Today begins my summer travels to Hungary and Transylvania. My 6 am alarm buzzed me into a frenzy of last-minute packing and by the time I arrive in Budapest my internal clock will have done several cartwheels and backflips. As soon as I board my O'Hare flight, I will refrain from all temptations to monitor a clock. I submit to the jet lag gauntlet.
These past two weeks in South Bend, IN were spent unpacking from the move and then packing for the trip. Somehow the house is still filled with boxes despite all opened boxes left out for the recycling truck. Boxes will wait.
A highlight of the week was Book Club, which I hosted at my house. We discussed Pat Conroy's The Prince of Tides. It is an epic tale with elements of magical realism, as pointed out by one reader. It is long. And filled with lyrical passages laced with metaphor. I must go to the Carolinas. I plan to return to the book after our summer trip to glean some of its colorful vocabulary and memorable phrases.
For the plane ride read: the current New Yorker, the 2006 O'Henry Prize Collection (short stories), The Road from Coorain, and the current Harper's.
In my suitcase: approx. 10 pounds of books, including the biography of Duchamp (his second round trip to Transylvania) and my Hungarian language textbooks; our tennis rackets; and a Gwen Stefani CD requested as a gift from a young fan in Csikszereda. Did you know that Shakira will tour Romania this summer? It is a smallish world made smaller by pop stars doing their thing.