24 October 2009

happy halloween!

well, it's almost the end of october, and the village has entered into a no-holds-barred lovely autumn. mornings are frigid, the kids have all adjusted themselves back into the routine of the school year, and coffee breaks have become necessary as opposed to simply social.

to me, and to many americans, autumn has a pretty specific culmination-- Halloween Night. while the actual holiday and origins have proven difficult to explain-- So then the kids go door to door and ask for candy. Why? I, don't really know-- the traditions that are dear to me translate very well. Here are some clips from pumpkin/watermelon carving yesterday, and there are more photos here. all the kids were really good at it, especially those who carved the featured watermelon, which fell and cracked and was then sewn back together with twine.
stay tuned for our Halloween Ball pictures- the dance is on next friday.

11 October 2009


around 2pm today sevdye, resident food provider to yours truly, rolled up to my house and popped her hatch-back to gift me this beautiful, seriously 2.5 kilo monster of a cabbage, while exclaiming "it's sweet! it's sweet! it's from my garden".  
fast-forward to 5:30pm and i stroll into her store, and she asks, "what did you make with the cabbage? manga? soup?"
i sortof pause and think for a minute, then reply, "i haven't made anything with it yet".
sevdye: "why?"
me: "well, i don't know what to make with it."
sevdye:"why, do you not have cabbage there (in the us)?"
me: "um, we do, i just never cooked it before"
sevdye: (laughs, incredulously)

03 October 2009

it's less self-discovery, more self-explanation

living alone and maintaining running dialogues in my head (because my head is a sanctuary of english language) means that i have become  acutely aware of not only my emotions and physical state of being (normal), but also the top 5 lists of: most craved/most eaten foods, songs played internally and how often, and the personality traits/behavioral habits which i think are starting to define me.

blame it on the generation maybe but i've got some mental ipod thing going on, almost constantly.  when i'm strolling the celo with the kiddies it's usually cindy lauper's girls just wanna have fun.  when at home on non-busy afternoons it's either the rainbow connection sung by kermit the frog or these days by nico.  and the other day in 5th grade as i gazed out the 2nd story window into our idyllic scenery, it was the luckiest by ben folds.

1. pre-cooked kebabches can be bought at the store and only take like 20 seconds in the microwave to make STEAMY AND DELICIOUS.   meeeeeeat. it's usually what's for dinner.
2. 3for1 nescafe.  like i need more caffeine.  three times a day.
3. rice with kashkaval.
4. sunflower seeds: more of a habit than a food choice.  sort of gives you something to do while waiting, walking, sitting, pretty much the top three activities of village life.

i want to go everywhere and do everything and will make as many accommodations as possible to do so.  ex: in college, i could be expected to show up to any party i was invited to, no matter the time overlap or distance challenges.  i make it work like tim gunn.

i speak better bulgarian when i'm yelling at kids.

01 October 2009


yesterday i was chilling bulgarian style in our center, literally standing in the middle of the road, talking to the mother of one of my students who lives only about 50 meters away from the chitalishte (read: in plain view of where we were standing).  one of my most attentive kids was also there with me, "regulating" as i like to call it.  as we slowly moved out of the way of an oncoming car we noticed a dyado rolling down this lady's street in a cart filled with corn.  
then an amazing phenomenon happened:
although the horse cart could not have been going more than 25 mph, we seemed to watch in slow motion as both the horse and cart side swiped the very nice Audi that this lady has parked outside her house.  i happen to know how much they love this car because only a few hours earlier i had seen the whole family washing it together.  the lady exploded into a fit or rage and started chasing after the dyado, who DID NOT STOP until he realized he was being yelled at.  as i watched the two argue with each other in turkish, the little girl with us threw her arms around me and said, "I'M SCARED!"
and then i started to laugh, and couldn't really stop laughing at what had just happened.