I used to actaully go to yoga teacher training school in weekends, but since I finish in December, I can finally have two days to relax a bit!
Anyhow, I skipped flashback friday last week so I thought I’d do it this week.
This week’s flashback is to June 2000. I was 13, and my mom’s family decided to do a little family renunion by taking a trip to together to our “root” country. You see, my mom’s family originated from Romania. Most of them fled the country before WWII.
At the time, I was kind of, “Oh god, this will be SO boring! Why do we have to go to Romania!? Can’t we go to Paris like a normal vacation?!”.
But actually, it was a lot of fun.
Granted, my mom’s family is big, so only a sliver ended up going (and we all live in different parts of the world, mind you). My sister, my mom, and I went together. And we were the only ones from the US. My mom’s twin brother came who lives in Israel, and her older brother came (who at the time lived in Australia).
Anyhow, I knew nothing of Romania. Except that my grandmother was born there and that Dracula lived there.
We stayed in Romania’s largest city, Bucharest the first day. It was nice because we stayed in a five star hotel which resembled any other five star hotel in the world.
But that was as luxurious as it got. You see, Romania was borderline third world country, or at least still very primitive. Case in point:yea, we saw lots of those! Anyhow, all of my family went on a bus from town to town. We stayed I think in like six different towns. All of them 2 or 3 star hotels. And to translate that into American hotels, thats more like zero stars. We had this lovely hotel guest in front of our room.
I’m sure your all wondering how the food was….Was it exciting, exotic flavors, with the top restuarants in the country.
Hell to the no.
The food was awful. I’m sorry to my roots or whatever, but I was not impressed with Romanian food. There was this disgusting, overly fatty soup called “Ciorba” which my cousins quickly dubbed, “Fatty Ciorba”. It seemed like it was served in every single restaurant we visited! I don’t know how it was made, but it seemed to be made out of chicken fat with a little broth a vegetable or two thrown in for some color. Gag!
We saw a McDonalds in one of the cities we visited, and it was the best Big Mac I’ve ever had.
But all in all, I actually enjoyed seeing primitive lives. I bonded with my mom’s side of the family and discovered a country I would have never considered going to on my own. And the people there were so friendly and kind. We visited the village where my grandfather grew up and the people living there invited us in for tea!
And lord knows those Romanians know how to dress:
The sad thing about this trip was that it was my mom’s last. You can tell she’s bloated in the picture from chemo treatment and shes actually wearing a wig. She died that December. This trip meant a lot to her and I think she enjoyed herself immensely.
What about you? Where are your roots? For the record, I actually learned on the trip that my family was more Austrian than Romanian because they lived there when it was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Oh, and of your wondering about my dad’s side, I’m pretty much Polish. Now go make fun of me.
Ok, and now for a recipe thats totally not Romanian!
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups water (for quinoa)
- 1 orange
- sliced almonds
- your favorite greens
- 1/3 cup soy sauce.
- 1 tbs freshly grated ginger
- juice of one orange
- 2 tbs sesame oil
- 1 tbs honey
Put the quinoa in a sieve (strainer), rinse thoroughly under cold water, then tip into a large pan. Pour in cold water to cover and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 – 12 minutes, until tender. Drain and leave to cool.
Prep your veggies. Supreme your orange (I dont feel like explaining how to do this, check out how to do it here) and get out your favorite crunch greens.