Pumpkins, Queen Marie, the Church, Thanksgiving and the Professor Gets His Drink On

Whew, still busy as heck trying to finish up a project so no time for longer articles. I did find however, the usual mix of oddness whilst trawling the wire.

First off, some photos of a “Fall Party” on a Do-Gooder’s blog, which as usual (from the dozens of missionary blogs we’ve seen so far), this always turns into some recreation of Halloween. Still, the orphans carved some pretty impressive pumpkins!

Then this lady believes that in a past life she might’ve been Queen Marie of Romania.

A Peace Corps volunteer who just left Romania reflects back on the role of the Orthodox church in Romanian society.

Without comment:

Gradually, however, I’ve come to a better understanding of the importance of the church as a constant in the lives of people who have endured feudal lords, barbaric invasions, vicious monarchs, dictators, communism, frequent redrawing of country borders to add or subtract large tracts of land and ethnic populations, and rampant government corruption.

Then I found this rambling, poorly edited but very sincere look at Romania from a visitor who is here as a secular Do-Gooder of some kind, currently in or near Buzau.

One thing I noted:

after we’d all had our fill of crowded castle, we went back to the bus and learned about “satisfaction bread”. the bread dough is wound around a wooden dowel, doused in some sweet syrupy stuff, and then roasted over live coals. the finished “loaf” is shaped like a big toilet paper roll, but oh, the goodness! three loaves lasted about four minutes, and that was just because the passing them around took time. and, thanks to the guys on our trip and its unique shape, the bread was named for its potential uses “when you’re lonely, and you need a snack”. yes, they meant it that way.

Sounds like kurtos kalacs to me, no? Although I don’t really understand the last line about using it when you’re lonely.

went to a romanian restaurant, where we were served traditional romanian specialties, and boy did the vegetarians luck out! we got bean paste and eggplant paste and some sort of ratatouille, and roasted peppers. om nom nom… the poor meat eaters got pork rind and chunks of pork fat and fish paste

Uh… pork rind (jumari?) and chunks of pork fat, slanina maybe? And fish paste? Wha…

Then I found this awesome blog from two American Peace Corps people who had a little cultural sensitivity and cooked a Thanksgiving meal now. Yes!

I even made mini pies that I shared with my intermediate adult English class and I took a few mini ones over to the piata to share with my man who found tasty pumpkin for me. David said I got looks from other piata people like I was crazy, but I think spreading peace and thankfulness through pie should be added to Peace Corps’ mission.

Awesome! And lots of amazing photos of the food at the link.

Then this vacationing couple finally decided to write about their recent trip to Romania:

After hanging out and getting to know everyone, I suggested that we play some drinking games. Radu immediately recommends a game that is apparently very popular in Romania because the locals got excited. It wasn’t a drinking game, and I don’t recall the name, but it was entertaining as hell.

Mind you, they had only met these people literally an hour before. Sounds like they had fun :D

I had tripe soup and mici. I have no idea what kind of meat tripe is, and i’m not sure I ever want to know. It tasted alright though. Very garlicy. Mici translates to “little ones.” They are small, fatty sausages served with fries. Decent.

And look, they even learned something from their hosts! :D

Fun fact: Transylvania is about an hour or 2 from Bucharest. Dracula was actually a great leader. He got the bad rep because he would put the heads of his enemies on stakes in his front yard, and he was a recluse.


Click on the link for the rest, including some pictures of their drinking game.

And last but definitely not least, a new post from the Chocolate Chip Professor.

ATTENTION ROMANIANS READING THIS: This post contains some very shocking images and thoughts. What follows is only a brief excerpt and if you suffer from a heart condition or are under a doctor’s care, cease reading immediately!

We stayed with the Gabori family, Gabi, Ghizele, Gabrielle, and Gabi, on a rural homestay arranged by Tigani Tours.

Yep.  There’s actually a real thing called Gypsies Tours.

The next day, the girls tried on traditional Roma clothing before we left for our world.

The “girls” refers to his wife and daughter and whoever else was in his party, presumably all Americans. And yes, there’s actually a photo of this family wearing completely authentic Gypsy outfits.


Best line though:

So as we were introduced to the family, it was clear the father was the gatekeeper, and once we had made introductions, the women took over with hospitality. Which included țuika (tsuika), a powerful homemade alcohol, at 10:00 in the morning. The next morning we had wine with breakfast.

Paying to stay with a gypsy family, dressing in gypsy clothes AND getting shit-faced in the morning? Yes!!!

And last but not least, the damn gypsies actually profiting off all of this cut him down right at the breakfast table:

[Our gypsy host] asked [my wife] about how many children we had, and when she discovered that we had one daughter, sitting at the table, and one boy, living far away, she expressed great joy at the fact that we had a boy. (Didn’t make [my daughter] feel very important!)


One thought on “Pumpkins, Queen Marie, the Church, Thanksgiving and the Professor Gets His Drink On

  1. Although I don’t really understand the last line about using it when you’re lonely.

    You can place it on your own personal wooden dowel, the one in your underpants, to alleviate your “loneliness”?


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