Hai la var

A student invited me to lunch today after school so I joined her on this cloudy and cool spring day. It was great for the conversation and this girl is so great because she wants to learn English so bad and she is really dedicated to doing as much work as she can at home to learn. She’s always asking to borrow my grammar books and is looking for ways to practice English online (luckily there are many outlets for that).

Anyways, as I was walking home I kept hearing something coming from a megaphone that sounded like “I love you” and I was so confused because everywhere I looked I couldn’t see anyone talking in a microphone. Eventually a white van drove by and I realized it was coming from there but they definitely weren’t saying “I love you”. I didn’t understand it, so I asked some men that were chopping wood off the side of the street what they were saying. They said, “hai la var” and I said “Nu inteleg ‘la var'” (I don’t understand “la var”) and they kept repeating “la var, la var, la var” (as if that was going to make it more clear. Finally another guy popped around the corner and said “la bar. Hai la var” (The bar. Let’s go to the bar). And then it made sense to me… it was the “slang” for the word bar. I was then invited to go to the bar, but turned it down for… well… many reasons.
But then I got home and I saw my host mom stirring some white liquid in a bucket. I asked her what she was doing and she said making smintina (sour cream) then she laughed, so I knew that’s not what she was doing. Then she said she was making “var”. And it hit me- that’s what they were selling. Var is the powder to make the paint that you use to whitewash, and they whitewash everything here.
Oh we have a funny bunch living here in Varatic.

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