“Winter is icumen in….”

Finally it feels like winter. Above, a picture from today’s bike ride home from several errands. After a packed day of teaching, I sent off the last required document for my residency application.

You know you have been living in Hungary for a while when you walk into a store and have the following conversation with the storekeeper (translated here):

Storekeeper: Nothing to be done.
Me: I’m beginning to come round to that opinion.

Just kidding; that’s the beginning of Waiting for Godot. But it wasn’t too remote from that:

Storekeeper: No teaching?
Me: Yes, from home.
Storekeeper: Oh, yes, from home.
Me: It’s a difficult situation, all around.
Storekeeper: Yes, yes.
(A long pause.)
Me: It’s cold outside.
Storekeeper: And how!
Me: Finally winter is coming.
Storekeeper: Yes, but it will be short.
Me: Yes. Too bad there’s no snow.
Storekeeper: I miss it.
Me: So do I.
(Another long pause.)
Me: Well, thank you, all the best!
Storekeeper: All the best.

For those unfamilar with the “Winter is icumen in” reference: it’s Ezra Pound’s parody of the medieval canon “Sumer is icumen in,” which I will teach at school sometime, once we are back in person and can sing again. Maybe that will be when sumer is icumen in.

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