From my experience of Eastern Europe, local bars in small towns and villages are not really a place for the young. Whenever I’ve come to Romania, I’ve tended to avoid drinking in the bars in the small towns I stay in as they are full of old men, drinking their sorrows away and they tend to be dark and dingy affairs.
So I wasn’t really expecting to send any beer mats while in Romania. But today was a day of drinking and eating and generally of fun and good times with the family, so a beer mat seems appropriate. I didn’t get it from a bar though…
We went out to the country house (everyone knows someone who lives in the countryside here) where we put a barbeque on. Me being a little fussy, I requested a fresh fish and so we went and bought a 2kg “novac“, which I’ve found out is a bigheaded carp. Fresh fish is generally sold swimming around and is much more expensive than the frozen stuff, so I was told that they would give me it live in a bag. The night before, I schemed up ways to give the poor thing a quick death so as not to have it just suffocate in the boot.
By the time we walked in to the shop, I had steeled myself, ready to deliver a karate chop to the poor bastard’s head, when I saw that the fishmonger had a couple of baseball bats on the counter. I breathed a sigh of relief as he grabbed the novac by the tail and spanked him with the wooden instrument.
We then took the fish and a load of beer and food over to Elena’s brothers house (he’s the one pictured with the fish) and he showed me his new soba (stove/housewarmer) that he’s been building. I’ve never seen the inside of one of these, but it’s like a smoke maze. These things are made out of terracotta and keep the house really warm in the winter and you can cook on them.