Ron and I were going to train down to Szeged, far south in the Hungarian plains so I could do some current research for my next book. The Divineless Mr. M decided he wanted to go with. He came to meet me and after an errand he needed to run on the way, we went to the MAV office, the Hungarian train official office.
As it happen, it was raining yet again, our seventh or eighth day of rain. I cannot be sure, my calendar is too soggy to read the exact number of days. Mr. M still has not bought an umbrella, though he has been here since August. Not tempted to share mine as it is only a one man size, when we passed a brolley dealer, I pointed out to Mr. M the divine color arrangements, sharing which would complement his complexion while keeping his shaved dome dry.
He was all atwitter for a whole two minutes until he asked the price. The poor dear who spends her day out in all elements trying to make a living wage, whips out her calculator and punches in 800.
From the reaction of my walking mate, one overhearing his reaction would have thought she asked for his first born. “Four dollars for an umbrella?”, he shouts “I could get it in NY for three.”
Yes, I say, but the trip to NY would certainly detract from the savings of $1.00 and certainly your NY days are well in the past. You have not lived there for years now. Umbrellas there are most likely up to $6.00 or $7.00 at least. Regardless of my persuasive skills, he chose to ignore a practical purchase and I continued to justify my lack of sharing my mini-brella with him.
This from a man who has a degree in Social Work, decries the flood of illegal immigrants into the US, yet would support child labor from third world countries to save himself a buck. Somewhere in my karma I must have been tagged with a sign that shows “Befriend me, I need to have my values perpetually clarified by your warped thinking and words.” I cannot comprehend how I do attract people in my life like this. It is a burden.
Mr. M had the plan to wander off to Szeged with us, only to continue on to Serbia for the day to have his passport stamped. His Visa was running out and needed to leave and reenter the country to gain another 90 day stay. However, since the world is out to persecute him, the Hungarian train system was out to get him too. There are no trains from Szeged to Serbia even if it is only inches away on a map. If he were to follow this plan, it would mean an overnight train there and one back again, just to collect a stamp. Instead, he second choice was to go to Zagreb in Croatia, which ruled out Szeged.
His final solution was to travel seven hours to Zagreb, tour the city for two to three hours and climb aboard yet again to spend a relaxing seven hours to return to Budapest. The weather report showed that there was an eight-six percent chance of rain tomorrow regardless of destinations. I wonder if he will find a cheaper umbrella in Croatia.