prefer a bathroom i can actually enter without barfing. but then when we got on the train,it turned out that the 1st class only existed in the ticket sellers imagination, and now her pocket, i presume. oh well, the train ride took 4 hrs with one change-of-train in a small village so pissing was out of the question until zoli's. being the, ahem, seasoned traveller that i am i draw the limit at certain filthinesses, dunno why, but they involve bathrooms. i am happy to say that now, however, i can enter the family's so called toilet and not faint. so that's really something. i feel i *should* use it, so i do.

zoli had been waiting for us at the train for 2 hours, but the train was late for 3. so he went home, thinking we weren't coming at all. but then there we were, so we took the tram to his appartment. one room, zoli, his wife eva (who is probably one of the nicest people i have met in my life, wow) and their baby abel who is 1 1/2 yrs old and huge. he gets lots of loving attention and is very self-assured. we slept on the couch, me at the head, mihaly at the foot. in the morning, we came back to vasarhely.

i am glad we went to zoli's. it was nice. but they don't always have money for food tho zoli works very hard. me bringing the computer from canada was a bit of a miracle.

i am trying to bring mihaly (junior) with me to lots of places. like here, now, at the netcafe. an hour ago he was distraught that his cousin refused to share something with him. but now he has been checking out jackie chan pictures on the web. so he has something big to brag about. he even managed to type in when we were searching. remember, this is a 14 yr old who knows neither to read or write. i am working on that. you have to want, i say. and the only thing no one can take away from you is what's in your head. one of those blabla things my father told me, hah.

also there are developments on the house front, will know more in a day. when i can find a lawyer to look over some documents. i gotta stay very smart. let's hope this works out.

gotta go. more later, happy holidays to all.