In 4 more hours, my full 25th year will be here!!!!! I don't usually get this excited about my birthday, but this year I'm finding it to be so different. I guess the excitement in making food and serving about 15 people at my Primăria (the Mayor's office) is getting me all hyped up. According to Moldovan customs, the one who has their birthday needs to have a party for everyone and that is what I'm doing! I'm not sure how big this party will be, but the menu in itself is getting me more and more excited.
My host mom helped me with the menu, we are having marinaded chicken with baked potatoes with tons and tons of garlic (how I like it), 5 rolls of invîrtită (Moldovan's extra large egg rolls of sort) stuffed seperately with pickled cabbage, sheep brînză (homemade cheese), and sweet pumpkin.
Besides that we are making corn and crab salad and sardine sandwiches. There will also be two different types of smoked sausages to go with the homemade cognac and white wine, in which my host dad made.
I also bought a cake! I don't think I ever bought a cake for my own birthday before, so it was a really strange feeling walking out of the alimentare (store) with it. The strangest part was when we saw my old piano instructor (I'd quit piano lessons, I'll explain at a later time) and I had to explain to him that the cake is for my birthday. I mean who does that in the States, buying your own cake? No one...it's embarrassing in a way, but I am Moldovan for the time being and it is so okay. It's my party and I'm so going to rock it with my own cake!!!
My host mom and dad has been superb about all the preparations for this party. My host mom who is still suffering from her hurt spine due to that fall is still not able to go to work but she went with me to the store to buy stuff. Initially we were going to make sarmale, because she knows how much I like it, but it would have been too hard for her to sit for a long time to wrap them up, which I am fine with. Then my host dad, cracked who knows how many walnuts to get the inside layer of them to make the cognac and he also went three different times to the bakery to order the invîrtită today.
Then they surprised me with something of their own. I walked into my room after work today to find what looked like a Valentine's Day heart shaped card on my desk with this written in red:
Dragă Eden! (Dear Eden)
Felicitari de Ziua ta! (Happy Birthday)
și un inel, ce-ți va aduce NOROC! (and a ring, it will bring you good luck)
-Familia Gazdă Arnăut (Host family Arnăut)
There was a sterling silver ring with my birthstone sticking out of the card! It was the greatest thing ever to stumble upon in your room!
I love my host family. They are differently my family away from home. As time goes by I get more and more comfortable with them and can not imagine any other way of life here in Moldova for myself.