whenever i walk past a homeless person here sleeping on the floor in the labyrinthine rabbit burrow that is the train station i feel an unspeakable urge to ask them if they want a hot drink or to drag them into okay italia and buy them a nice big bowl of tomato soup. it is FRIGID here. they have no home! what is the welfare system doing? I have a bed in my living room and two couches, but i am pretty sure my housemates are not okay with me bringing hobos home. the only reason i don’t actually act upon my urges is that 1) i am too shy 2) my knowledge of hungarian is too limited to convey my sentiments without accidentally insulting them. i suppose i could ask them if they want a hot drink (kersz egy forró ital?) but most of them have covered their face with a thick blanket like a “do not disturb” door hanger. there are so many of them! sleeping on park benches or underground on a VERY dirty floor next to the wall. how can there be nowhere indoors for them to go? even sitting in the mall on a bench until it closes is preferable. i feel so cold for them.

today a bunch of primary school kids boarded my bus, all bundled up in their winter wear, and got off at the next stop. they were all wearing knits and woollen beanies with huge puffballs! they were just adorable.
think this:
it’s so cute that the distance between two bus stops is too long for their wee legs to walk, or perhaps their guardians thought it more prudent to take them by bus lest one of them get knocked down by a car crossing the street en masse.

the bus i take to school drops me off at szt istvan utca, (st stephen street, different from where i stay which is st stephen blvd). straight ahead is my school, and across the street from the bus stop is szt istvan university, vet fac. most of the students who take my bus go to the vet school, and when they get off they have to cross the street (no traffic lights or crossings or anything of the sort) to their school. On tuesday, after the bus driver let us off, the students waited for the bus to pass before they crossed the street. instead the bus driver parped them all across, (there was quite a handful of kids who were very pleasantly surprised by his letting them go first), kept parping down the street at each student that gave the bus the right of way, and did not move forward until every last one was safely ensconced on the other side of the road. it was SO endearing, like a mother hen herding her little chicklings off to school. meanwhile all the cars were queuing up behind the bus (most of whom wouldn’t have let the students cross first) so all the kids could go to school. it’s almost like taking a school bus to school :) I never got to take the school bus in my life.

fact: on traffic lights in italy, the red light gets a MUCH bigger circle than the amber and green lights. probably because it’s the most ignored.



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