What advice have strangers given you lately?

Today marked an exceptionally unusual day here in Hungary. As I was waiting for the bus to come after my visit to the market, a woman kept making comments to me. I had no idea what she was saying, but I supposed that anything she said, “I don’t know” would be a sufficient answer.

“Where’s that blasted darned bus?” asks lady. “I don’t know.”

“What’s that fool think he’s doing smoking at the bus stop?” asks lady. “I don’t know.”

“It’s a mighty hot one. When’s it gonna cool off?” asks lady. “I don’t know.”

But, then she gets me. She looks at my belly and says, “Got a baby in there?” Love, love, loving to talk about my offspring, and assuming “I don’t know” is never the correct answer to her question, I piped up. “Yes!”

And, then we’re off. I’m having small talk with a Hungarian. This never happens! She’s telling me about her kids, grand kids, about why she doesn’t look like she’s 60 even though she is, and more.

Then, we load the bus and I tell her to have a good day. She then moves to sit by me to keep chatting. I cannot believe this! Where did this social butterfly come from? She’s now giving me advice on what to eat and not to eat. All meats except pork are fine because pork is fatty. Tomatoes, cucumbers, apples, oranges are all good. Avoid bread and sugar. I think she wanted to adopt me and take me home when I informed her that I don’t eat sugar except only honey on occasion. Someone who heeds her advice! An angel! She then told me how to eat. Five small meals a day. Only a very small meal before going to bed. Fruits and vegetables and no bread.

I thanked her profusely for all of the the tips and assured her that the baby and I are very fond of fruits and vegetables, particularly Hungarian peppers since we can’t get them in the U.S. And, I think she was duly satisfied. As was I because I just had 15 minutes of small talk with a sweet Hungarian lady.



Filed under Culture, Our Daily Life, Pregnancy and Baby, We love this land

4 responses to “What advice have strangers given you lately?

  1. This is SO impressive to me…you got what she was saying and could respond with stuff like “honey”! Let us recall that the American Foreign Service says Hungarian is the second-hardest language in the world for English-speakers to learn (after Chinese). What a smart woman you are, and after just a year. And don’t you smile to think your baby is hearing HUNGARIAN on a daily basis? (Not how your beloved grew up in Iowa)!

  2. Dorothy

    its only the beginning…
    glad she was so sweet though, as usually it is not sweet advice, but every now and then it is. Its seems it is the really old ladies that are always sweet and the kinda old ladies that are crabby and yell their advice at you, so maybe stay away from those 🙂

  3. Katrina

    Well, a man came up to me after church on Sunday and said that the Lord had impressed upon his heart to come and talk to me. He then asked me to tell him about my life and my pain. I told him that recently I’d been lonely and he asked if I’d like a male friend (!). I said, “Um, that’s not what I meant.” I told him that I’d just moved to the Midwest from L.A. and that I’d spent the last two years in Madrid. In the end, he told me that reading Proverbs 21:20 was a good place to start my Bible plunge. It reads, “In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has.” You tell me. ~Katrina

    • Ha! Sorry Katrina. I’ve got nothing for you on that one. Personally, I would say start bible plunging in the book of John, but he probably has his reasons for his advice.

      On another note, men, no matter in church or not, have the capability of being a creeper. Keep your eyes open.

      On another note, I hope you find some friends out there. I remember when I moved to the Midwest from CA. Hard times! It seemed much easier moving overseas than going to another state in my own country. But, as we talked about before, we are going to be such resilient, strong women from all these endeavors!

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