High school is finally just about over. A few more weeks and I will be done. It’s been a three-year slog. I came back to the American high school after five years of living abroad and none of it had really gone well.
The high school that I entered – age fourteen, grade ten – was modern and sleek, a beige one-story building built in the sixties, corridors lined with beige metal lockers and a smooth linoleum floor. The chairs attached to the desks in a mold of chrome and formica. Spiral notebooks and loose-leaf binders. Boys in blue jeans, tee shirts, sneakers. Girls who wore a different outfit every day.
I stepped into it, feeling like an alien, wanting very much to not only blend in, but be successful there. I wanted to be one of the girls with a boyfriend who slung his arm across her shoulders as they walked down the corridor between classes. I wanted friends of any sort, but something had caught in my throat two years before and though I’d hoped that the excitement of moving back to
So I was glad that graduation was in sight. I was sure that once I didn’t have to show up for these ridiculous classes and once I didn’t have to be with these people anymore, things would get better.
Then my father told me that he had arranged for me to go to
So my father was giving me this trip, the purpose of which was to enroll me in a month-long program for children of Hungarian parents born abroad to teach us Hungarian language and culture.
I tweaked the trip a little. I asked to fly Icelandic to
I negotiated a backpack, a EurRail pass, a journey first from
I wanted to be a backpacker in