Monday, 16 April 2012

Ukrainian Easter holidays.. in the village. Part 2.

And the fun continues on Sunday. There were some activities on that day that I quite enjoyed. First, I took out my Diana and started taking pictures of the animals and the area around the house. Everything was very beautiful - if one didn't pay attention to the mud that was literally everywhere - and that almost destroyed my unsuitable shoes.

Regarding the animals - before I continue with the rest - I really liked all of them, but the funniest were the chicken, with the rooster as the leader comedian - running all around either trying to get down to business with the other chicken or screaming out loud in the typical rooster way. All day.

The nicest of all was Max, the dog of course! with the two cats following close in second place. Max was young big and playful - but unfortunately tied during the day. I went to play with him a couple of times but it seemed that the only thing he wanted to do was to jump on me and lick me. ^^ It's a good thing he understood Greek! :p I managed to calm him down most of the time.

Now the cats - one was old and one was young. The older one was extremely lazy - and good pray to caress, but the younger was more energetic and anxious. He rarely came close - he was a bit afraid.

Of course being around this many animals reminded of my own pets and I started to miss them a bit.
But it was ok, since we did other things also that took my mind of. Although there was mud on the road we took some extremely old bicycles of the grandparents' storeroom and rode until almost the end of the village. Mine was a bike of 1974! and it was a bit unstable, but a lot of fun!

The best activity of the day was of course the walk in the forest beside the house. It was amazing and I think the only way I can describe it is with pictures:

But I can also share some info, like the fact that I couldn't gather mushrooms because they don't grow this time of year, but rather only flowers - really beautiful ones. Also that I had a really close encounter with adorable frogs! (2 different kinds of them)

On our way back I was also told a story of WWII. There was a building very close to the house that we were staying, that right now is abandoned, but at that time was functioning as a hideout for snipers. They stayed there watching the forest. For people to  come out of it and shoot them. Because during the war, people that wanted to resist - in Greek we call them αντάρτες - used the forest to hide. And there is a particular story that says that there was a whole group of people shot to death at the very spot we were standing. In a blink of an eye. And just because they were so close to the forest. As a monument of that incident the villagers plant two trees close to that spot - the only trees standing high outside the forest and in the midst of fields.

I was also told that the countryside is filled with stories like this one - from any war that has passed. And it's only natural - that is true for most countries.

And to change the subject to a much happier one - I will talk about food. I thought that it will take me something like a whole post dedicated only to food in order to cover everything, but I will try to be as comprehensive as possible.

This particular weekend I ate a lot. And only typical Ukrainian food. First I will talk about the meals and then about their components.

During the day we ate 3 full meals. The breakfast was the most peculiar one - because it contained no sweets or coffee. We ate like it was lunch. And in the end we had tea and some Easter cake - just like in the end of every meal. 
Some hours later we ate lunch and dinner - same procedure, same proportions.

I had to admit that was a lot for my stomach - I am not used to eating so much. That's why I tried to eat as slowly as possible - and of course in this way to avoid people filling my plate. Again! :p

You see we ate in small plates, and in the middle of the table there were other plates and bowls filled with food - one filled his/her plate with everything - but some at each time. So as you can understand, because I was a guest, the mother and the grandmother were always checking to see if I had tried everything and if my plate was empty. Because I was eating fast and not talking as much as the others - nobody could speak English except from the friend that was hosting me - my plate was been filled quite some times. Until I developed diplomatic tricks. :p

But what did we eat? Quite a lot of stuff - with most of them been present in most meals. My favorites were borsch, the potato and Russian salad, the mushrooms, the pickles, the Ukrainian equivalent of 'ntolmadakia' and some barbecue meat we had along with veggie pizza. 
The food that stood in the neutral area of taste was a peculiar mixture of fish and meat. It's texture was like minced meat and taste something between fish and meat.
The only food I clearly didn't like and manage to try only once was a plate of a jelly-looking-like-containing-something thing. That was not jelly. It was pure fat with meat.

Meals of course were accompanied with alcohol - either red wine or vodka. The last day, after having finished some bottles of both of the above, it was time for homemade vodka. It was very good, but also very strong.(60 or more degrees!) Something close to palinka. And it was ok to drink it, until I tried it for breakfast. I was amazed, because I have been in so many BEST Events, but this is the first time I try a vodka that strong, first thing in the morning!

But as they say, there is a first time for everything. ^^

And the last thing I have to report about this weekend is that on Monday morning I learned cross stitch from the grandma! She was very cool! She was definitely the star of the weekend. ^^

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