We had such a nice weekend, spending time with lots of our friends, eating some delicious food, and enjoying a few good wines. Let's say the weekend started last Wednesday when we went with our regular "Wed. Evening Dinner Group" to Juvenelia Restaurant. It was rather fun to watch the waiter deal with what was originally booked as a table for 12 but turned into about 20! I love the international flavour of our groups of friends and as I looked around the table I counted several Swedes, an Australian, a New Zealander, A Brit or two, a couple of Americans and Canadians, a Swiss, and a Belgian.
I ordered a pasta dish for myself, which was great, and a pizza for P since he told me to order something for him. The list of pizza's is as long as my arm and I couldn't be bothered to read through it, so I just asked the waiter for the spiciest pizza they had. He suggested we add mushrooms to it and ohhhhh my were we happy with the end result! We both agreed it was the best pizza we've had in the two years we've been in Tirana. It was fabulous! The atmosphere was lively and the constant switching from generator power to regular power made us all laugh. It is quite a fun experience to sit in complete darkness with a bunch of friends around a table.
Friday night is now our "King House" night and many of the expats start gathering here starting at about 7:30 pm. The restaurant is always well prepared for the gang and arranges lots of tables in a big U shape making it nice and cosy. As people arrive the waiter Elvis takes drinks orders and food orders and somehow manages to keep everything sorted out so that in the end each of us gets our own perfectly kept check. If he can do this for 30 people every week, why is it always a huge impossibility to get separate checks for even 2 or 4 people in most restaurants?
Anyhow, the group gets really noisy and a bit out of control as the night progresses, but all in all it is wonderful and begins to feel like a family gathering.
Saturday was Russian New Year, and we were invited by our sweet Krgystanian friend to her home for a potluck dinner with a few friends. Everyone brought delicious food (I LOVE potlucks!), and we learned a little about Russian traditions- like "not taking a sip without a toast". The beautiful daughter of our Persian friends sang a few incredibly soulful Russian songs, and we decided to get together next week for an informal sing-a-long. Around the table were friends from Italy, America, Persia, and Germany. we were also honoured to have the very interesting mother of one of Albania's top Opera singers, and Armando, a charming Albanian tenor. He'll be singing in Madame Butterfly later this week, and I'll make sure that I attend. After my last experience at the opera, I've been eagerly awaiting the next production. It was really a lovely evening even if I did have to take half my cabbage rolls home with me in the end.
Sunday we took as a day of rest, reading our books, reading the blogrolls, taking long baths, and resting our tummies. I enrolled in an course in the Humanities via the internet and spent a lot of time ordering the books for the first year's classes. I'm so excited about doing this over the next few years and in delving into everything from Art to Religion. Now I just have to be patient and wait for everything to arrive.
Hope your weekend was as long and as satisfying as ours was! Cheers!