Sunday, September 19, 2004

Recovery time just ain't what it used to be

Tomorrow I turn 33. Thirty-three. Wow. That sounds so old, why don’t I feel that old? (Ok, I admit I felt that old this morning after last night.) I decided to throw myself a birthday party. What the hell, eh? I invited all 10 people I know in Kosova, dolled up and played hostess. T’was faboo. Preparing was definitely an adventure. I brought a cake mix, but finding cake pans was a completely different catastrophe all together. It took me two days to find anything resembling a cake pan (Yes, I made myself a birthday cake. If you’re going to throw yourself a party, do it right!), and when I finally found something that would do, they were square and fluted. Ok, sometimes ya gotta make do with whatcha got. On top of that, since the power goes out unannounced and rather frequently, and all appliances run on electricity, baking in general is a dangerous operation. If the power goes out half-way through, too bad, so sad – gooey mess is what you’re left with. I was fortunate enough to get through the cake-baking with lights, but about 6:30 whoosh! Into darkness we went. The rest of my prep was by candlelight – sort of. Just so you know, 8 little tea lights do not make for a well lit home, but they at least keep you from running into furniture. Things turned out ok in spite of things, and we were only in the dark the first half an hour or so.

The kindness of this group of people amazes me. Over my protests, people still brought gifts. Phil brought me cups and saucers, which I was in desperate need of. William and Ruby brought me trashy novels, Trivial Pursuit and school supplies (yeah!). They’re heading home soon, so we’re all pilfering what we can from the things that they won’t be taking back to the States with them. The Army boys brought a 12 pack of Dr. Pepper (a very valuable commodity in this neck of the woods) and computer speakers that run on batteries. That was HUGE! Thanks fellas! And Illya, Harry and Travis brought the booze. Diellza, one of the Albanian girls in my salsa class, came too. I think she might have been bored to tears sitting in a room full of English teachers because the conversation inevitable turned to work, but she was avoiding being at home with a house full of visiting relatives. I did my best to entertain her, I hope she doesn’t think we’re all a bunch of boring old fogies. Oh well. Anyway, beer and wine were a-flowing, the food was pretty good (for being prepared in the dark) and we managed to make a decent mess out of my place. Good times!!

About 11 we packed up and went to Zanzibar where we met up with some other Albanian friends and shook our money-makers until 2:30 (oh and consumed mass amounts of Pejë, the local brew – a fine pilsner made from the clean mountain water in the beautiful town of Pejë). End result – I didn’t get out of bed until noon, and then only to get a piece of cake and a Coke (breakfast of champions). After which I promptly crawled back in bed and played computer rummy for the next 2 hours. Why is it that last night I felt like I was 23 and could party like a rock star, and today I feel like I’m 93 and I’d rather die than get out of bed? I finally got up the courage to shower and clean the house around 5, made dinner, took a walk, and am back in my bed writing in this journal of sorts. I should be sorted by tomorrow. This getting old and taking two days to recover crap is for the birds. BLAH

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