Desperation Nugget #3

27 Feb

Click for Desperation Nugget #1 and Desperation Nugget #2

I didn’t feel like going into the market with three squirrely children today, so we are pretty much out of food. I’m getting a little tired of the city grocery model- only getting what you need each day. That’s fine if you stop by the store on your way home from work or whatever. But when you always have children in tow and the market is super narrow and always crowded? I’d kill for a Costco about now.

And people of Romania, will you please tell me what the heck I’m doing wrong at the grocery store? Because every time I’ve been there, with or without kids (because let’s face it, the kids are the immediate obvious x factor here), people give me looks like I’m doing something wrong. Will someone just tell me already? I’ve fixed past mistakes- I now know to weigh and label my produce. I’ve stopped spending twenty minutes in front of items using Google translate to find out if they’re butter or soap. I don’t kick old ladies and push over small children anymore. Just kidding about that last one. Although you’d think that’s what I was doing for the look the cashier gives me. Maybe she’s just a jerk. The only thing I can figure is that I use a debit card sometimes, rather than cash. This is, like Egypt, a cash society. But for Pete’s sake, it’s not that hard to use a card machine. One time, she told me the card swipers were broken and they only took cash. I looked down at my bags of groceries and back at her. I had no cash. She sighed, picked up the card machine that was right next to her and proceeded to run my card. The machine was working fine. Next time I’m there, I’m going to ask if she has a relative in Cairo who works at Saudi market. Piaster Girl, I’m looking at you.

While I’m on the subject, I’m just not a fan of small scale living. I’m from Texas, people. Everything over here is too small. Our sink is tiny, washing dishes always means water splashing everywhere. Our oven is tiny- I can fit one tray in. Not that it matters. Anything I put in there just burns. WHO MAKES AN OVEN THAT DOESN’T HAVE A TEMPERATURE CONTROL?? It seems like one of those crucial elements. Also, our washing machine is itty bitty. And we are a family of five, with kids that go through socks like popcorn and He Who Must Not Be Named who thinks its just as easy to pee in his pants as it is to stop running in circles and go to the bathroom. We need like a jumbo washer. And oh how I miss dryers.

Look, we’ve done all this before. I know that I shouldn’t complain at this point. And all this isn’t really that difficult to deal with. But since I’ve gotten to Romania, I’ve spent about a total of two weeks sick as a dog, like laying on the bathroom floor sick, only to have that go away and depression to hit like a big gray hammer. So right now I just want to whine. Thank you for indulging me.

The truth is, things are going pretty good here. Timisoara is a beautiful city and we’re slowly venturing out to see different things. The thing that is absolutely fabulous here is the abundance of amazing parks. There are parks everywhere and they all have playgrounds that are so much better than our American standard slide/ladder/bridge combination. They seem designed for imagination. The one around the corner has a large fortress with notches on the outside walls so kids can be invading hordes and scale the walls. Inside the fortress are bridges and tunnels. There’s a turret too, but today I was warned by a parent not to let my kids play in there because apparently at night street people use it as a bathroom. Charming. The local park also has some funky but simple exercise equipment that the kids have fallen in love with. We’ve started using them for the PE portion of our homeschooling. Did I mention I’m homeschooling? Focus on the positive, Melissa.

There’s a large children’s park along the river that has even more fantastic things that just encourage kids to explore and use their imaginations. The most magical part for me was a large garden (dead now, so I’m not sure what kinds of plants are there) with a giant throne in the middle of it. It’s the perfect place for pretend. I’ll take pictures next time I’m there, or when I find the camera transfer cord, whichever comes first.

I almost forgot why I began this post. So we’re out of food. We decided that rather than running to the store, we’d go out for some Romanian food. A daunting and foolish prospect when you have the worst eaters on earth as your children. But we were feeling brave and foolish, so off we went. And actually we discovered what will now be a family favorite. It’s just behind the fortress park. We knew it was a good choice when the hostess asked us if we wanted smoking or non. A chance to get away from the perma-smoke? Yes please! We’d heard the place was family friendly, but it just seemed normal to us. We sat, looked over the menu, the kids whined about being hungry. And then the waiter came to take our order and said something that made me fall in love with him. He told us there was a playroom for the kids. In the restaurant. A room with babysitters, paints, balloon animals and a ball pit where your children go and have fun while you eat. Are you getting this? Babysitting during dinner! For free! We quickly ushered the kids over to the playroom, where they happily ran in and forgot about us. We went back to the table, ordered for everyone and actually had a nice dinner conversation. You guys. Seriously. I was tempted not to go get them when dinner arrived, but since they needed nourishment… And here’s the other thing- they actually ate the food we ordered for them. Finn and Rhett had spaetzle and Lucy (who recently decided that chicken is like the greatest thing ever) had chicken and rice. THEY ATE REAL FOOD. It was a Romanian miracle. I had a delicious duck with cherry sauce and potatoes and Patrick had duck legs and spaetzle with an eggplant salad. Once the kids had eaten, we sent them back to the playroom, ordered dessert- a fried apple pancake/donutish thing, and ate it without telling the kids. The food was affordable and yummy. We’ve decided to make it our regular family dinner place. Because babysitting. Best. Restaurant. Ever.

And that’s my rambling for the day. Thanks for listening. Now go look at that dress, or the llamas, or whatever you crazy Americans are obsessed with right now.

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2 Responses to “Desperation Nugget #3”

  1. Nick Mason February 27, 2015 at 3:26 pm #

    I didn’t know “He Who Must Not Be Named” was one of your nicknames for Patrick!

  2. liz johnson February 27, 2015 at 5:42 pm #

    Yeah, Patrick has GOT to get that under control.

    Does this restaurant serve breakfast? Because if so, I think you’ve just found the solution to every problem. And I might move there.

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