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Archive for August, 2010

My Oh My, Sofia

Well, I am back in Sofia. And it takes a depressingly long time to fly from Seattle to Sofia, if you were wondering.  Yesterday the only thing of real merit I did was stumble to the grocery store in a jet-lag induced coma. It felt like a pretty big accomplishment at the time.

However when I opened my fridge this morning, my only thought was: my oh my, what was I thinking?

I have zucchini, green olives, brie, milk, orange juice, onions, hot peppers and yogurt.  Awesome. I don’t even know what to do with these things.  I really can’t imagine what I was thinking when I bought these yesterday. Sure they are all things that I like but I can’t really put a meal together with these.  Needless to say, I’ll be back at the grocery store sooner than later.

So I made a pot of coffee and decided to ignore my suitcase.  (more…)

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My blog has been feeling rather disjointed recently. I guess this happens when you don’t have as much time to write as you’d like because your spending all of it eating, sleeping, sight-seeing, drinking and traveling.  I logged a lot of hours on airplanes, trains and buses this summer.

But I also think that it happens when you’re pushed and pulled in unexpected ways between two cultures, two language and a slew of different time zones.

It’s made my speech disjointed like when I caught myself talking about “the nature” even though in English it’s incorrect to say “the nature.” Or when my MoM rolls her eyes when I tell her I have to go and use the toilet rather than the bathroom.

It happens when I find that I want to correct other people’s grammar. Frankly though this isn’t okay to do to your friends or family. I mean if you want them to remain your friends.

There have also been moments where I am surprised to be able to read menus.  And I catch myself thinking: this is so easy. (But why is everything on the menu so expensive?!)

I am equally thrilled when I order and the waitress shrugs with my order in recognition and I don’t have to resort to pointing. Sometimes this makes me want to do a little dance but I don’t. I have a little self respect. (more…)

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My dAd announced this trip that he thought he needed a blog.

My original thought was: Um, okay.

Followed by: Awesome.

My dAd is going to start a blog.

Now I think that my dAd is pretty good with email.  That’s about all you need these days to write a blog. But much beyond that and I think that my MoM steps in to help him.  My brother and I got our dAd a new digital camera this past Christmas and he has about 2000 photos and has yet to download a single one.

So the blog-thing is going to be interesting. (more…)

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As I’ve already mentioned, we have a little cabin outside of Walla Walla. It’s really great. It’s close to town but when you’re there you’d never know it. The feel is pretty rustic. My great-grandfather built the cabin in the 1920’s using left over wood from a project at our family creamery. He built it because his wife my great-grandmother had relatives next door and she’d spent her childhood summers there.

My brother & Me at the Cabin

Generally we go to relax and to take in nature.  Some of us go to fish while others go to pick wild mountain berries.  We also go to eat.

By eat you should have no illusions about what we’re eating. I am not talking gourmet meals. No sir. I am talking cans of beer, grilled meat, potato salad, marshmallow and jello fruit salad (that’s healthy, right?), corn on the cob, a green salad with ranch dressing, french bread, baked beans, dessert and then sometimes we top this off with s’mores. (more…)

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I’ve been so bad at writing this month on my blog. Part of this is because I am really enjoying traveling, catching up with friends, eating my dAd’s bbq, going on walks with my parents, having coffee at odd times with my MoM and everything in between. I am flying back to Sofia this weekend.

It’s been a great summer but I am looking forward to finding myself once again in a routine. I am looking forward to spending some time by myself. I am anxious to get re-settled in my apartment after living like a nomad (with a backpack or alternately a rolling suitcase) for the last two months. Oh and the thought of a shopska salad makes me smile.

In May, it seemed like summer would never come but tonight I can’t believe that it’s at its end.

We ate dinner in the backyard–grilled veggies, pork chops and bread with the freshest, tastiest salad of corn, cucumber and blueberries–but it was chilly.  I know what that means. Fall is around the corner. Tonight I’ll have to sleep with my quilt rather than the sheet that’s covered me most nights and while the valley may be blessed with an Indian summer in September fall is inevitable.  It is coming.

But maybe that’s okay because I am going. I am going back to Bulgaria. I am returning to my now home.  Fall will find me in Sofia rather than in Walla Walla.  And I rather like that.

I am ready for that.

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One of my favorite things to do in Walla Walla is to go blueberry picking. We have a cabin in the mountains outside of Walla Walla where we go to escape the heat of the city, the hustle and bustle of the city and generally relax. Probably the last of these things is the most convincing seeing as Walla Walla isn’t actually that big.

Blueberries on the Bush

Anyhow we are lucky enough to have a cabin across the stream from a lovely blueberry farm.  And we know the farmers who raise, grow and coax the berries out each year.

Now most blueberries are small but easy to pick. Or at least that’s what I think. The great thing about these berries is that they are big, juicy and easy to pick.  Sure part of it this is due to the fact that the berry bushes are domestic–no wild berries for me but I think that the other part of it is that the bushes are in the mountains and there’s a long growing season. More specifically, they are also well watered making for big plump berries.

This makes them especially good for picking. For eating. For making a crisp or a pie. For loving. (more…)

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Gasp. I woke up with a back-to-school nightmare this morning. It got me out of bed fast.  School started yesterday in Walla Walla and I think this may have something to do with it.

Kids were out and about in my neighborhood in their first day of school best and lugging backpacks behind them. The student crossing guards were out with their flags and yellow-orange reflective vests helping younger students cross the street.  Around schools even the cars had slowed down from their regular 30 miles an hour to 20 miles an hour between 7am and 4pm or so.  And the back to school ads on tv and in the news paper have dried up. School’s started.

It turns out that I no longer dream about forgetting my high school English homework, missing a final exam at university or finding a fellowship application on my desk under a folder after having mailed in the others the day before.  Apparently what I dream about teaching–an out of control classroom, not having photocopies for the first day and not being able to remember anyone’s names.  (more…)

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