Caught Off Guard


"Is that my doorbell?  No one ever comes to my apartment, so it's not really a sound I'm familiar with.  I'll go look through the peek hole and see who it is.  Oh that's right, the glass is so dirty that I can't see a thing. 

"Well, there's a man standing there.  Or a woman.  But it's definitely a person.  Unless it's an alien.  Or a drunken angel statue.  You never can be sure.

"I guess I'll open it.  It's probably someone I know.  If it isn't, I doubt it will take long for them to realize I don't speak Hungarian and they'll go away.  Maybe it's a Hungarian girl scout selling Hungarian girl scout cookies.  If that's they case, I'll buy a ton.

"I hope the whole transaction doesn't take long - I have dinner on the stove.  It's not too important if I burn it, though, because I usually burn it anyway."

These are the thoughts that went through my head while I was cooking dinner tonight.  When I opened the door, I didn't find a woman, an alien, or even a drunken angel statue.  Instead, it was my neighbor.  You remember him, he's the one I was at the sausage festival with (read about that here).

He's a nice guy, but his English isn't great (even though it's 20 million times better than my Hungarian).  I've had a few short conversations with him in passing, but we only hung out at that one festival.  On the other hand, he is my neighbor, so I wasn't that surprised to see him at my door.

"Do you like cookies?" he asked.

"Yes, I love cookies."

"Great!  I made some cookies and I brought some for you," he replied as he handed me a Christmas tin, "Enjoy your dinner!"

And off he went.

Either he's psychic or he could smell my food from the kitchen.  The second is more likely, but I don't have any proof against his psychic abilities.  I'll try to ask him, but I better bring my English-Hungarian dictionary because mind reading isn't something usually taught in language classes.

The Cookie Tin

It may come as a surprise, but living in a foreign country can be lonely.  The odds of this increase when you live in a small town where the vast majority of people don't speak your language.  Until you learn their language, conversations tend to be at a minimum.  Friendships only go so far when they're based off of three word interactions.

Therefore, it was a pretty welcome feeling to have someone come knock on my door with a gift.  It's just more proof to my theory about living in a foreign land:  If you're lonely, homesick, don't fit in, don't have friends, etc., then you need to do one thing - be patient.  With enough time, patience, and smiles, you will feel welcome.

So answer the door, if it isn't a drunken angel statue, it may be your friend with cookies.

Hungarian word of the day (seems important, under the circumstances):  Köszönöm (you're on your own with this pronunciation, I know how to say it, but I don't know how to explain it).  It means Thank You, and you could find yourself saying it a lot.