Imagine a conversation where you understand 2 words out of 10. Everything is flying by in such a rapid way where all you can do as catch what you can…but forget about following the conversation. Its like trying to catch bubbles from a bubble machine blowing thousands into the air. Just when I think I am getting somewhere with Romanian, I get put in my place 🙂
That was my night tonight. My host parents, Nina and Nicolae just got themselves a new-to-them car…and we had a ‘Masa’ to celebrate. Masa in its simpliest form means ‘table’, but here it also means a ‘dinner’ / ‘big meal’ / ‘celebration’, ‘have the relatives over’… etc..
The car is nice. It appears to be a well-cared-for Honda CRV from the UK that their son, Stephan, arranged the purchase of. It will be really helpful for their work in the grape and corn fields and for life in general.
Celebrating its arrival, Nina and Nicolae’s daughters and their families came over, so there were 10 of us in their kitchen enjoying duck, salad, watermelon as well as their wine that they make right here – ‘Vin de casa’ and Vodka. They down a shot of the Vodka in one hit, but to me it is good enough to sip, although that never happens as that is simply not how it is done here.
It is really entertaining to sit at the table as everyone talks very forcefully and adamantly about views on every topic from the new car to a nephew’s eye recent eye transplant (at least that is what I thought the conversation was about) to the recent mayoral elections. To be a third part observer is pretty enjoyable, even though I don’t understand a lot at the rapid rate it is communicated.
I have gotten used to my host-mom’s Romanian. Largely, She understands the level at which I speak, and adapts, whether it is unconscious or conscious, I don’t know..but we jive well. Get some of the other family members cranking at 150 mph in their Romanian, especially after a couple shots of Vodka and several cups of wine (for them and me)…and I don’t understand much. It may seem futile, but, I feel that just being a bystander and grabbing at words here and there is useful…regardless, its enjoyable.
Part of the conversation was about my height. A previous volunteer that they had hosted was fairly tall, but I am several centimeters taller. This means more food for me – should I be hungry or not. They joke about Nicolae’s time in the army, where food was given out based on height….so for me, being nearly two meters, I should get a pile of food. Ultimately, the tape measure came out, and I am just shy of 2 meters..in good fun, everybody got measured.