Friday, February 03, 2012

Just another day in paradise

Dear Barbara,

I play No-limit Hold'em -- and yes, it is similar to Russian Roulette. If you're not careful you can easily lose vast sums of money before you even know what hit you, and then your life is over. I have never lost vast sums of money playing poker, but I imagine it's a lot like failing your last CELTA lesson. One minute you have a life, and then the next minute you've failed and all your dreams disintegrate right before your eyes like burning paper. You are still alive and breathing, but you are effectively dead. After I write this e-mail I'm going to go book another date to go to the casino. They usually let me stay at their hotel for free during the winter, but they're all booked up and I will have to pay $70 to stay for the night. I really hate paying for the hotel when I'm at the casino, but I'll do it because I'm bored and miserable. Who knows, maybe I'll win enough to cover my expenses. I don't get to the casino that much anymore. Maybe four times a year. It's a long drive. I hate driving back at night. I don't see well at night. I hate the dark country roads near the casino. Everyone tailgates me because I drive the speed limit. In Budapest you have casinos everywhere, but they don't offer live poker with other players; they want you to bet against the house in games of chance, which is like throwing your money away; I find this sort of thing very insidious.

I'm beginning to get used to the United States again; I'm not saying I like it, but I'm getting used to it. It's nice to be able to communicate in my own language. Hungary is a wine country. The wine is good in Hungary, but I am a beer drinker -- The United States is a beer country, and I am a product of its culture. The beer in Hungary is not very good. Before I arrived in Hungary I thought I was going to be in beer heaven because I would be able to drink a wide selection of the imports from beer countries like the Czech Republic and Germany. The German imports in Hungary absolutely sucked, and I could find much better Czech beers in the U.S. than I could in Hungary. I could find good cheep beer domestic beer in the U.S. In Hungary I couldn't even find a six pack of beer. In the U.S. you can buy beer buy the six pack, the 24 pack case -- even the 30 pack case. In the U.S. we cater to the alcoholic. We make it easy and cheap to drink your life away. It is it is an alcoholic's paradise. Hungarians may live in a capitalism system, but they really have no clue how it works. I hope to God that Hungary never figures out capitalism, for if they do, they will become assholes like us.

Restaurants in the United States serve much fresher food than they do Hungary. One of my biggest complaints about Hungary was that the food  in restaurants was not fresh and was way too salty. Restaurant food in the U.S. is so expensive that I've only eaten out once since I've arrived. In Hungary I always ate out. When I got back to the U.S. I was dying for a good cappuccino, but you cannot find good cappuccino in U.S. The cappuccino in the U.S. sucks. The best cappuccino in the U.S. is worse than the worst cappuccino in Hungary. But, weirdly, after a while the desire for a good cappuccino subsides and you don't even think about it -- you don't even order cappuccinos. You just get used to the way things are. The U.S. is a miserable, crap country, vacant of culture and soul, but the longer you stay here, the less you realize it. You just become numb and passive after a while, like other Americans.

Have you seen Erika's son in person? I saw his photos on facebook. He looks like such a cutie. I envy Erika. My niece is terrifically cute too. She's two years old. She sent me a drawing. It is horrible. I'm not sure what to do with it.

I'm attaching a photo. Please tell me what it means. I suspect it is a political ad and the person who wrote the comments on it in pen was making an anti-semitic remark. Am I right?

I'm going to try to call you this weekend. You can tell me about your financial struggles then. I need to ask you about The Hungarian Society of Massachusetts. I miss Hungarians; I miss their beautiful and kind faces; I need to find someone who will make me some transylvanian goulash;  I'm dying for this. (They don't have Hungarian restaurants here.) I'd do anything for some transylvanian goulash; I'd do anything for a good Hungarian woman too, but I'm unemployed, so I don't even let that thought cross my mind.

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