Monday, May 19, 2003

Turkish Coffee

Girlyshit posted a recipe for Turkish Coffee.
It made me think about it.

I love Turkish Coffee.
Turkish Coffee when I was a kid had a ritual.
When ladies came to visit, it was immediate that my mother would get out the mlin and start grinding coffee. The mlin (or mill) was tubular and usually made of brass. The cups were small and the Jezva was ready.
All the items looked like this:

My mother's mlin, (one of two) I now have in my kitchen, had little scantily clad harem girls holding trays of steaming coffee carved into it, with men in turbans waiting cross legged on mats to be served.
It's actually quite beautiful. Maybe I'll photograph it and post it later.

The ladies would chat and gossip and I would be sent out of the room as soon as the ladies finished fawning over how big I was getting, how pretty I was becoming, how much I looked like so and so.
They were always loving and warm and called me sweet endearments.

Little did they know that I often hid under the dining room table with the long tablecloth hiding me, and listened to the gossip and girl talk.
I heard all kinds of things while the ladies enjoyed their coffee.
I heard curse words (my mother? Can you imagine?) and about pregnancy and sex.
Betrayal and husbands who were suspected of cheating. Women who were having affairs.
Listen, it was better than TV!

While the ladies chatted, there would usually be one lady who knew how to "read".
The women would finish their coffee and swish the grounds around in their cups and then turn them over like this:

My Tetka Ljuba used to do some reading, but you had to convince her.
She would deny that she knew anything...
"no...I don no natink...", she would say with both her hands in the air...then....just when you were about to give up....
"ok...let me just look" ,and then she would tell your fortune by looking at this:

There were always letters coming, gifts coming, someone whose name starts with a certain letter that will come in to your life, good news or bad news coming, and so on.

I loved these times.
I learned so much listening to those ladies.
Girlyshit reminded me of wonderful memories.
How appropriate, because those ladies were all about girly shit.

P.S. Don't tell my mom about the tablecloth thing, ok?

