Sunday, November 28, 2010

To keep you up to speed...

The month of November has been fairly uneventful, hence lack of updates. Anyways, recently, on the 18th, my school had its annual Moeshow or fashion show. Now, get this idea out of your head. It's not about the fashion, each year there is a different theme. This year's theme was Decades and as tradition the 10th grade organizes the whole show. Each class in the gümnaasium participated, each having 10 or so students to represent the class, and of course the 10th grade couldn't because they were busy organizing. With the Decades theme, each class had a different decade. My class's was the 1950's so we had an Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, house wives and a dance to the song 'We Go Together' from Grease. I didn't participate in the show; I just attended. But it was fun to see all the classes and all the costumes they had. Very interesting and some were just really goofy. Anyways, it was a pretty entertaining night. Before the show started, I had to go to school of course then hung around town with a couple of friends until the show started. We went to the different shops and visited the pub. It was the first time I had a hamburger in Rapla. Haha.
Since the moeshow was on a Thursday night, everyone was completely exhausted the next day because the concert after the show ended at 10. But nevertheless. It was nice. Definitely an experience.

Some of you may be asking how Thanksgiving was here.. Well, just to remind you Americans, Thanksgiving isn't an international holiday. Strictly American.. well Canadians kind of stole it from us.. So Thanksgiving Day here was just a Thursday. A really boring Thursday in school. My last lesson on Thursdays is gym, but since my teacher didn't come, we didn't have class and could leave. Great, just great.. So we got out around 2. Usually this would be a good thing, but here's the bad part. I was planning on going to the other gümnaasium's moeshow that night. I had so much free time afterwards all by myself because none of classmates could go with me to the show. I was really hoping they could go, so I wouldn't be alone, but they were busy.. Luckily my host sister could go, but I didn't see her after school to meet up with her. So we met later at the show. So for 3½hours I wondered around Rapla with a foot of snow on the ground. I first went to this place.. I'm not really sure how to describe it. Kind of like a court house? Anyways, I still have legal trouble here and had to turn in more papers. To my disappointment, it didn't even take 3minutes. So I was back on the streets. I looked through the shops and while I was cold and on the streets alone I realized something: It's Thanksgiving today, I'm hungry, I'm cold, I'm alone, This is so pathetic.. So to make myself sound like even more of a lonely loser and to make my tummy stop growling I went to a coffee shop and ate a pancake. It's funny, it doesn't matter which coffee shop I'm in. They all play Mexican Soap Operas that are dubbed in Estonian. But when I sat at my table with my pancake, knowing that I'm an English speaker, the lady behind the counter changed channels to an English speaking one. How sweet. So my Thanksgiving dinner was me eating my pancake, alone, while watching Australian soap operas. terrible. Afterwards, I started to make my way to the other gümnaasium. They had a different theme for their fashion show. It was Horror. It reminded me a little of Halloween, seeing the students in costumes. When I first got there it was really awkward because I've never been in that school before (that's one of the main reasons I wanted my classmates with me) and my sister wasn't there, yet. I talked to one of my classmates on the phone. Thanks, Greete, you didn't make me feel like a total loser there. haha.
It got a little annoying. Every class. Every single class played the song Thriller and the song from The Ring. Believe me it got old fast. I'm glad I went to see it. Again, it was interesting. I mean Justin Bieber made a quick appearance in it. haha. After the show I talked to a couple of friends and basically had my ass handed to me. My Estonian is terrible. Everyone refuses to speak to me in Estonian, so I don't have many chances to practice it. People would rather practice their English. So it gets really frustrating at times to think my exchange is almost half way over and I still can't keep a conversation for that long anyways. And when I do get people to speak to me in Estonian, they speak too fast for me to catch everything. If I ask for them to repeat themselves they just ruin it for me and tell me in English and won't go back to Estonian.. Schmeh.

I finally got to kind-of celebrate Thanksgiving on Saturday the 27th. I made a big lunch for the family. I made Buffalo Chicken, which was too spicey for their tastes, Macaroni and Cheese, Pumpkin Pie, and Rice Pudding. Everything turned out fine, except the Mac and Cheese. I put in too much flour in the sauce. Woops. Another example of my hatred toward the Metric System.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Pictures of Halloween

I forgot to add these in the previous post.. odd. Anyways, Highlights of Halloween.

Our Jack-o-lanterns. The friend's, Halie's sister's, and Halie's and mine. They turned out well I think.

The first table of food, taken on Friday night. There we have two big bowls of candied popcorn, brownies, the big cake, rice krispy treats, and the cupcakes. That's not even all the food we cooked that day. Glad it's over.

The cowboy and indian.

So this Zombie and Post-crash Lance Armstrong and this vampire made this coffin.. and brought it?! Yeah, leave it to the Estonian men to bring enormous accesories to parties and then have trouble getting it back out. :)

Happy Halloween, e'rybody!

HEAD SÜGIS VAHEETAPIKS! HEAD REISI! = Happy fall break! Happy holiday/travels! :) or something like that. So, my school -like every school in the country- took a week long fall break. It was excellent. Here's what happened..
As we know, Americans love Halloween. Well, Estonians don't celebrate Halloween. Mm. I guess I should say, they don't really celebrate it. They don't go all out. Sometimes they just wear costumes and watch scary movies, but that's about it. No haunted houses, no apple bobbing, no trick-or-treating, no pumpkin carving.. etc, etc. Terrible, right? Luckily, there is another American here. Believe me, it's nice. Anyways, Halie and I threw a pretty big party on the 29th. About 50 people showed up. In costumes, too :) So cute to see them have fun with the costumes. Some were really creative.
Since Halie lives in Haapsalu, I rode the bus there on Wednesday.

