Did I mention that those in the know (which is everyone excluding me) say that it's supposed to be the coldest winter in 80 years? When I heard my friend Habib say "30 below" a defense mechanism kicked in and all I heard was a low buzzing.
Language learning is fun - I feel like a five year old. In the car on the way home from Ferazaj, Luli taught me how to count to five. He is determined to force me to learn Albanian. When we visited his family last night, I soon realized that he was mis-translating my English. I would say something quite bland, he would translate, and they would fall off the couch laughing. Later, I realized he had told them I was homeless, and his mother offered that I could stay on their couch. Thus, I must learn Albanian in self-defense.
Today a woman named Aferdita came to clean Maria's house. Naturally, the power went off before she had vacuumed, so I offered her a cup of coffee. If I am her only experience of an American woman, I apologize. I appeared quite incompetent as I first poured salt into our mugs, took a big gulp, and spit it into the freshly cleaned sink. Then I took another five minutes to find the word "salt" in my dictionary, and try to pronounce the word in Albanian. Later, she walked me into the bathroom so I could see where I had been burning a hole in a cabinet where I placed a candle, so I could see to put on my lipstick. The oddest part was having her sit and wait patiently for the power to come on, while I tried desperately to mime that I could vacuum the house. I think she misunderstood my charades to imply that I thought she should be working, so she mimed the electricity was out. Finally, after she sat for an hour watching me write (about the fact that she was watching me) she left with the guarantee that I would not burn down the house and finish cleaning. Communication is my life.
Luli asked if I can help him wrap some gifts for children up in the village of Trepca (where the mine is located that is the setting for his short film). We'll do that on Saturday, and go to pass them out on Sunday. I'll post some pictures from that.