I need a story. Preferably one about my exciting expat life here in Moldova, this mysterious country almost nobody has heard of or has any idea where it is. Right now this is what I see outside my window and it is not exciting.
The sidewalks are frozen and slippery, sort of like my mind feels today. Okay, this is not a story, but writing teachers will tell you to just start writing. Anything. Anything at all. Just let the words come out. So that’s what I’m doing. Let’s see what happens.
I had a Romanian lesson this morning and my brain was a black hole (frozen and slippery) and I couldn’t come up with the simplest words. I was trying to tell my teacher I was writing a story about the time I broke my leg in the jungles of darkest Africa, and let me tell you, trying to drag out the Romanian words was more painful than breaking my leg. However, she did get the gist of it and looked at me wide-eyed and asked, “Is this a fantasy story?” Apparently it was that bad.
“Nu, nu,” I assured her, “it’s true!”
So why not tell you the broken-leg-in-the-jungle story now? Because I need pictures, and I don’t have them here in Moldova. They’re buried in my house in the US somewhere. Me on crutches, you wouldn’t want to miss it, do you? So until I get back there in a few months, the story will have to wait. I know, it’s not fair, is it?
After my language lesson, I took a taxi home and the driver had a death wish going by the way he was careening through the traffic. Visions of my life passed through the frozen and slippery black hole of my mind, cheerily accompanied by Russian hoompa hoompa music blasting forth from the taxi’s radio.
Fortunately I arrived alive and well at the right address, so at least the driver had understood my Romanian. I take my blessings where I find them.
And then there is this cake corpse sitting on my table:
I took me almost two hours yesterday to assemble this lovely raspberry-coconut-walnut-meringue confection, and then, as I took it out of the oven, it slipped out of my grip and crashed to its death. Cleaning the oven of the fallen-out goop was a joy. Then I took a picture to document my crise de pâtisserie, and that’s why you see it here now.
I know what you are saying: Pour some rum over it, get out a soup spoon and start eating. Tempting as this is, I’ll just have a cup of coffee and eat just a little piece. Who needs a sugar coma? Well, maybe me.
Incidentally, this once-yummy creation was meant for my husband’s after-work office party to celebrate his birthday last night. So I made brownies instead. (There was, of course, a birthday cake, and other goodies as well.) His colleagues gave him a fabulous present, which as you can see on the photo, instantly morphed him into a Moldovan villager.
He also received a very impressive certificate declaring him now a citizen of the Republic of Moldova, with a notation at the bottom to please not show it to the Moldovan police.
Okay, I still don’t have a good story here, do I? It’s just bits and pieces, flotsam and jetsam, odds and ends. It’s just black hole soup. I do apologize.
And as I’m writing this, my phone rings. It’s my English friend with the lovely British accent.
“Are you still on for the wine bar this evening?” she sings.
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Tell me about your Black Hole Day. I can’t wait.