The Death of a Vacation

Who ever it was that said “You can never go home again.” must have been just returning from a glorious vacation. If we were twenty years younger, we would have had serious thoughts about immigration. Our friend Tracey from TN had sent us a card years ago that states “It is not the destination, but the journey”. We have had this on our kitchen countertop wall as a reminder that life is a journey and you never really reach your destination until you die.

When I think about that saying in more rational terms, the journey can be exhausting. In order to get home again from the wonderland of OZ, we flew from Adelaide to Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia Airlines with excellent service, seats, and comfort. Flight time was 7 hours 15 minutes. Our layover was shorter this time, only two hours. Kuala Lumpur to Amsterdam was on KLM for an excruciatingly unbearable 13 hours and 10 minutes. The service was actually better than going, but the plane was the most uncomfortable 777-400 I have been on in years. The seats were cramped with absolutely no legroom. Once the passenger in front reclines, there is more roominess in a straitjacket. Once in Amsterdam at 7:00 am the next day, we had an hours wait for the last leg to Vienna. Flight time was 2 hours.

From Vienna, we had an hour and a half to wait for the train to return to Budapest, finally arriving at our door at 4:00 pm. We made valiant attempts to stay up past 8:00 pm, but it did not happen.

It did not take long for the afterglow of five weeks of bliss to wear away. With fourteen students this semester that I am advising for their Masters thesis, there was a lot of reading waiting for me to come out of the jet lag coma. Risking my mental health, I checked the online registration for my courses for this semester. They listed me for a course that another instructor teaches, did not list one of my classes that is mandatory, and did not code three of my classes for both the BA and MA students. Giving them a color coded grid with all of the information just at the end of the semester was obviously not enough.

We are also having our kitchen remodeled. The cabinet maker and tile man are anxious to get started while it is cold and dismal; they are not overburdened with work at the moment, so want to get the small job out of the way. In order to facilitate this, we need to shop for the tiles for the splashboards and floor, a sink, and a new stove. The fridge is only a year old, it stays. The difficulty comes with having to coordinate all of this with our beloved Balazs who is our interpreter, our friend, and our adopted child. He had the audacity to get a full time job. : ) Now, we have to fit into his work schedule, which is a rotating shift, making it difficult to grab him when the stores are open.

Today’s adventure will be to go look at tile until he is available and hope that is before 12:30. The stores close early on Saturdays. Hey, getting the kitchen remodelled is one perk to being home, so I guess you can go home again if you plant a carrot to have hanging in front of you to return.