Today is my host mother’s birthday! Happy Birthday, Tina!
Just before midnight last night, Ilya and I decided to serenade Tina. I bought a bass guitar a few weeks back and Ilya bought an acoustic guitar. Every other day or so we will have a “duet” starring “Rali Doggy and Saxaphone” [sic]. We’ll make up some song or I’ll try to figure out a bassline to a Georgian song he knows. We’ve learned part of Come Together and Love Me Do by the Beatles, too! Last night we decided to give Happy Birthday a shot.
For about seven minutes we rehearsed our lovely song and I trained Luka how to use my camera to take a video. We called Tina in and she sat down next to the computer as Ilya and I played and sang Happy Birthday for her. Tata and Luka joined in for the Encore and Tina seemed very happy!
As we continued playing, Tina asked us, “Do you want cake?” Naturally, we did! We laid the guitars to rest and headed to the kitchen. Some delicious cake awaited us all but Luka was shooed off to bed–poor fellow!
With Luka out of the way, we popped open some very fruity liquor and began toasting to Tina. As it turns out, Tina’s mother makes the liquor herself in the village–even though she doesn’t drink–and it was quite tasty!
Ilya told me, in broken English, “My muhzer is fifty wan.” “No, Ilya, fifty two!” protested Tina. This sparked a debate at the table over how old Tina really was. I watched as Tina did the calculations in her head and with a bemused smile admitted, “Fifty wan!”
We sat around for a bit, drinking coffee, toasting Tina, and eating cake (From Bela’s bakery, no less! [Apparently it’s a big deal? I got laughed at when I asked, “Who’s Bela?”]). Conversation turned to school and English, as it usually does. Tina already knew that Inga’s twelfth graders were a bunch of lazy students (or, in Inga’s words, “Bad pupils!!”). I agreed with Tina that they were “lazy but smart.”
At that point, the evening became let’s-criticize-poor-Luka conversation hour. Tata kicked things off by accusing Luka of being “lazy but not smart.” Ilya added, “Chicken”–a word I had learned from him and Luka the previous afternoon. Tina puffed up her cheeks and held her imaginary belly and laughed, “Fat, too!” Poor Luka! Didn’t get any cake AND we sat around making fun of him! If only he knew….