February 1, 2010

Today I was supposed to deal with some more paperwork issues.  (The academic term doesn’t start until later this month.)  I wasn’t able to get that done today, something about “Slovene bureaucracy.”  Today I also received a form from the U.S. end of things that I’m apparently supposed to fill out every pay period (2 weeks) for the rest of the semester stating why I’m on leave…  Hm.  So I’m not entirely convinced one bureaucracy is better/worse than the other.  But at least I can read the forms of one of them.

I had some purchases I wanted to make to finish getting settled in, so I asked around about the best place to go and was told The Mall.  (As an interesting aside, they told me that this was a somewhat controversial mall because it is located next to a prison.  Ah, now that’s more like home.)  So, I’ve been in the country all of 4 days, and I’ve already been to The Mall.  Are you proud of me, Amber?  Well, you probably won’t be after I say that my only clothing purchase was a pair of grey velour sweatpants (see “drafty flat” under January) that I happen to be happily wearing right now despite the fact that they’re a good 6 inches too long on me.

There was also a bonafide supermarket at The Mall.  I bought a “party pan” there (I’m serious – that’s what it said on the box which was oddly enough in English) for “cooking, baking and frying” because I don’t actually have an oven.  Or a microwave.  Or a dishwasher for that matter.  (And yet, my dishes clearly state that they are both microwave and dishwasher safe…)  As my dad has already pointed out, this situation is going to test my resourcefulness over the next 6 months.  I’m a functional, but not exactly inventive, chef.  (If you don’t believe me because I’ve baked something for you in the past, I would like to point out here that cooking and baking are two very different things that apparently involve different parts of your brain.)  The lid to the “party pan” actually required some assembly, which meant that I had to use the flip-out file on my nail clippers in lieu of a screwdriver.  Try that sometime.  Now I guess I’m going to have to find something to cook.

More food stories, huh?  Okay, how about this:  At the supermarket they had a full deli, complete with rotisserie chicken.  Now, I was getting hungry, and I was rather attracted by the idea of a hot meal (this was pre-party pan purchase and it actually turned out to be a lukewarm meal by the time I finally got home).  Of course, I have no need for a whole rotisserie chicken, so I just got one of the chicken legs.  On closer examination, I thought maybe it had bacon or prosciutto on it (and as I just Googled prosciutto to find out how to spell it, one of the suggested results was prosciutto wrapped chicken, so I don’t think that was too crazy a thought).  If I had to guess, I’d say it was probably lamb instead of chicken?  It wasn’t bad, but then again, I was very hungry by the time I walked a good 10 blocks home with 2 shopping bags and a pillow.

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2 Responses to “”

  1. Amber Fisher said

    I am so glad you moved to Europe. you are keeping me entertained at work. 🙂
    I would agree that you are the baker and I am the “cook” based on our personalities. The way I “cook” drives Jason crazy because I can never make something the same way twice because nothing has been measured or written down.
    Enjoy your “Party Pan” and your Mystery Meat. You are so brave.
    If I saw that my new apartment that I was to live in for the next 6 months did not have a microwave or dishwasher I would have caught the first flight home. no thank you.

  2. Jason Fisher said

    Your blog has brought several big smiles to my face thusfar. It also reminded me being stationed in Asia (which happened to also be six months long). Although vast differences in what we experience given the divergent cultures and variance on the global socio-economic scale, I know how challenging the initial “onboarding” can be. Change is never easy but you’re one of the best at adaptation!

    Sounds like you’ve secured the most important resources and fulfilled Maslow’s most basic needs of food, water, shelter, clothing. (For Amber this, of course, includes the Mall).

    As I know you will, embrace the experience and adventure of this great opportunity. I’m sure it will be a life changing period in your life. Be safe and look forward to future updates!

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