Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Dilapidated Rumor Mill

...and Spring has arrived... with a *bang.* Sunday was hot! My sister, Vili, came with a couple of friends, and we went up to the nearby reservoir. It was a nice afternoon. After they dropped me off at home, I went to a party that my landlady, Margarita, was hosting. Last Sunday was Palm Sunday here, and basically, it's "Flower Name Day." What do I mean by that? Well, anyone who's name coincides with the name of a flower (and there are quite a few) celebrates their name day. Margarita had guests coming in and out all day long, and there was tons of food. I had a good time socializing and eating.
Ever since then, the weather has been finicky. I've been wearing things like skirts and flip-flops - only to be caught in the rain later. I kind of like this weather though. And if I could only show you all the beautiful flowers that are in bloom here.... My town is gorgeous, and the hills are clothed in green. It's wonderful. I've been wishing I were on my way to the beach instead of work.
I have a lot of random things I want to share - nothing that really makes sense as a coherent whole. For example, I'm positive that my neighbor's yellow lab, K.C., loves me more than anyone else. She always comes running to me first - past the little girl whom she belongs to. Yes. She loves me the best!
We're starting another project in the office. It's one that needs to be in English, and I love the process - and yet find it so frustrating at the same time. For example, my colleagues will sit and discuss the best way to word something in Bulgarian, only for all of us to realize that I don't know the meaning of that word. They then "dumb it down" for me so that I can understand what they're talking about, and all that meaning gets lost - especially if the word doesn't exist in the dictionary - or we English-speakers use it in another sense. Also, when I have to read it back to them, I'll mistake a word, and then they think that I didn't understand them or something. It's an exercise for the brain that's so frustrating, but it's so good for me. I just have to be more patient with myself while I'm reminding them to be more patient with me. They know it's difficult, too. Language!
Speaking of language, I'm proud of one of the group of teachers that I teach. They have decided to have English during their Easter break. Wow! And they are facing tough times at the moment 'cause we're starting to learn past tense. It's difficult. For example: "Did she have a big breakfast yesterday?" The word "have" is in present tense in this instance, and in first person form. "Yes. She had a big breakfast yesterday." "Have" changes to "had," and you're golden. How about perfect tense? "Does she have big breakfasts on Sundays?" "Have" is in first-person form, but we're talking about third person. "Yes, she has big breakfasts on Sundays." "Have" changes to "has" for third-person. Maybe it doesn't make sense 'cause you've taken it for granted. I know I have. I try to get my students to focus on the patterns. For two of them, it comes naturally. For one, it's difficult, and she gets frustrated easily. And it's not like you can give someone a key to all the rules and exceptions. You just have to listen and pay attention - suck it up and hope you catch on eventually. For example, think of all the different ways we pronounce these words that all end in "ed:" cooked, hated, and visited. Language! I used to think English was easy.... I still think it's easier than Bulgarian!
My counterpart, Angel, had been acting evasive this week. He wrote to let me know that he was on his way over on Saturday night. An hour later, he still hadn't shown up. I wrote him a message to ask where he was, and he called me back, "Apryl, something's come up. I can't come over," and then he hung up. The next night, I tried to get in contact with him to figure out what was up. Again he was evasive, and he said I would find out soon enough. Monday morning, my colleagues informed me that my friend, his sister Veska, had been in a car accident. It was big news in the Roma neighborhood, not only because she was seriously injured, but because apparently she was with someone that maybe she shouldn't have been with. And the rumors flew: She was in a coma. She was near death. She had already had three operations for head injuries. The person she was with was fine. No, the person she was with had broken both arms. What was she thinking being with this person? She got what she deserved...and all sorts of other BS nonsense. This is what I hate about living in a small town - everyone thinks they know what's going on with you, and everyone's ready to cast judgment in the blink of an eye.
I wrote Angel a message just to let him know that I was thinking about his family, and that they were in my prayers. He called and asked, "When did you find out?" and then he told me not to worry. He sounded calm. I tried to believe him, but I didn't know if his sister was stable, in a coma, or near death. The new rumor is that she has returned home. If she has returned home at this point, she's obviously not near death, nor in a coma, nor has she had major operations in recent days. I should just ask, but I feel like it's not my place - even though both Veska and Angel are friends of mine. I figure, if they want to tell me, they will let me know. It's just so hard caring about someone and not knowing what's going on with them - plus having to hear everyone's exaggeration about the most interesting thing they heard today. Small town life is great, but big town life certainly has its advantages.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Никога не съм можел да се оправя с тия has и had, въпреки че жена ми ми ги обяснява на всеки 2 седмици. Още от ТОЙФЕЛ-а ги мразя...