Razeni

Food

Bună seara! (Good evening!)

The food here in Moldova is quite different from anything I’ve eaten before, but I really can’t complain about it at all! When we all met up together for a Welcome Ceremony at the school, all of the host moms were talking about who can and can’t eat what. It was pretty funny. They totally don’t understand why I can’t eat dairy, and vegetarians just confuse them to pieces!
My first introduction to Moldovan food was placinta, a common Moldovan fast food itemwhich is basically a form of fried bread with various things inside, such as cabbage, cheese, or potatoes. From my understanding, there can be a lot of different things there, too, such as meats and other veggies. Then I came to my host family and was introduced to more things! While they didn’t have an actual meal prepared for me, they had plenty of what I assume were leftovers. There was egg salad (with corn! yum!), and potato salad, some sort of soup (with anchovies- my first time ever eating them!), a cucumber salad, and I think that was about it. What’s interesting is they eat HOT soup any day of the year, no matter what the temperature. We then sat down as a family (me, the mom, the dad- who just received a haircut, 2 daughters, grandson, and in-laws). We drank wine, they talked, the daughter translated, and then the men went to the store to get more things. One of which was something like beef jerky- only fish, raw salmon from a package, and bbq potato chips. I tried the fish jerky but steered away from the others. It was, fishy. 🙂 The best part, though, was the tangy sweetness of the lemons+sugar! They cut very thin slices of lemons (peel and all) and then covered them in sugar. Wowza, I was in heaven!
Then this morning it was time for more food. Bread, leftover egg salad, and compote, which is a stewed hot fruit drink. Delicious! I’m in love with it! This morning it was made with cherries, and tonight it was cherries and apples. I can’t wait to learn how to make it.

Dinner consisted of these incredible grilled castravetelui (cucumbers), fresh tomatoes, fresh zucchini, and then a cabbage soup…with more compote!
She also brought out a 2 liter bottle of what I thought was beer, but it turned out to be their homemade vinul rosu (red wine). It was pretty strong, but definitely something to write home about.
That’s all of the food for now…

Outhouses and my new house

Buna seara! (Good evening!) Check out the toilet- for which I have an awesome story.
When I first arrived, my host sister, Nadea, was giving me a tour of the house. She speaks English incredibly well, so it has made my adjustment that much better. I had been told time and time again that the chances of having an outhouse were pretty high. In fact, it would be odd if the home where I was staying did not have one. So, I’d like to say I was mentally prepared when she said, “the toilet is outside”. Unfortunately, though, I did not have to use the restroom until it was dark outside, so when I went to try to remember which gate lead to the outhouse, I forgot. Along comes Nadea with a flashlight (thank goodness!) to show me the way. She helps me open the gate, then shines the flashlight in the direction of the toilet (a hole between 2 boards. literally). My thought was she was then going to walk out and wait for me, but no, she says, “Don’t worry, I won’t look” as she is shining the flashlight on me. Ok, that’s great, I don’t want to fall in. As we were leaving she says, “You have great legs!”
Welcome to Moldova- where privacy doesn’t exist.
… now that’s a story for the storybooks.

Families

(side note: A post about yesterday, today, and tomorrow will come tomorrow!)

Current note:

I LOVE my host family! I’m so not going to be happy to leave here! I have a 21 year old “sister” (who speaks English just fine, is blonde, and has blue eyes!), and then 2 other sisters (1 is studying abroad and one lives in the Capital with her husband, 11 year old son, and soon-to-be baby!). They are so much fun and so welcoming of me! I can’t wait to get to know them more and to learn the language… I’ll post photos of the trip thus far tomorrow!

Now, it’s bed time. We FINALLY have a day off! YAY!