Sunday, October 16, 2011

One fun day

Yesterday (Saturday) was a whole lot of fun. It started a little off, I woke up at around 11:30, and Lela came in to ask if I wanted breakfast, she has been waiting for me! I was quickly got up and was introduced to hot cereal in georgia: some sort of rice mush. But I like it, which has made Margo, my host grandmother very happy. About two hours later, I was again invited to the kitchen where most of the family was busy devouring two chickens, one of which was their chicken. Lexo, my host brother, had come in the day before with a huge bowl, saw me, and tried to run away, but not before I noticed the chicken inside the bowl. I laughed and told them that I was not a vegetarian, and that I know where my meat comes from.
Anyway, another feast stood before me. Everyone was very excited to get me to eat this white mush that was different from the rice mush I had had that morning. It had peices of cheese sticking out of it. They told me it was a major dish in Georgia. I tried it and started laughing. I explained that this is a major dish around the world. In some parts, they call it Polenta, but I have had it at my friend's house, and we called it Mamalige. There was also a nut and bean concoction and it was also very good. Finally, I was handed a martini glass filled with liquid and fruit. And boy was it good. SWEET but good.
After the meal, I went into a food coma, I mean seriously, I had had two huge meals in three hours. When I felt like I could move again, I went out to the family room with a book to sit and read. When I got there, Lela told me that Margo was making "churchela", this snack food they had given me on the car ride from Tbilisi to Poti. This stuff is GOOD. So I ran into the kitchen to watch her make it. First they squeeze grapes and pour the liquid into the pot. Then they add flour and just let the whole thing condense. It was a little more complicated, but trust me, I will learn how to do this, and watch out, I am making this at home. SO GOOD! Anyway, that by itself is called "palomush" and when it is ready, you pour it out onto a cookie pan and when it cools, you cut it up and serve it.

But, if you want to make "churchela", you make a string of nuts and dip it into the whole mix, while it is still in the pot. It is a little like candle dipping, you dip, hold it until it is cool, and dip again. Then we hung it up to dry.

And that was when the insanity began. I went to get my camera to take pictures of it all to show you. Well, I was turning on my camera and accidentally clicked the button to take a picture. The flash went off and terrified everyone in the kitchen, especially Lela who HIT THE ROOF! I mean, she can jump. We all spent the next five minutes laughing, and Lexo, being the wonderful son that he is, spent the whole night miming taking a picture behind her back. Good times.
While we waited for the "pelamush" to cool, I settled in with my nook while margo and her husband watched Spanish soaps that were being dubbed into Georgian. It was fun to hear "si" "ki" and know that they all mean yes. Suddenly, Lexo appears with a big wooden case. When opened, I see it is a backgammon set, and I find myself playing (and LOSING) my host grandfather. I won one game by two pieces,  but I lost count of how many times he beat me, though I never lost by a MAJOR amount. And I am proud of that fact, he was GOOD!
When we closed the thing, there was a checkers/chess board on one side, so Lexo and I got into a checkers match. Suddenly he jumped my piece backward, and I found out that they play a different kind of checkers. You can jump backwards, and I am not sure if you can move your peice backwords as well. When you get to the other side, your peice becomes a queen and it can travel across the board. The first game, I won, TOTAL beginners luck, because the rest of the games were a slaughter.I taught him our version of checkers, and got to win again.
We moved on to cards, and here I was nervous. Do we know ANY of the same games. Well, that was when my host grandfather says we will play Durak. Lexo found Lela and asked her to translate for me. She told me the game was called silly, and when you lose, they call you silly. This made me wonder if this game could possibly be the game that we play endlessly at camp. I tried to get a look at the cards, to see if there were any numbers under six, but I didn't get a good look. They started to play the first round, and I grabbed myself some cards, played and won. And then we played again, and I won again. I love stupid!
As we played dominos, the "pelamush" was served and we ended game night, but it was a LOT of fun. Finally, probably the best ending to the day happened. I looked up at the TV as I was going to bed and who do I see? Tony and Ziva of NCIS! I ran for my camera, I had to get a picture of this to show you.

They have played a lot of American movies since I got here, all dubbed so it is almost impossible to hear the English, but with movies like "how to lose a guy in 10 days" that doesn't really matter, I know what is going on. But this was the first TV show. Very good day.
Today I am going on a search for a store with rain gear. This has been the search of the week, but I will find it somewhere.

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