Thursday, November 18, 2010
Tiny Truths and Lessons of a Lesser Nature
When I tell my friends and family about the little discoveries and coping strategies that punctuate my life here, they often say, "Oh, that's worth a blog." But, of course, they're not--taken individually--but I've decided to lump them here into a random, rambling list, just for a rainy day's entertainment. 1)The only way to arrive at school (after my 2K walk in early morning mist) with hair that isn't lank and damp is to brush, spray, and tuck it into a shower cap--the kind you get in hotels--and pull on a toboggan hat or a raincoat hood. At school, I dash into my office, whip off my head gear and shake out my hair. It works! 2)Now that I'm using the official Peace Corps double-barreled, super-duper water filter (installed by Dr. Dan during the Health and Safety Inspection), I'm glad not to be lugging bottled water home from the local magazin, but I have to say that PC-filtered water is the flattest-tasting liquid on the face of the earth! 3)Big slices of Romanian bread "toasted" in butter in my omelet pan make me glad I don't own a toaster. 4)I must always carry packets of tissue with me and if I can manage it gracefully, a small role of toilet paper. Paper products are the responsibility of the individual here. 5)I've learned to always know the name of the train stop (town) just before my station destination and *watch* for it since there are usually no announcements. 6)Besides the tissue, I always carry a tightly-folded, large shopping bag and a small umbrella. Forecasts are notoriously off and you must pay for shopping bags. 7)The weekend bus schedule to and from my village is a test of patience, unlike the predictable weekday schedule. I can imagine the drivers thinking that no one really needs to hurry anywhere, it's *weekendul!* This is when I make phone calls to other PCV's to catch up. 8)The local magazin, which can be the size of a large walk-in closet, can actually provide you with enough items in the basic food groups to keep you alive and without scurvy. 9)A 12 Lei (about $4) bottle of dry Romanian white wine can be just lovely! 10)You just can't buy any plum jam, smoked pepper-eggplant spread, or plum brandy as good as what is made at home by someone's relatives. I've tried and failed. 11) Soup made from tripe (pig's belly) is surprisingly delicious! 12)Don't give your adult class a list of 15 topics and ask which ones they want to cover. All of them, of course!