Date: Wed, 30 Aug 2000 03:45:18 -0700
From: ef
Subject: sepsiszentgyorgy


i am leaving szentgyorgy today, back to vasarhely. i know i should go back to budapest but i really really like it here so i decided to spend another week in that town. i promised to visit some village people around there and puskas, who lives there, want to help me do so. plus, i will look for that little kid, and see if i can score him that bicycle.

yesterday, i did some art. my new kinda art. folkart. folkart consists of making folks happy. so we travelled in a ricketty volkswagen back out to kovaszna, where we had been the day before, visiting marika neni, the newly adopted auntie. konya antal's sister. while there, we had gone for a walkaround and at the edge of the village, came across a big estate. security gate, mansion, the glint of blue of a swimmingpool through the trees. who the fuck lives there, i said.

across the road, a little shack, old man in front, sawing wood, wife watching. he was crippled, sitting on a log, sawing with an old sawblade meant for two people to be pulling backandforth. he working alone, bits of wood spread allaround.

for the winter, the wife said, and he smiled and waved. she brought me a glass of water, is it too warm, i have some colder, she said. it's perfect, i said. did you see me trip, how stupid i am, i said. i was watching that cow scratch herself on a log and wasn't looking, i said. she laughed. i laughed too. my name is zsoka, i said, and took her hand and shook it.

walking back along the dirt road my friend said, that's real hard work, sawing with that saw alone. and crippled, with his legs like that. an old gypsy couple like that.

i had set aside some money for marika neni so i asked her daughter in law, how. how can i ask her to accept a little help. the daughter in law said there was no way. marika neni would never want that. so, for marika neni, it is to be letters and pictures. she wanted to know whatv my father looked like. she said her brother often talked of the jews in that camp. he had been a guard there, that's when he saved my father. i think he saved several, not just him. oh, will i ever ever see you again, she said to me, your coming here had made this the happiest day of my life. sure, i said, i am most definitely coming back next year.

so, in the meanwhile, it will be letters and pictures for marika neni. and yesterday, we travelled back to kovaszna, drove up the dirt road to the shack across from the mansion, and then i ran up the path and knocked on the road. the woman came to the door, smiled real big when she saw me. inside, the man sitting, smiling and waving hello. i wish you a good day, i said, i wish you a good day, she said. then i said, you know, i forgot to ask your name, yesterday. oh, she said, it's juliska. juliska, i made you a present. i gave her a small drawing, with an envelope pasted to the back. on the drawing it said "jo embernek egy kis meleget telre". that means, "for good people, a bit of warmth for the winter". it also had little drawings of things like flowers and fruit around the adges.

before going to the village, i was worried that they would not accept. like marika neni, the people around here are very proud. so i asked my friend, well, what do you think. if i make it a fairy tale you know, a magical kinda thing. will that work, i asked. he said, yeah, that might work.

i spent and hour or so making the card, thought hard about what to put on it. it had to be a picture for them, and not me. something they would find nice. and something on it to repeat to other people. because this, my appearing, will be told and retold. and probably embroidered a bit.

so i made the card, put enough money to help through the winter into an envelope, and pasted the envelope on the back of the card.

i said, juliska. don't open the envelope till we're gone. then i rant to the car and jumped in. may god give you good health she shouted waving, may god give you good health, we waved back.

anyways, i am at a net cafe so i cannot edit. so this writing might be a bit too emotional, you know, for my taste. but it's like that, here.