I’ve spent a lot of time living in Hungary now – almost five years’ worth when put altogether. Much of that time without a car, so shopping on foot is nothing new. The small sizes of all grocery products do slowly become more normal. And I do like buying breads, meats and produce more often and nice and fresh. It is healthier and naturally involves fewer preservatives. We also waste much less, as we tend to only buy what we’ll really use and what we really want to carry all the way home. So there are many positives to our grocery shopping habits here in Hungary. But then there are the days when I just really, really miss Costco, or heck, just a gallon of milk instead of little one liter cartons.
Tomorrow is a national holiday in Hungary, Oct. 23rd, the day in 1956 when they attempted the revolution against Communism. This isn’t about all that, but it is a fascinating holiday, celebrating a failed revolution that did eventually lead to their freedom 30 years later. Anyway, it’s a holiday, which means all the stores will be closed. Stores being closed is a much bigger deal when you buy your bread fresh almost daily and tend to need to buy something every day because you ran out of the tiny quantities or couldn’t carry it all home at once. I really miss a well-stocked pantry at times like this. We have very little extra that I can be creative with and create a meal from; we plan it all out too well. I’ve actually been trying lately to buy an extra can of this, an extra package of that, just to have on hand. And we knew ahead about tomorrow’s store closings, so I did lots of shopping on Sunday and more this morning. We have meals all planned out and lots of those tiny cartons of milk.
Except Anna has a cold. She’s been getting progressively worse as the day has worn on. What was a sore throat yesterday when I planned all my shopping has turned into a non-stop runny nose today. She went through two of the packages of tissues today, the two that we just bought yesterday. I don’t have boxes and boxes of them stored in the basement, as in days past in Colorado. And so, as Norbert works afternoons and evenings, and the kids are all busy with school – which also happens more in the evenings, I got to head out by myself on this chilly fall evening and buy more tissues from the one store still open at this hour: our mini-Tesco, which is normally a wonder-of-wonders 24 hour store, but is closing tonight at 11 pm for the holiday.
It was a nice walk, fairly empty streets at only 9pm. We’re totally safe in Szeged, no fears or anything like that. Tomorrow I’ll enjoy a holiday in Hungary, they really do know how to stop everything – something I appreciate. But tonight, tonight I missed Costco and larger items.