WEDNESDAY- So I left Rapla at 10.00 and went to Tallinn, waited for half an hour, then hopped on the bus to Haapsalu. Took about 4 hours, but I made it there and we started to carve pumpkins. Can you believe the Estonians don't even make jack-o-lanterns? Gosh! So behind! :D So our pumpkins turned out to be amazing. And of course, we had to bake the pumpkin seeds. 2 of the pumpkins had white, normal seeds. We made those into spicier flavored seeds. The other pumpkin had green seeds. We weren't too sure about that one, but we ate it anyways, with a sweet flavoring. They were all delicious, though, the Estonians weren't too keen on them. haha. And the rest of the day was dedicated to decorating and planning of the party, searching for recipes, thinking of ingredients, and staying up way too late.

THURSDAY- Shopping day. Since we went to bed kind of late, we woke a little late too. Oh well. Anyways, we had to buy all of our ingredients. Ok, so it didn't go all that smoothly. :/ We thought we had to buy some milk. Turns out it wasn't needed. And note to my Americans reading this. Milk comes in bags here, not cartons/bottles/jugs/things with handles!! 1 liter bags! YEAH! So, anyways, I dropped one of the bags.. of course it popped. Crap. Luckily I dropped it in the refrigerator at the store. I left and got a new bag, bagged it with another bag and high tailed it out of that area. Gosh.
We went back home after our hours upon hours of frustrating ourselves in the store.. It did get frustrating. There were very limited supplies.
But we did manage to go back out to look at Estonian movies, books, cards, maps in one of the grocery stores. Halie bought Pride and Prejudice with Estonian subtitles. I think I will buy a couple of movies that are dubbed in Estonian, so I'll still be able to hear the language back in the US and hopefully it will be harder to forget it all. haha.

FRIDAY- Cooking day #1. Again, woke up a little late. But it was hectic. 9 hours in the kitchen. Cooking, baking, baking, cleaning up, baking, -UGH! So we baked all 5 cakes that day, plus brownies, made an awesome bean dip, and a few other goodies for Saturday night. :)
Basically, we stopped cooking at 12am, then cleaned up. Djeesh. :S

SATURDAY- Cooking day #2. Party day. Busy day. Oi, oi, oi.. Busy, busy, busy! Another 9 hours in the kitchen and cooking! I spent 2 hours just making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches! haha. They turned out adorable. I cut them into ghost and pumpkin shapes. I used 3 full loaves of bread! So we made the icing for the cakes, decorated them, sent Halie's sisters to the store for us, made a huge bowl of punch, and CLEANED! Gah. Finally, we got ready ourselves and got into our costumes. I was an Indian (I couldn't resist. I saw this head dress in one of the shops and a toy drum :D) And Halie was a cowgirl. Yeah, we decided to go all Americana for an all American party.
Party time! So we weren't too sure how many people would show up. One of her sisters invited 10, the other invited 15. All of them confirmed. Then Halie's classmates showed up. All in all about 50 people came. It was really fun showing them American games and explaining what chip dip is. Even explaining what Rice Krispy Treats are!

SUNDAY- The last few guests left with their coffin at about 6am. Finally, we could sleep. I didn't wake until almost 4. I wish I woke up earlier, but man. I was tired of all the cooking, decorating, and everything. It was a little late for a bus, so I just stayed another night..

MONDAY- Not really sure why, but whenever the Americans get together we always start watching American tv shows online. Last time was It's Always Sunny. This time was Tosh.0. They don't have them here! We're forced to watch them online. So we stayed up until 2 watching that and Demetri Martin clips. Hilarious. But we didn't think it through that well. My bus left at 6.15am. I ended up getting 2½ hours of sleep. Great. I didn't have any complications on the bus, but I always seem to be right there in the middle of the drama whenever I travel, though, it makes me wish I knew what they were saying. At one of the stops, one lady walked on with an animal cage in one hand and a Jack Russel Terrior in the other. Why the dog wasn't in the cage -I don't know, but it was all squirmy when she was walking down the narrow aisle. Then the driver would keep pulling over to yell something at her. At the stop before Rapla, quite a few people got on. And one was pretty familiar looking. It was one of my classmates. Turns out she lived in the town near Rapla and takes the bus everyday. So we talked for a while.
We pulled into the bus station. I got off, but I didn't have a ride back home. I had to walk the 1 hour and 15 minutes, but it was alright. I needed to get some exercise from all the eating :) But I had 2 bags with me. They're not the best for walking a long time with. They tear up my shoulder. I think by the time I get back to the US I will have some serious neck, shoulder, back damage. ahaha. Tough, I guess. Anyways, by the time I reached home it was 9.20. I really didn't feel like walking the hour again back into town for school, plus I was completely exhausted. I spent the day sleeping. It was really nice.

So all in all, I'd say this fall holiday was a nice one. Definitely memorable. :)
And, I'd like to thank my Rotary club here in Rapla. They pay my allowances on time. I didn't have any kroons on me when I needed to pay for the bus ticket at 6 in the morning. Thank goodness for ATMs and automatic money transfers.