In Canada, we had play dates all the time. ALL the time. We had so many kids over so often that there was a 4 month period where it was just the four of us maybe 2 or 3 times. Being new, we had to get going on these, to enable us to meet new people and get comfortable with our newfound friends. 10 of us walked to our house from school and 2 others showed up shortly after we arrived. Very good kids. Kids play here just like they play in Canada, and they ALL love slime. And crafts. And glue. And paint. And anything that makes a mess. My view on mess is this: let kids be kids. Let them explore, discover, create, because 20 years from now when they are all grown up, I want them to have memories of their house being a communal house, a safe haven, a place for everybody at any time, day or night, where there will always be food on the table. This, of course, will always be us. So, on any night at any time, if ever you want a meal or company, just stop in. The door is always open.
We ended up having our very first sleepover, too. One girl stayed the night and it was a bit ironic because our first overnight guest is from Holland. My mother is from Holland but my father is Ukrainian. In Canada, we were surrounded by Ukrainians because Chris’ family is also Ukrainian. Very few Dutch people in Edmonton, but many in Sarnia, where we moved from. It’s interesting to see a little more of my heritage here. Her dad even brought us a bag of “stroopwafels”, a popular Dutch treat. I might have to make them some perogies
On this note, I went to a bigger grocery store yesterday, Tempo, where I swear I saw Alexander Skarsgard (True Blood) beside me at the deli. Of course, it wasn’t him, it was a shorter (by maybe 5 inches), Serbian version of him, and I realize I often see Serbian versions of people I know or famous people. Some are total doppelgangers. This guy helped translate my order to the cashier and even spoke like Skarsgard. It was eerie. Secretly, I wished it was him. Might have even give him a little blood. I am O- after all….
Today, we’re going to an Organic Eco Livingfest at a local park with our neighbours. Very excited to do this.
Until next time, here are a few more tidbits for you:
-Serbs have beautiful smiles. I always notice smiles. Generally, Canadians smile a lot. Serbs don’t smile as often as Canadians but when they do, it’s so lovely.
-I will never get used to people walking into my house with their shoes on. I know it’s a cultural thing, that pretty much everybody here does it, but I cringe a bit at how dirty my floors get. I’ve never been a neat-freak, but I like a clean house. The only time someone walked in my house with shoes on in Canada was Chris’ uncle. Our house was brand new and our sidewalks hadn’t even been poured yet. It had been raining hard and so it was a muddy walk up to our house. He walked all over our brand new house with those muddy boots. I’ll never forget it. By the time we leave Europe, I’m sure I’ll be a pro at shoes in the house. Just not yet. 🙂
– I love old Serbian women. They seem to have such a story in their eyes, in the way they walk, in the lines in their faces. They remind me of all of the Ukrainian babas I know. I’m sure they can cook up a storm, make something delicious from scraps.
-The open markets here are amazing. Almost like the farmer’s markets in Canada, but open for long hours every day, with the freshest produce I’ve ever tasted. I regularly visit this one stall in a nearby open market. The lady is so helpful. Her stall has the sweetest fruit which also attracts a ton of wasps and bees. Me being me, I dip, duck, dodge and dive (remember this quote?) the swarm to get to the fruit. She has nonchalantly lingered among them to get fruit for me, assuring me it’s ok, and I’m slowly starting to get fruit from her stand without peeing myself.