Sunday, October 11, 2009

Cognac for Breakfast Followed by a 7 Course Meal

A few weeks ago was National European Language Day, so all the language teachers at my school did a presentation on their language in their language. I did a presentation about English. I had a lot of pictures on my powerpoint, and when the kids saw the pictures of the English Football Clubs, they started cheering and clapping. So that was fun.

A week ago was "Day of the Teacher" which was a European national celebration for teachers. The first two lessons of the day were taught by students, while the teachers all hung out in the teacher's lounge eating, drinking, and dancing. And when I say drinking, I mean there was not only juice and water, but cognac and wine as well. (Keep in mind this is at 9:00 in the morning!) It was really cool because all of us teachers danced the Hora, which is the traditional Moldovan dance, around the teachers' lounge holding hands and such. Then some of the older guy teachers and I danced. *Picture above*  After the first two lessons, we all went into the festivity hall where the students put on a concert for us. They also gave lots of gifts which included roses, boxes of chocolates, and photo albums. (Not sure why photo albums, but it was cool anyway.) After that, all the teachers in my district came to the "Casa de Cultura" which is like a big festivity hall. There was a long ceremony with awards given out followed by some famous Moldovan singers.

Today I went to a family friend's birthday party with my family. It was quite fun. I've learned that in Moldova at celebrations, there are usually at least three courses of food. There was the first course, in which all the food was placed on the table when we arrived: fried chicken, several different salads, eggplant, tomatoes, and of course bread bread bread. I paced myself knowing there would be more to come, but I just couldn't stop with the potato salad thing. Then came out the fried chicken wings. The host put the plate in my face, so I had to take one. You cannot say no in Moldova... Course number three was a roasted goose with mushrooms and carrots. Quite tasty but surprisingly really bony. I went to town on those mushrooms. Next was another meat that was like a meatball with cheese in it. Really good - I had two. Keep in mind that throughout this whole thing, the birthday girl's dad was going around pouring shot after shot vodka and cognac. Finally came dessert with coffee, tea, and two different types of cakes. I had a cup of coffee with a piece of cake. It was a chocolate cake with cherries soaked in cognac. Thinking the dinner was done, I began to relax a bit (foolish, I know) when out came another dessert. This one is apparently the hostess's specialty. It was a pancake like thin thing with a sweet cheese in the middle. Very tasty.

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