Thursday, October 22, 2015

Handsome and Charming at the Salon

We are doing well and are feeling comfortable in our little nest here in Karlovac.  We have learned our way around town now.  We are even fairly comfortable driving to Zagreb as we had to do that twice last week.  Actually, we only seem to drive the car when we need to go to meetings in Zagreb.  Otherwise we are walking everywhere.  We even walk in the rain with our kisubrani (umbrellas).  The fact is, parking is quite a problem so it is just easier to walk.  Walking and bicycling are very common and the streets all have bicycle/walking paths.  Very pedestrian friendly.

Our apartment is in a great location.  We are an easy 10 to 15 minute walk to Old Centar to the south or the New Centar to the Northeast.  These are the business centers of town.  Both have everything we need to survive and each has its own individual atmosphere.  If I had to pick a favorite it would be Old Centar.  It is a lot more charming and European-feeling.  New Centar is more modern.  But, the patrons talk funny in both of them. 

In the Salon Chair
The finished product
I found a good place to get my hair cut.  It is in old Centar.  The beautician, Stefanja, is the landlord of the Sister Missionaries so we had met her in advance.  She did a great job of cutting my hair, almost as good as Greta.  There was another patron in the place.  And as always, we tried speaking in Croatian as much as we could.  The two weren’t bashful about correcting us when we said silly stuff, after a good laugh of course.  I guess when I said the haircut was beautiful I used a word that is more feminine in meaning.  The work was lijep (pronounced lee-yep), which in the dictionary means beautiful or nice.  I thought it fit.  However, they laughed and said zgodan (handsome) for a man.  Then they called me samantan (charming) and Mary said they were giving me a big head and they laughed again.  That was our experience at the Hair Salon.

Sarma and krumpir
Mary covered Zone Conference so I will move right into a food topic.  We were shopping in the rain on Thursday sporting my new hair style when Sisters Van Wagoner and Hertz called.  The Elders had scored a big pot of sarma from one of the branch members, Baka Biba (Bah-kah-bee-ba) and they wanted to share their wealth with us and the Sisters.  So we made a plan to meet at our apartment for a feast.  (Our apartment is always the gathering place for such events.)  We took our groceries and tromped through the rain back home where we found them waiting for us.  Elder Mangeris scrubbed and boiled a bunch of krumpir (potatoes) and threw the large pot of sarma on a burner to warm up.  In half an hour we were gorging ourselves on sarma i krumpir.  What is sarma, you ask?  You take cabbage leaves and soak them in a saltwater brine for a week or two until they get good and sour.  Then you use them to wrap a ground meat/rice/vegetable mixture and place them in a pot with a good amount of the brine and let them cook.  Delicious!!  It is one of the common dishes of the area.  Baka Biba loves to cook for the missionaries!

Stay tuned for a report on our upcoming trip to one of the most beautiful National Parks in the world and the Karlovac Branch Open House.  Goodbye for now and thanks for checking in.  We would love to hear your comments!

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