Saturday, December 03, 2005

Caramel Macchiato Dreams Made Reality

Sofia, the capitol of Bulgaria, is a completely different world from my town, let me tell you. I saw an ad a few weeks back on the internet for red holiday cups at Starbucks. I don't know why that made me nostalgic and sad (a good sad-if you know what I mean), but it did. It's probably because I know a lot of Starbucks addicts, and some happen to be very good friends of mine. Well, I had a caramel macchiato today! I went to some overpriced, French-type cafe (so charming - with a Christmas tree!) in Sofia and ordered the "classic" size, which is about an equivalent to a "tall," I suppose. I just had to share. I haven't really had specialty coffee for a while, (coffee comes in shot sizes, usually) and it was goooood. That was for those of you who walk around with caffeine IVs connected directly to your veins. Imagine my pain! And delight! I started chewing on the lid when it was gone, and Angel just looked at me sideways.
So yeah, we were in Sofia today. My organization planned an excursion for some kids (and adult supervision) to the zoological gardens. It was so cold, and the animals looked so sad. We saw all the good stuff - lions, tigers, bears, and monkeys! The kids were especially taken by the monkeys. It's cool to watch them jump around endlessly, plus they're scandalous little creatures, so it's always cause for amusement.
Reneta was cracking me up. Last night, Angel and I found out from her mom that she and Maria were talking about beating Angel up. "Why is he always with Apryl? He's a boy. He has no reason to be with her." "Well," their mom explained, "he's her counterpart." "Why can't we be her counterparts?" Today at the zoo, Reneta was giving Angel dirty looks and saying, "You can't have her. She's mine," to him in English. She would come hold my hand and say "You're mine!" It cracked Angel and me up. I told him he'd better watch his back, and we would joke about how little girls are going to be waiting to take him down one day. Everyone needs to be someone else's property once in a while, right? Even if it's the property of a 12-year-old girl. I'm kidding! It's funny.
After the zoo, we went to a Natural Science Museum. We saw all sorts of stuffed animals, beautiful butterflies stuck to pins, wiggly things preserved in jars, and sparkly minerals. The best part is that Angel is afraid of snakes. He's so afraid, in fact, that he will not even look at them in their glass cages. He won't look at them trapped in formaldehyde. Everytime we went by one, he would shiver, cry out, grab my arm, and then beg me to tell him when we were onto the next thing - and whether or not it was another snake. Talk about a scaredy-cat. Plus, look at the possible blackmail value... or just annoyance value. This is like, finding kryptonite. I can't wait to find some way to use it to my advantage.
It was fun being with the kids today though. Now I have more little cuties to say "hello" to. And hopefully this will spark their imaginations and encourage them to study more about their natural environments. That's what the organization is hoping at least.
I had my first English meeting on Thursday. I didn't actually teach anything. I just had individual interviews with each one so I could figure out why they want to study English, if they've studied it before, what they already know (apparently not much), and when they're free for lessons. I have never seen so many scared teenage boys. They acted like I was going to eat them for breakfast or something. But hey, when you're 15, older foreign girls are scary, I'm sure.
So I have three groups signed up for different days next week. There are more people that want to sign up for English lessons though, so I may be about to get in over my head. We'll see how serious they all are though. I may end up with only a few people showing up. And then when they realize that everyone else has stopped showing, they might stop as well. Hahaha! Note the pessimism. I'm becoming more Bulgarian by the day! Note the unfair categorization. =P I'm just nervous is all. I've never taught English before, and I certainly don't know how. I fear they'll all hate it and just say, "Screw that." I need a healthy dose of self-confidence, but teenagers are a tough audience. I'm just as scared of them as they are of me.
I'm going over to Maria and Reneta's tomorrow. They invited me over, so now their mom has to cook for me. Haha. Ani's great though; I don't think she minds. She's been telling me to feel free to come over anytime I want. Plus, Valia, has promised to come, too and teach me how to make "mequitsi." If you missed an earlier blog description of mequitsi, it's basically like a fried slab of dough that you can put sugar or jams on. It's super-yummy, and a favorite of mine. (Here I am, talking about food... AGAIN.) I had some the other night that my landlady gave to me. We don't have it in Rakitovo though, so she got it from Velingrad. I was actually kinda sick that night, but I had to eat it anyway. I'm sure it cut a day off my life. Sinful stuff. And I'm going to have it again tomorrow. Yay! I'll learn how to make it, so when I come back to the states, I can poison you all with fried dough and sugar. Forget donuts. This is where it's at.


Anonymous said...

Apes! Post the recipes!

Amanda said...

yum, yum. can't wait to try it!

Frankie said...

Oh you'll be a great English teacher, don't fret! :)

Food is one thing I know I missed when I was gone from the US... but then you just fall in love with food there... and then the entry becomes all about food! ;)