Friday, March 9, 2012

Spring is in the air!

Things I have been up to and/or have discovered in the past week:

1.  Framing art is really cheap in Serbia

Phil and I had 8 different prints that we had collected over the past couple of years, which we meant to get framed and just never got around to it or there were just no IKEA frames that would fit them.  So once we were here, our friend Jelena, who is Serbian, and also conveniently, the daughter of a painter, recommended a place to take them to .  We spent a good 2 hours thinking about each mount and discussing the frame colors and styles and all that in a mix of broken Serbian and English together with a lot of pointing.  We had thought that the whole thing would probably be about 500-600 dollars, considering that in DC it would be over a thousand. After we did all our selecting, they give us the total and it's only 140 Euros, which is roughly 185 dollars.  FOR EIGHT OF THEM!  and we didn't pick the cheapest or the simplest, and they are not little either.  I just couldn't believe it.  So,now  of course, Phil wants to re-frame everything we own, and basically buy every picture he sees.  They also can make any picture that you want into a giant canvass picture.  Which is usually creepy in my opinion.  But maybe a nice shot of a skyline would be good.  Definitely not the cheesy wedding touching the face kind.

2.  Dinner Parties are really stressful

Before coming here I hosted lots of parties at my place in DC, but these were usually meant for friends; close American friends who don't care about paper plates or messes or double dipping.  This week, I hosted a REAL dinner party that included appetizers, drinks, a large first course and desert.  I literally slaved in that kitchen for hours and hours on end making sure everything was perfect.  We bought a new set of plates, along with cloth napkins (which we had never owned before), a tablecloth and some nice trays for snacks..except now I don't know what to use them for.  Then two of my guests cancelled last minute, and I had to call another set of friends to fill in so I could have my "perfect" party of 6.  But overall, the it went well and 3 dishwasher loads later, the house looked like it had before the party.  I also discovered that I am really really bad at calculating portions and now have enough leftover rice to feed us till 2013.

3.  When the average temperature is in the 20s, the 50s become your summer

Last Friday the sun came out for the first time since October.  I went to take out the trash (buildings don't have trash chutes here, you literally have to venture out on the street to a small dumpster and throw it in there) and I realized that it was warm.  So warm that I decided not to wear my coat.  I felt as free as a bird,walking down the street with nothing but jeans and a sweater.  Now I really have spring fever.  Unfortunately, this only lasted 3 days and now it's cold again.  I am still not wearing my winter coat though.  After that day, I washed it and sealed it in a bag and put it in the back of the closet.  I wanted to burn it, but I thought that would be tempting fate, and it might just make it snow again out of spite.

4.  Angie IS the biggest cat in Serbia

We hired a nice lady to clean our house because I am just not good at it and we have become too lazy to really take care of the floors and the dust like we should.  Besides, since we no longer can feed our shopping addiction, we can definitely afford the extra help.  So last week, she came for her "interview" which was really more like me begging her to please please come and help us.

Then she looked at Angie, who was laying on the bed.

--"What's wrong with your cat?"
me:  nothing, why, what do you mean?
--"She's round"
me: umm, she likes to eat a lot, yeah, she's fat
--"but she's HUGE"  why so big?
me: she's from West Virginia?


FIlip said...

I wish I had been there for the convo with the cleaning lady!

Karissa said...

She's from West it! ps. Can't wait to read all about the new job!!