Agnes Sipos, sum lesur West Nordic Studies, hevur verið í starvsvenjing í Námi. Undir yvirskriftini "Life offers you chances to digress the ordinary path you follow", skrivar Agnes ein enskan gestablogg, har hon letur orðini flóta frítt, nú hetta skeiðið er av. Seinasta arbeiðsdag fyri jól tók starvsfelagin, Árni Øregaard, myndina av Agnes.
Everyone has a story to tell, but these stories are far from the instruction manuals. What is their beauty? They are imperfect and even clumsy, yet they can be transformed into moral compasses that can guide us through life. Life offers you chances to digress the ordinary path you follow, but in general, it is up to you to say “No” to the mainstream and decide to follow the off-beaten track.
Which direction might these life-digressions lead to? - I guess no one knows… in this case I am not even sure which direction I am heading for. All I know, is that our stories never stand alone. We embrace each other's narratives and are part of it one way or another.
So this story is not only mine: it’s my daughter’s, husband’s, my parents’, my ancestors’, friends’, acquaintances’, landlords’ and landlady’s …And even yours as a reader.
We are all part of a common bounding, what is called affection. What connects most of us, is the land, the place, where we live, the people, the objects, the thoughts, jobs, music and food. These make us feel safe, it is something divine and inconceivable. Something you sense and feel, but cannot explain, but you are aware of it….It is in your neurons, blood, bones, muscles and nerves…It is everywhere and it is nowhere…It can instantly dissappear and reappear. It can be something magical, but yet it might be a legacy of the past generations that you and I and all of us carry on in our lives.
It was a hot summer afternoon, I was sitting on the ground and was eagerly preoccupied to dig deep in the mud, and to water the plants in the field, while she was hoeing to the same rhythm of that of a pendulum.
I wonder if she is thinking of her life, her happiness, her grieve, her husband….She was in her 70s, still her slender aging figure radiated such a majesty that I never said “No”, when I was brought to be looked after by her.
Now, I know that what I could sense as a safe haven, was a combination of wisdom, life and simplicity.
She never spoke too much, but always replied when asked, and prepared me her black tea with lemon and sugar.
She was my great-grand mother who was born and raised in the Austrian-Hungarian times, witnessed not only the fall of the empire, but also the continuous relocations of the ethnic and politic borders between Hungary and Romania in 1918, 1940, 1944.
She experienced on her own “flesh and blood” how turbulent and traumatic wars and post war periods were. She saw how her small village was emptied as Jewish people were sent to concentration camps, and the rest of the men were sent to the war field. Yet, she brought up three children, among them was my grandmother.
She always dared to act.
She was the one who saved my grandmother of being taken and shot by a Russian soldier. Without her, my grandmother, my mother, I and my daughter wouldn’t have had the chance to live our lives to the fullest. So I guess that was the moment when my story started and later on I began to write my own chapters…
Toys, books, clothes, official documents, blankets were scattered all over the living-room. It seemed like our two-year old daughter started to play conquer and discover. Actually, we were on our way to move out from our comfortable apartment and pack into nine luggage, close the door behind us and to travel to an island we could barely find on the Google maps.
Our enthusiasm, and courage, however, vanished two days before leaving: fear invaded our thoughts. Are we crazy to leave our whole life behind? That was like we had the willingness to walk on a tight rope but being afraid to step on it. Why have we decided to move?
I guess, we experienced a unique moment in each of our lives. It was the moment when as a couple we had hardships in our careers and somehow our parallel lives in our jobs reached the same crossroad. And yes, we had this epiphany…if not now, then when will we have the chance and the stamina to turn our lives up-side-down?
So we decided: our family is going to move to the Faroe Islands. You are welcome to get an insight to our journey.
“How come you moved to the Faroes?”- Baking Episode
Dear all, today you will be part of our special baking episode when we try to understand the ”How come you moved to the Faroes?” Cake baking mystery.
Recently, more and more people started to bake such cakes, but most of them are unable to get to the core and see why do they do it, or how come, they are able to bake it?
Honestly, we have never tried it, since we bake our own traditional ones, but these other cakes have those special and unique ingredients we can’t buy here in the Faroe Islands. Our baking specialists have received some hints from a foreigner who helped us how to debunk the mystery of the “How come you moved to the Faroes?” Cake recipe.
- a consensus to move abroad
- to be lucky enough that the place finds you, instead of you finding the place
- amazing people and their kindness
- a husband who needs an urgent job
- a wife who after several years of teaching needs a break, inspiration and goes back to study
- a child who is our blessing
- parents, not wanting us to leave
- 9 luggage
- bank loan, car sold, money borrowed from parents, savings
unexpected events, feelings, Faroese vs Hungarian (Romanian) cultures, renting, friendships etc.
