February 7, 2010

Things have been pretty quiet here for the past couple of days.  I think I’m still supposed to be “relaxing” for another week until 1) my host returns from holiday and 2) I can get a key to the kabinet so I can actually work at the Fakulteta.  (Kabinet – shared office space.  Their word for it.  Not a condemnation of size.  It’s actually a decent sized, nicely outfitted office.)  Not surprisingly, in my current state of relaxation, I have already completed the revisions of one of my manuscripts that is due back to the journal later this month and edited a manuscript for someone here that the reviewers complained was not written in “English-English.”  I can’t imagine even trying to write an academic paper in a foreign language.

I suppose I don’t really have that much room to complain about the weather, considering the rain that Texas has been having and the “snowmageddon” that hit Ohio.  (Is that what they’re calling it there?  That’s what they’re saying on CNN World – my only English language news station.)  But, it is still winter here.  The temps have been hovering just above freezing – to falling below it this coming week.  It’s frustrating.  I have been planning this for nine months, and there are so many places I want to go while I’m here.  And I’m here, so I want to go now.  Maybe it’s just that I’m not very tough – I have been living in Texas for the past couple of years after all – or the fact that the only coat I have with me isn’t terribly warm, but I want to go when I’ll be able to enjoy it.  It was a good 10 degrees warmer last week when you all thought I looked cold.

So, in the meantime, I have been trying to go about normal daily activities – like experimenting with my washing machine that was helpfully supplied with pictures, like a cotton flower, a test tube, and a sheep.  It took me 2 days to figure out what the butterfly was supposed to symbolize.

My latest food discoveries: I found a little  pasticceria near the Fakulteta with wonderful breads and pastries.  I think that’s the Italian word for it – don’t know what it is in Slovene.  Both are used here, which of course, doesn’t help me in the least since I don’t know either.  I have found that I love blood oranges.  And I ate the most amazing lasagna for dinner last night.  I should report that I ate at some really authentic Italian restaurant since I’m so close to the border here.  But it was actually a pre-fab, single-serving dish I picked up at the supermarket and reheated in the “party pan.”  Aside from my mom’s homemade lasagna – which is very different and not really comparable – it was probably the best I’ve ever eaten (up to this point at least, we’ll see when I actually make it to the really authentic Italian restaurants).  It had a creamy bolognese sauce and a lot of cheese that ended up oozing out and melting onto the piece of bread I was also toasting in the “party pan”.

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