Vacation really isn't the right word to describe what this week was for me. Sure I was out of school and so were the students…but instead of going to school I was in Chisinau all week attending lectures/sessions about better teaching practices and Romanian language. From 8 until 5 with only a one hour lunch break and short coffee breaks thrown in. However I am not bitter at all for not getting a real vacation because the training was very beneficial and was a real inspiration boost. It was also very awesome to be among other americans, a lot of americans, who all speak English and understand most of my humor and share my culture. But personally my favorite part was the food. Because we were living in a hotel this week we all had to find our own food which meant most of the time we were eating in restaurants or picking up our own food from the supermarket. Italian food for some unknown reason ruled my stomach as far as my selection of restaurants and at the supermarket I spent my money on yogurt, dark chocolate, bananas as well as banana and strawberry juice (real and not from concentrate) and finally peanut butter.
In other spending news I was able to find most of the winter clothes I really needed to buy including a winter coat, a sweater, gloves, a hat, wool socks, and boots with a fur lining, as well as a whole host of school supplies. I also was successful in picking up some souvenirs from the souvenir piața that will serve as my Christmas presents. Amazingly since my training was from 8 to 5 everyday I didn't really have time to shop during the week so I had to do all my shopping on Monday when I first got to Chisinau and even though I was under a lot of pressure to find everything I was very successful and bought almost everything on my list within a 3-4 hour window. The exception being the winter boots which I bought on my way back to the train station, it was a real race against the clock though, This race with the clock also caused me to not have time to wait in line at the post office, though I almost attempted it because the post office is in a building beside the train station. However lines at postal offices in Moldova are like lines in postal offices in America and postal workers are just as irritable and have very little patience...especially when you don't speak the language they speak and have little to no idea of how to fill out the forms needed for overseas shipping...
Other fun things to happen last week include me realizing that European coats put the zipper on the opposite side of American coats, another fun thing for me to try and get used to, on top of all the other things that I have already just started to get used to. (It really has a way of making you feel like you are back in kindergarten when you struggle to zipper a coat)… I was also super sick again. Not overly sick just felt horrible for about 12 hours then it went away. This time I couldn't blame the sickness on something I ate (I felt confident that the food was well prepared and I avoided all sources of tainted water) which makes the situation worse because Im not sure what to avoid in order to make sure it doesn't happen again.
Back to the daily grind tomorrow, but I have English Club to look forward to on Tuesday and I only have 7 more weeks of school until Winter vacation…but really. who's counting?