Yes, I’m feeling better–about 90% now, but it took sleeping 12 hours Thursday night and explaining to my host mom that I had to go in my room from now on when she smokes. Decongestant pills every 4 hours and a second night of 10 hours sleep has helped a lot. Dr Darko came through with some antibiotics for me Friday, but by then I was on the mend. Now I have them for the next Macedonian malady. It’s good to be prepared.
The picture above is the front of the building where I go to school. (Yes, I was saying to myself, “Look for the GREEN Bldg” the first day I had to walk to school and find it.) The downstairs is a little coffee and sandwich shop (good for those 10:30 breaks) and the upstairs is our classroom of which I previously posted pictures–it’s basically a bar that’s no longer in use. When you look at the stairs in the 2nd picture it’s easy to understand why–my guess is they lost too many patrons going down the steps after drinking Rackya.
This was an exciting evening. We had a visit from Sam and his host parents Lilleh and Mony. During the course of the evening our toilet broke and Mony the Macedonian mechanical maestro jumped in his car and took Nada to the store. He spent the rest of the evening taking out the old toilet and installing the new one….lubricated by copious amounts of Rackya.
Needless to say, I was very grateful for his capability–actually I’m pretty impressed by the variety of skills displayed by many of the Macedonian people. They seem to be able to DO anything. On the same evening the lights went out on my street. At about dusk I looked out the front door to see a man 20 feet off the ground balancing in a rat’s nest of wires on a the electric pole. I really wanted to take a picture but was able to understand when he strongly warned me not to do so. The next day my host mother explained that he didn’t want me to take a pic of him because if it ended up on the internet (and it would have ended up here on my blog) his boss might see it (doubtful, but…) and he wasn’t wearing his helmet. Well THAT’s a relief–at least he was SUPPOSED to be wearing a helmet, if not goggles and gloves. I was also quite impressed with the rubber-wrapped bars he wore on his shoes as climbing/balancing aides. Let me just say–OSHA is not in Macedonia.
Speaking of being able to do ANYTHING, my host mom made croissants from scratch today. Last time I made them the Pillsbury dough-boy was involved.
She started with flour and water, did the yeast thing and mixed it all with her hands. She was boiling raw milk at the time and I think she used some of that, too. She brought me a warm cup of the boiled milk to drink and it tastes nothing like what ours. The picture shows Nada using her kitchen table as a rolling surface and what is essentially a broom handle as a rolling pin–it worked just fine!
She then cut the dough in small pizza slices and it finally looked like something familiar to me that comes out of those poppin-fresh cans. Then she rolled them and placed them on cookie sheets–I could have helped with that part, being experienced with the triangle part, but I was working on my 5 hours of weekend homework.
The semi-finished product ‘rests’ and rises for an hour. She had 4 pans of them. Then she let me (after begging to take a break from my homework) brush them with egg-wash and sprinkle them with sesame seeds. Now suffice it to say that Nada makes due with very little. I didn’t want to photograph her oven for fear it would embarrass her, but the door is literally propped shut with that broom handle that she was using for rolling dough. Still, as you can see, it turns out a beautiful product. What you can’t see, is that they were also delicious. I think I ate five before they cooled. Tomorrow I’ll tell you about the bazaar Pizaar