Saturday, May 03, 2003

My 100 things

1. Born in Novi Sad, Vojvodina, The Former Yugoslavia
2. Lived with my grandparents until my parents sent for me to come to Canada.
I was brought to Germany to meet them by Uja Lazar.
3. I didn’t recognize them when I was brought to them.
4. I called my Grandmother “Majka” (mother) all my life and didn’t find out for years that others didn’t do the same.
5. A teacher gave me an English name that stuck with me until I tried to get a Social
Insurance Number with it.
I then went back to my birth name.
6. I was named after my father because my mother got mad at the registry office because
they wouldn’t let her name me Tanja. They told her (in a typically Socialist way)that she
could call me that at home, but that the legal name had to be the formal “Tatijana”.
She told them, “Screw you, name her after her father then.” And they did, and they wouldn’t let her change it afterwards.
7. I have two birth certificates with two different dates on them (another incompetent Socialist glitch)
8. I was a Bartender for 5 years.
9. I worked at I.B.M. for 2 years.
10. I would not have met my husband if I didn’t take that job.
11. I almost didn’t take that job because it was too far from my home and I didn’t drive at the time.
12. I narrowly missed marrying an idiot a mere year before I met my husband.
13. The idiot went back to New York.
14. I learned to drive when I was 29.
15. I lived in New York City for 2 years.
16. I was robbed twice in New York.
17. I saw my first and only real gun in New York.
18. I am a smoker (get over it)
19. I am a quirky smoker. I don’t smoke at work, in my car (and you can’t either)or anywhere in
my house except the dining room.
20. I have a half brother. He lives in California.
21. I have a half sister that I have never met. She lives in the same city as me.
22. I am estranged from my father (for a good reason)
23. I am a very forgiving person and will eat a lot of shit from someone I love. But, when I cut
you off, I cut you off forever. Sometimes, the person won’t see it coming because they have
gotten away with bigger things in the past and something small has triggered me finally
say “enough”.
24. I hate ice cream and strawberries (together or individually).
25. I hate milk.
26. I have nice fingernails anyway.
27. I love the Blues.
28. I love languages and the traditions of other cultures.
29. I should have been an Anthropologist.
30. I was not supposed to amount to anything.
31. I surprised a lot of people by doing better than people I was compared to as a kid.
32. I am known to family and friends, as “The Carpet Nazi”.
33. I am a stepmother to two boys (now men)
34. My astrological sign is Cancer.
35. My sister in law and I share the same birthday.
36. I am an experimental cook and will try to cook anything from any culture.
37. I make excellent Sushi
38. I love the colour red.
39. I look good in the colour red.
40. I wanted to be an Artist (See: #13)
41. I got married in a small Chapel on a private estate in Niagara on the Lake (the snotty part of
Niagara Falls)
42. The Chapel only had 4 pews and seated only 4 people.
43. Our wedding party was photographed by 30 Japanese tourists (I have the video to prove it)
44. I witnessed Tropical Storm Dean in St. Maartin.
45. I am fascinated by storms.
46. I was almost sucked out of a moving vehicle when the door flew open when I was 8 years old.
47. I love children.
48. I am outspoken and it is often perceived as abrupt or insensitive.
49. I am an uncomplicated person and am happy with simple things.
50. I don’t like knick knacks or girly, girly type things.
51. I hate clutter.
52. I love paper and pens. It’s the only thing that excited my about the first day of school when
I was a kid.
53. My first job was in the Midway at The Canadian National Exhibition.
54. I was 14 years old.
55. I love to read.
56. I don’t have time to read that much anymore.
57. I spend more time reading on the computer now.
58. I listen to books on tape in my car.
59. I love Mounties.
60. My favourite movie is “To Sir With Love”
61. I really loved my Grandfather and think about him often.
62. The last time I saw him, I knew I’d never see him again.
63. I hate winter.
64. I once accidentally killed a chicken by throwing a snowball.
65. My family ate it for dinner. I couldn’t.
66. I once cornered a Turkey and found out that Turkeys are mean animals.
67. I once stared at a gypsy woman breastfeeding her child in front of a colourful caravan in the
Pijaca (open market) in Petrovo Selo and got slapped in the head by my grandmother for
doing it.
68. I had a tobacco case that my grandfather had with him while he was in a concentration
camp and couldn’t keep it when I saw how my uncle held it when I showed it to him.
69. I always try to do the right thing. Even if it makes me look bad or it’s easier not to.
70. I am a Big Sister.
71. I have learned more from my Little Sister than she has from me.
72. I once gave blood for a Leukemia victim and really hoped that I would be a match.
73. I was on television donating that blood sample.
74. I was sick with an ongoing illness for over 8 years.
75. I hid that illness from almost everyone.
76. I hate sucks and whiners.
77. I won’t get into a public pool.
78. I have no feeling in my right hand ring finger.
79. I prefer salty things to sweets.
80. I love fried food.
81. I love East Indian food because they even fry their desserts.
82. I am in an interracial marriage (He’s not East Indian in case my love for Indian food and Sari
fabric has you misled).
83. I didn’t tell my uncle about my husband until 2 weeks before the wedding.
84. My uncle didn’t know about my stepchildren until the reception.
85. My husband has many of my uncle’s qualities.
86. I can sew.
87. I would rather sew an entire outfit than alter a pair of pants.
88. Tetka Ljuba taught me how to sew, but she doesn’t know it. When I tell her that she did,
she denies it.
89. I love food.
90. I love food from other cultures.
91. I am freaked out about getting fat.
92. I fluctuate between a size 7 and 10.
93. My shoe size is 7 ½
94. I wear a toe ring in the summer.
95. I dye my hair…but not blond.
96. I am losing my first language.
97. I speak Serbian with a Canadian accent.
98. I have the 4C’s hanging from my rearview.
99. I prefer gold to silver.
100. I feel naked without my crucifix.