Friday, March 27, 2009

walking the dog

two friends of mine were traveling for a week. i'm glad they got to go .. but it did mean that for the duration i was in charge of their dog, sandy. she is a gentle, easily-pleased dog .. but she's used to being walked three times a day. which means that for a week, my schedule was quite different than normal. in some good ways, and in some less enjoyable ways. to get to their apartment, take her out for a short walk, take her back, make sure she had food and water, and get back home generally took at least 30 minutes. something so simple .. and yet somehow time-consuming. dogs are nice and i quite enjoy them. but they do take energy and time. especially when one lives in an apartment ..

- for the last week, i've seen stars (including orion!) every night!
- for the last week, i've been out of the house at least by 9.15 if not before.
- i got to listen to 3 sermons and 4 podcasts.
- one day (due to other commitments) i spent over 3 hours walking.
- sandy gets walked along the nearby river .. which means there are only two directions to go. two directions .. three times a day .. 8 days .. means i know a small section of the river much better than i did a week and a half ago. :)
- i'm less afraid at night then i used to be .. because i had to be out around 9 (sometimes even after 10) every night, and doing that for 8 days and being fearful just doesn't cut it. so God and i talked about it and He's given me a greater peace. not that this means i'm going to be wandering the streets late in the evening, but if for some reason i'm out, i'm not going to be afraid about getting home.
- staying home this morning (and reading my Bible and drinking coffee and sending work emails) without having to first walk a dog has been quite refreshing!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

schizophrenic weather!

yesterday we had more than our share of weather. let me explain .. the day started out a bit chilly, with some wind and a sun valiantly peaking out around the clouds. throughout the morning, the clouds got darker and thicker until they were a grey layer across the sky. as i was sitting eating lunch with my romanian grandmother, we looked out the window to discover that it was raining. pouring, actually -- for just a few minutes -- and then just a light drizzle. standing on the porch, preparing to walk home, i learned the word for hail in romanian (lapovita, for anybody who is interested). the halfway point between her home and mine happens to be a long footbridge that crosses a number of train tracks. with all the train tracks, open space, and elevated pathway, it can be very windy. for the 5 minutes it takes to walk across this footbridge, it was snowing horizontally. not quite a blizzard, but thick and dense. for the next hour, visibility was quite limited. by mid-afternoon, the sun was shining and the clouds were white and fluffy. there was a gorgeous sunset with golden edges around the clouds and strong rays of sunshine. it stayed dry, without more precipitation, but by the time night fell it was again almost freezing temperatures. strange .. and yet rather wonderful.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

2 reminders i live in romania

man .. almost a month since my last post. apologies to whoever happens to read this. when i wait too long .. there are too many things in my head and i'm just not sure where to start. but today i know exactly what i want to share :) two stories that recently reminded me that i really do live in romania.

story number one: i wanted to buy a snack, so went into a corner grocery store, and asked for what i wanted. i only had a bill for 5 lei (romanian currency), and it cost .60 lei. the shopkeeper looked in her drawer and said that she only had 4 one-lei bills and that she wasn't willing to give them all to me. i told her i didn't have any one-lei bills, so she said. 'can't help you'. and sent me on my way. i wasn't going to buy something worth lots of money, so it wasn't worth her time. no offers for 'do you want to get something else too?' or 'let me go next door' .. just 'go away.' on a slight side note .. sometimes when cashiers at small stores like this one don't have the correct change they'll give you a piece of gum or a piece of candy instead. kinda strange at first, but one mostly gets used to it.

story number two: yesterday i was walking home from church with two friends. one of them was going to catch the bus, and we saw it pass just as we reached the bus stop. this meant she would have to wait another 10-15 minutes. and all three of us just assumed that we would wait with her. if one of us had needed to be somewhere, it would have been alright to leave, but because we didn't it was acceptable and expected that we would wait with her. which is nice. i enjoy that. spending time with people, waiting with them, talking until something interrupts :) in american culture, people are often so busy they might not have time to just hang out with somebody while they waited for the bus. today i'm glad that i do have time (at least sometimes!) and that it also makes sense culturally.