We arrived to Csikszereda, Transylvania a few days ago with a puppy hidden in our luggage. (Technically he is too young to be exported from Hungary to Romania.) He is a six-weeks-old very adorable King Charles Spaniel recently dubbed Bodza (which is a kind of tree with a flower used to make our favorite summer soft drink). I was in charge of him throughout the overnight train ride from Budapest. He only piddled once on my sheets. Since we were tucked up in the third tier couchette bed, I had to make a fence with my body to prevent him from jumping to his death. Needless to say, I didn't sleep much as all my latent maternal instincts surged in good will toward his warm little body.
Per usual, grandma fed us all our favorites the first day and my stomach couldn't handle the gastronomical love. I have recovered and re-learned the importance of pacing. We have a few more weeks in her kitchen's care and plenty of time to indulge.
I must have mentioned it before, but in Hungarian the word for tomato can also mean heaven. Need I say more? Heaven on my plate in plump red flesh. Cheese brought down daily from the moutains. Stuffed peppers. Thick white bed fresh from the corner bakery. Grandma's cakes. Bodza to drink. And rivers of dense black coffee--the kind that penetrates deep into my DNA and calls forth endorphins.
We started our summer tennis lessons this morning. Our teacher is an over-sixty years old sprite of a man with dashing good looks and bountiful energy. It is shameful to be outplayed by a man three times my age. But the more tennis I play here, the more yummy food I need to eat. See the logic? Logic with a serious caloric impact.
I am still reading the O. Henry short stories and in awe with a few of them, but I am also reading the biography of Duchamp. I started to memorize some Hungarian poetry. We all took a stanza from a famous poem and will "perform" dada style--all shouting our stanzas at the same time while wearing important black turtlenecks--for grandma. At least that's my plan. Grandma may not be amused.
Yes, I am deeply in love with Bodza, the puppy. I admit it.
In a few weeks my parents will make their first trip to Transylvania--it is a long, long trip from Kansas. We plan to show them as much as possible of life here in the short time they will visit.
Reading, eating, deep-mountain-air sleeping, walking in the city, etc. are the stuff of summer. This summer I will add to my agenda: work on my novel. I wrote an epilogue, which means, I guess, that I have finished a first draft. I can hardly believe that given that fact that I know how much work needs to be done. I printed off the second half and brought it here so that I can revise with my cruel red pen.
Summer in Csikzereda is good, very good.