Birthdays in Moldova are pretty swell.
I woke up in the morning on March 12th, rather tired as I had stayed up all night watching movies, and started putting on make up in the bathroom. Host mama comes in and presents me with a cadou (present) and begins the Moldovan speech. Now, some people may say the Moldovan speech is a bit over the top. I agree, but I think it rocks! It goes something like this:
"Iti doresc multi ani inainte, multa fericire, sanatate, rabdare, un barbat adeverat, si o casa plin de copii!"
(Thank you Dan for my birthday speech!)
Translated, this means:
"I wish you many years ahead, much happyness, health, patience, a good man, and a house full of children!"
This is just a short speech in comparison to the regular Moldovan Speech.
So Mama gives me my cadou of a necklace and earrings, and I'm off to school.
My first class of the day discovers it's my birthday, and decides to somewhat behave as I teach a lesson on telling time, followed by a discussion of how cell phones make life easier.
Next is my 7th form class. Two girls grab me and won't let me go into the classroom for a few minutes, then finally they let me in. This is what I see:
The kids all join in a chorus of "Happy Birthday" while one girl brings me a piece of cake complete with 3 lit candles. I was so excited! We then had a 10 minute photo session in which every girl wanted to take a picture alone with me.
After school, I joined Roy and Adriana at our favorite bar/hang out, "Arby's."
(We don't really know what the real name of this place is, but the lady who owns and runs it is Russain and speaks only Russian, so we originally called it the "Russian Bar." That was eventually shortened to the "RB," then Roy changed it to "Arby's.")
We hung out there for a while when Roy had to leave but Amanda joined! We then moved to Vlados, a restaurant nearby. We stayed there for an hour, then moved to another favorite place, the Greek Restaurant. This restaurant is owned by a Moldovan lady and her Greek husband. They are absolutely wonderful people, and their food is amazing! My friend Roma joined us at the Greek Restaurant and we stayed there for a few hours. We were served a delicious jello type cake with cookies in it. My cake had a rose on top!
After the Greek Restaurant, we moved back to Arby's and stayed there for the rest of the night.
The next day, my family and I had a supper where Mama made two of my favorite salads and a special birthday cake. I got several more Moldovan toasts followed by shots of vodka and house wine.
Not a bad birthday in Moldova!