The past three days have seen a steady rise in the temperature, and with it rose my desire to be outside. Sometimes on those short, gray, winter days I would tell myself I should take a walk, but I could never get up enough energy. Now that the sun is setting after 4pm, I feel like I can come out of hibernation, put away my books and movies and thick socks, and slosh around in the mud a bit.
My smaller digital camera is now back in action (I couldn’t use it all last year because I lost the charger somewhere between Paris and Budapest), and I feel more comfortable taking pictures in Péterfalva. (For more on why taking pictures in the place where I live makes me uncomfortable, see this post.) I tried to be somewhat stealthy with these photographs. Someday I’m going to get up enough courage to ask a person if I can take their picture, but for now, here’s a bit on the architecture.
One of my photography walks was doubled up with a trip to the post office. That venerable and confusing institution is located on the far left side of this building, the village culture house. The post office was maddeningly closed (really, what are their hours?), so, Deb, your letter will have to wait just a little longer. The KultúraHáz, a remnant of communist projects, houses many things, most of which are a mystery to me. But one time I peeped in and could see a large auditorium. And the other day I saw a shelf of books through the window. And one time, as I was walking by, I heard a lone saxophone’s song drifting out the doors.
This is the main road travelling through Péterfalva. If you travel a few kilometers in one direction, you can turn off to the Hungarian border. If you travel a few kilometers in the other direction, you run into the Romanian border. You’d think that a remote town between two remote border crossings would get little traffic, but there are often huge semi-trucks rumbling past. I hate it when I’m biking and one has to pass me. I feel like I’m going to have a heart attack every time.
The third house on the right in the above photograph belongs to Ildiko, Sani, Szebi, and Cinti.
And lest you start getting the impression that it’s always cloudy in Péterfalva…
Theses are typical examples of the Hungarian village house. This varies quite a bit from the Hungarian town house, and I’ll try to capture some examples while I am in Beregszasz this week.
This is an example of a old-style village house. These are much skinnier than the other houses I’ve shown you so far. The older houses are only one room thick all the way back, but often times these houses will stretch back quite far. Each individual piece of land in villages is usually long and thin, with plenty of room for a deep-reaching house and garden and stables behind it. The newer houses have simply widened the front portions of these houses into square shapes. The house pictured above belongs to teacher and dorm manager Laci and his wife Isabella (and their lovely daughter Eszster).
A closer view of one house, one taken Sunday, the other Monday.
And here is the school itself. The buildings, from left to right, the classroom building, the kitchen/dining hall, and the dormitory. Ya’ll have no idea what an icy-muddy-sludgy mess that area just in front of the gate is.