Duke Chronicle #4

The final countdown has started. There are only eight days left before my leaving for Durham. I have finished off the final touches, so the preparation is over now. It was interesting, I can say. There were a lot of things to do. First, I had to look into the online catalogue for the Lucas fragments at Rubenstein Library in order to pick the boxes I want to use during my stay. I have two weeks that means 10 whole workdays, so I must be effective. I set up a spreadsheet in which I could precisely indicate and look through which boxes seem to be highly important in advance and which are only of secondary importance. Boxes are not stored on-campus, so the staff need two business days for delivering the boxes required by a researcher. I can say that everybody at Rubenstein Library is amiable and helpful, this is the reason why the preparation process was a source of joy rather than anxiety or stress. Admittedly, from time to time I catch myself in the act of Googling for the reading room of Rubenstein Library. Gorgeous. My workplace appears to be unbelievably beautiful.

Second, I had to buy a US plug travel adapter, plus a second rechargeable battery to my digital camera, which is expected to be overused during this fortnight, and to find out what special Hungarian things I should take to my Duke people as a present. I have picked paprika from Kalocsa and marzipan from the Szamos manufacture. They are excellent choices I think. I wrote to a friend of mine living in Alaska and pursuing a career as a researcher to ask her about the manners. She suggested I offer to cook a traditional Hungarian meal for my landlady and her family. Or rather landladies, yes. There occurred some minor changes. Lisa will still be picking me up from RDU (Raleigh-Durham Airport) and driving me to Paige’s home. Paige and her daughter Celeste and her dog Ruby are new protagonists in my story. According to the original screenplay, Lisa will be putting me up for my stay, but life has rewritten the story. For a couple of days, she had to find a new home for me and it was Paige who offered hospitality to me. I am happy for this change. I can make more friends, so I am sure it will be the adventure of my life.

The final countdown has just started. In ten days I start my work at Rubenstein Library. Until then and until I can set my eyes on the streets of Durham there is an arduous and enduring travel to survive. I decided to take the train to Budapest. My plane is supposed to take off at noon, so I must get up early in the morning… and then set off. The adventure of my life is eager for me to arrive.

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