This cake needs special but simple ingredients that you have to select carefully.
First, you need to crack the resistance of the husband and wife for change, and mix it with some love, adventure and dauntlessness. In order to reach a versatile texture of the cake, you need some prudence, respect, perseverance and responsibility. Stir these two well with these additional ingredients until they form a unity. At this point, stir the dough together with the curiosity, laughter, openness and playfulness of the child.
Second, don’t forget about the mixing method. Be careful, to add the child as a whole and keep it like that until it is baked.
Third, the cake’s versatile taste and fluffy texture is impossible to reach without the additional ingredients that gives the real-life flavour of it. Quantities are subjective and sometimes decided by life itself on the spot. So here are the special ingredients: hard work, amazing people and their kindness counter-balanced by some negativity, continuous learning possibilities, Faroese vs. Hungarian (Romanian) culture, feelings, pain, happiness, loneliness, gratitude, shame, appreciation, lack of communication, support or the absence of it, Faroese spirit of community, fun, hardships, sense of belonging, places called homes.
Finally, be aware that you can never prepare the same cake. It is unique and unrepeatable.
This recipe, however, is far from the complexity of real life we have experienced within the few months after our arrival. The first lesson we were taught was that you can’t be prepared enough for the Faroe Islands, but you can be creative and pro-active to notice the chances for improvements and direct yourself to the right source of information.
It took me months to get familiar with the system, and I met wonderful people whom I can’t be thankful enough for their help. They saw the human and not the foreigner.
On the contrary, I didn’t know that the old saying ”Home is where you heart is”, can be taken so literally true in Torshavn. Honestly, neither of us was used to this, and we still have hard times that affects our family lives together. Well, I now can say what it means to feel vulnerable as a foreigner, and even more vulnerable as a family, who have no long-term accommodation prospects. The vicious circle of endless hours spent in front of the computer, the short Facebook renting messages, the desperate network building, the hope that you can grab someone’s spirit of compassion and empathy, who not only sees you as a source of income, but as a human, who has no other alternative to find a shelter. I would love to have my plan B and have my parents around, but this is not possible. As a mother, because of this, sometimes I regret the lost hours with my child.
We try to learn and apply the Faroese “nøgdsemi” in our daily lives. We looked for simplicity and honestly, I don’t miss the glamorous consumerism. I learnt how to appreciate that if I wear waterproof garment and have my willies on, then I can enjoy the sunshine and see the rainbows.
We are all learning together through highs and lows, where we can learn how to detect and sense the possibility to let behind past habits and experiences. You probably know that feeling…though I have to admit, it didn’t happened with me very often that I simply...was where I was, standing outside waiting for the bus, feeling the rain and the wind in my face. Was this what I was looking for? To find peace and the very essence of the moment, right now and then and to continue my story, our story….
Even if we started our journey up here in the North as a family, we all have our own narratives within our family: my husband who works late to support us, my daughter who already learnt Faroese, has friends, and including myself, as I am trying to joggle with studying, motherhood, marriage and getting to know the Faroese culture and language.
And as a general rule, you can’t get everything in the same proportion. It’s impossible. I think, this is essential to be carved into our minds. You can’t be more than what you were created, but you can strive to stay human. After all ”human nature is the same” (Laurence Sterne), no matter where you go and where you are in the world.
Our story is far from the ideal one, we do have our day-to-day struggles as foreigners, as parents, as a family, as a husband and wife and we are still learning how to listen more and reflect and learn from the people around. Being open to others, however, can create a vortex of transformation, and it is only up to us if we say “Yes” to changes.
I was born in 1985 in the city of Marghita, Bihor County in Romania. I lived and studied there until I was 18. Then I studied English Language and Literature at the Partium Christian University Oradea.
After my studies I became a tenure teacher of English in my hometown, teaching children between the age of 7 and 14. During these years I was also engaged in teaching English for Young Learners.
Later on, I finished my master studies in Multilingualism and Multiculturalism. From 2011, I became tenure teacher at the Horvath Janos High School where I taught children from the age of 7 till 18.
Meanwhile, I received my Definitive position as a teacher in the pedagogy and methodology of teaching English as a foreign language.
The year 2018 brought changes in my life since I became a master student at the University of the Faroe Islands in the master programme entitled West Nordic Studies: Governance and Sustainable Management and I am still part of it.
I don’t plan ahead since so many factors can intervene, but as I am given chances to get inspired and learn about the North, I would prefer to stay for a while…
Agnes Sipos við ungarskari gullash-súpan seinasta starvsdag í Námi, har hvør kom við sínum rætti.