I came home looking forward to a relaxing evening of NOTHING…and then I answered my phone. It would not have mattered if I hadn’t…. They all know where I live. But the truth is I was Very flattered. The Fire Chief called asking me to come to dinner with him and a host of dignitaries in the Municipality……..for a Macedonian specialty. Apparently one of the fire-fighters had shot a wild boar this past Monday. The meat had been dressed and cooked and they were celebrating in a local restaurant where it’s OK to bring your own food. They sent one of the Fire-fihgters to pick me up at my apartment building because I couldn’t understand WHERE they wanted me to go…ahhh, language! So I showed up to a restaurent where I’d been before and was happy to know I would be able to walk home. I love these men, but they’re all married and for me, I’m just happier knowing I can walk home!
I had a WONDERFUL time! A casserole of wild pork, potatoes, onions, carrots, mushrooms, and I don’t know what else. was served, but it was delicious! Of course it was accompanied by home-made rakija and wine, and it was such a privelege to be the invited guest. Now I don’t exactly understand how it’s OK to bring your own food and beverage to restaurents, but it’s OK here!!
These people are so generous, so welcoming, and so tolerant of my language deficiency that I could hardly complain!!!
I did walk home, happy for the cold air and grateful for the unexpected invitation, the good food, the home-made spirits, and the feeling that I’m accepted in this community
On the other side of my conscience…it was birthday-day for my co-worker and fluent English speaking upstairs neighbor who found me my new apartment. The fire-chief had also called my project manager who said he couldn’t come because he was at the other guy’s birthday party in my building. Now I’m sure there’s a cultural differentiation, a way to understand, but if given the choice, …..well, I wasn’t invited to the birthday party, so there was no choice. Saved me from having to buy a present I suppose.