Friday, October 9, 2009

October 9, 2009--Wine & Babooshka Sabotage

Wine and Babooshka Sabotage

This weekend is Moldova’s famous Wine Festival—День вина. I have heard rumor that this festival can be as good a drunken time as the well known Oktoberfest in Germany. This may be going too far, although I will find this out shortly. Saturday I will take part in a 5K run in Chisinau and then spend the rest of the day measuring the awesomeness of this festival. I’m crossing my fingers. I’m sure that there will be a blog post devoted to this celebration.

If there is one thing that Moldovans are proud of more than anything else it is their wine. It is a tasty drink of choice that I happen to agree with. Some volunteers have ended up living with families that do not grow their wine, I am happy to say that is not the case where I live. My babooshka and I have made the standard house wine a few weeks ago as well as a cabernet yesterday. Just like the chore of husking corn, winemaking is a very family and neighbor oriented task. The babooshkas typically go up and down the rows of grapes picking large baskets full of grapes and having others run them to where I and a few others are cranking away on crushing the grapes and filtering the grape juice (best grape juice I have ever had) in large wine barrels. At the end of the day we made three large barrels full of potentially delicious вино. This is a tradition I would gladly bring back to the states with. It is a very fun hobby and actually a very cheap way of stocking your shelves with some decent wine.

Smashing the grapes:

Babooshkas in the field:

My Babooshka’s grandson Dan (даник)

What is work without a feast:

So is this story is too funny to not tell. I contemplated whether or not to tell it for at least five minutes. So my babooshka and I often use a very primitive form of the telephone on a regular basis, she actually calls it a telephone. Every time a meal is prepared she knocks on the wall in the kitchen to which my room is adjacent. My house is oddly built, so the knock is actually the efficient thing to do, otherwise one must walk through three rooms (including the babooshka’s room) to get to my room. I usually come quickly because I don’t want to make her wait. This particular day of making wine was a tiring day and after we had finished with the wine, I lied down on my bed for a quick powernap and waited for the food to be finished. I fell asleep just long enough to get that groggy and dazed feeling that comes with initially waking up in the morning. I woke up to the telephone “ringing” and quickly jumped up and proceeded to the kitchen, upon opening the door to the babooshka’s room (like I always do) I walked in on one of the babooshkas changing. Whoops. My immediate reaction was to say «ещё раз», which is NOT the correct answer in Russian in this particular situation. It means “one more” or “one more time,” obviously my Russian reflexes are not up to snuff compared with my English reflexes, in which the proper response would have been “Excuse me,” or “I’m sorry,” or at least “whoops,” or any combination of all of the proceeding responses. Thank God I didn’t see anything and that I quickly made my exit. The thing that I find funny is that I haven't habitualized a apology yet in my Russian, that means I still have to think about it before I say it. Although I have made great progress in asking for more food. "Would you like another piece of chicken?"«ещё раз» please.

It didn’t seem to bother her, but I was a little red in the face at the feast followed—although that could have been the wine.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Aaron, I'm glad to hear you're enjoying your stay so much! I've just been catching up on your blog today, and it sounds awesome. I'll be curious to hear how the winters are there... I love how community minded everybody seems there, we could all definitely learn a few things from that attitude. That feast looks amazing, even though I have no idea what any of it is! If you have any time to kill, you can check out pics of Phoenix and Caius at and see how much they've grown! So how does that Moldovian wine compare to Walla Walla's finest?

    Miss you buddy,