We played some weird version of Rummy last night. I don’t think András knows how to play Rummy. I didn’t win but I didn’t lose either. Oh, got to run. More later.
Anyway, in his weird version of Rummy, you count card numbers and used jokers and could only take one card from the discard pile if you needed it. We showed András some music, like Dethklok, which I have to really be in the mood to listen to because they’re pretty heavy metal. Then we slept.
This morning I woke up at 6:30 a.m. and got ready. I thought were going to swim in Héviz, this radioactive lake that’s filled with sulfur and other minerals and actually is thought to have healing properties. (I swam in it last time I visited Hungary and it smelled terrible! And stained my bathing suit! But was a cool experience, in and of itself). But we never got around to it, I think because rain loomed in the sky above the entire time.
While driving there, we saw a house in the middle of a tiny lake, with no way in or out but by rowboat or swimming, and I thought that I would possibly like to have a house like that. Yes, it would be inconvenient if my boat capsized and my makeup got ruined, or if my house got a little flooded. But mostly it would be pretty awesome to know that no one could get to my house unless they had a boat or decided to swim, and that either way I’d probably hear them coming before they got there. It speaks to a sense of privacy that you don’t really ever find in a city like New York. Not to mention that the little lake was then surrounded by vast, breath-taking countryside, filled with trees and crops and red flowers whose name I don’t know, and marred only by the two-lane road on which we drove.
Then we visited András' sister and saw Héviz lake and the surrounding town, which was nice but more modern, filled with larger houses with newer designs, lots of glass, and reminiscent of the place my grandparents live in Florida. There was a blue church, and a bunch of touristy shops where we got ice cream and put our hands in this big block of stone that was supposed to tell one’s fortune. Although I’ve lost the paper since then, I did write down that it gave me the most stars for love and life and the least stars for luck and health, with a satisfactory amount of stars for sex. It also said that I would become entangled in a morally reprehensible act, probably because of my vanity, but that I would have one of those rare, beautiful marriages (whatever that means, and, considering I’m not even sure I believe in marriage…)
I liked the town, but if I live in Hungary, I’d either want it to be right in Budapest or in a legitimate little house in a legitimate little town. At András' sister’s place, she offered Melvin some wine, and András pushed her to give it to him. When she seemed unsure, he said, all you have to do is put it in front of him, and Melvin will drink it. We all got a good laugh at that, because it was pretty true. Melvin even admits it’s true. Also, she kept calling him “Kelvin” instead of “Melvin,” no matter how many times we corrected her. It was pretty hilarious, at the time.
The day was warm, and I wore the dress my cousin got me as a graduation gift. András wore these tight leather pants with ties up the sides of both legs, which Melvin and I got a kick out of (and still laugh about). At one point I asked him, wasn’t he warm? And he said that yes, he’d already pretty much fried his balls off. Despite this, he wore the pants a bunch more times before we left. I imagine he thought he looked bad-ass and cool in them.
Later, we drove to Sümeg Castle and walked up the hill to the castle. Melvin ran ahead off of the path and András wanted me to go with him so he could take a photo. I didn’t really want to, but I decided that you have to sometimes do things you don’t want to do. So Melvin helped me up but it was steep and really high and I was wearing Converse, so I screamed the entire way up and down. We slid near the bottom and almost fell but András caught me. The castle was closed when we got there, but we took pictures and looked out at the stunning view of little towns, landscape, and one long road that András said went all the way back to Szombathely, and that on clear days you could see Szombathely from that vantage point.
On the drive home, Melvin fell asleep as András and I spoke about cars. He said he’d drive everywhere if he could, with no cars on the road, at dusk. I said it’d be nice, but that cars aren’t very good for the planet, considering how much pollution they spew. I tried to explain in Hungarian why I didn’t think there should be more roads in Hungary, but I don’t think I really got the point across. The best I could say was, In New York there are many roads. See this countryside? In New York, there is no countryside because there are so many roads. All András replied was, So? I gave up after that.
12:20 a.m. now. It took me an hour to write this. Bassza meg (practicing my curse words)!