This morning, I got to scope out the university a bit more, and the administrative assistant helped me get the technology in the classroom to cooperate with me, which was awesome. Yesterday and Saturday evening I spent with one of the graduate students, Renata, and her friends, and that was fantastic. They took me to the massive folklore/traditional civilization museum, and they were kindly very patient with me touristing about. We had a long discussion about an English equivalent for “dumbrava” (a small forest with water, but that isn’t a swamp), and everything that we ended up with in English was either fairly archaic (coppice, spinney) or very precisely affiliated with a different climate. And that was rad. Then, I was invited to a backyard barbeque, where I got to meet more excellent people and also Renata’s cat, Charlie. I have to say that there is something infinitely reassuring about the globally consistent behavior of cats.
Today, in addition to the trip to campus, I also went for groceries again and bought a gogosi, which is that golden pastry of awesomeness in the photo below. (Sorry for the wonky photo pile at the bottom of the post: the Blogger app I am using doesn’t appear to allow one to move the photos around.) It was easily as big as my spread hand, and it was still warm when the clerk dipped one side in powdered sugar. I regretted that I was (as usual) wearing black, but that’s all I regretted. They apparently come with fillings, too, though I got a plain one this time (gogosi simple). What I was most proud of was that I managed the whole transaction in Romanian (badly pronounced Romanian, to be sure), and I almost got it in the grocery store, but the clerk had to switch to English to ask if I had a 10-bani piece to avoid handfuls of change. I am starting to get the hang of making buna ziua a little more automatic and understanding when passersby shorthand it.
After groceries, I went on a walk, where I found a very large rose garden in Parcel sub Arini. A few plants are coming into bloom there, and it looks like it will be amazing in a week, so I’ll try to keep an eye on that. Also in the park, I saw one of Sibiu’s ambient dogs having a nap in a gully. The dogs have ear tags to show that they’ve been inoculated, and they seem both chill and in good condition. I saw another one on my walk home, just a beautiful shepherd-ish looking fellow (like if you mixed an Australian shepherd with a Husky). If one ends up in my suitcase, it is not my fault.
Finally, there is the photo of what I’ve been eating here in my room for dinner: bread and cheese and a tomato and cherries. While it continues to dump buckets outside, too (intermittent violent thunderstorms), I have covrigi (Romanian pretzels) and a chocolate hazelnut spread that I think I like more than Nutella.
…Also, there is day baseball, which will be my soundtrack for sleep. (I have to say that waking up to score of games just-ended is a little bit of a let-down. If I wake up early, I can probably listen to the end of the west-coast games while I write, but hockey will be just ending around 5 a.m.)
Buna seara from Sibiu!