Food, Glorious Food….(sing it out)

This is the second to last blog with a final, finale to say goodbye in a few weeks.  I will start by answering the last quiz I gave you.  There really wasn’t a confirmed hard answer to that one, other to say that the operator of the carnival ride said something to the fact, that it was a “representation of everyone”, gender, country and success.  Go figure.  Still a little unsettling to my taste….. the polished nails, with forearms that any arm wrestler would be proud of,  lol.

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Ok, this is your final test, and for some quite easy, for others, as was my first experience with this, so it might stretch your cognitive powers a wee bit.  Where am I and what am I experiencing?  Whom ever answers this one the best, I will be sure to bring an official Albania souvenir for them.  Incentivizing, no less,……right?  You can respond to me privately, so no one sees your answer.   rcllewis@yahoo.com

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“Food”, as from the musical Oliver is more apropos in a sensory way, as they had thoughts and desires of food but weren’t available to them.  It was more like dreaming.  In some ways my wife and I dream about the foods we crave and it seems they are all around us, but just not accessible.  Should you have a hankering for some good old spaghetti and meatballs, or mexican food, or chinese or thai or armenian, or pizza, or a nice medium cooked steak, it seems like a very reasonable request and you can almost smell it just around the corner, but NOT!!!  We have been in some very nice restaurants and as far as decor is concerned, would rival anything in America, especially the wood work and detail available here, as well as some of the vistas are breath taking.  Most places however are quaint and just nice and we were always noticing the next restaurant around the corner, saying “That looks good, lets try that one or look at that one, now that’s what I’m talking about”.  However no matter the beautiful decor or simple quaintness that it is, IT ALL TASTE THE SAME!!!.  The meat, the chicken, the soups, the pizzas, where ever you go they cook it all the same, all the time, every time.  Not once have they ever asked us how we want our meat cooked.  It is mind boggling and very puzzling and maybe any cook who has tried to do something different gets thrown out or goes under with no business, I don’t know, but now we just laugh and know that whatever the menu might say…… the results are identical, no exceptions and no expectations.

Their fast food consist of only three items: pizza, suflaque (very similar to a gyro), and berek (which is like filo dough with either cheese or spinach),  No taco bell, or mcdonalds or burger king.  Not that we miss any of those anyway, but there is a KFC (2) since Albanians are big chicken eaters, in the capital, however the taste and product is not the same and I wouldn’t even try it.

Now I will admit, that in rare occasions there are some places that do step out and we here about them through the grapevine and certainly we have not tried them all.  We do have our favorites TWO!! that we try to go to whenever we are in the capital, about 2 hours away.  One is a chinese/thai restaurant (one of only two in the capital) that does come pretty close, to a red curry dish my wife gets back home and the other is our favorite, Serendiville.  This is a mexican restaurant that is decked out to the hilt and even though they don’t serve tacos or rice or refried beans, their nachos and chicken quesadillas are quite good.  However their ribeye served over mashed potatoes and veggies, with their sauce or gravy, is to die for.  My mouth is watering even talking about it.  We have never had such a delicious beef dish ever in our experience at Tahoe Joes or anywhere else.

Pictured below our favorite place of all- Serendiville! (mexican)

Then there are the pastry shops, much like this one pictured with various cakes displayed.  Oddly much like the food in the restaurants tasting the same, all these cakes or pastries have the exact same inside cake, just the outside shows various colors but not flavor variety.

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My Xmas message: 

As we approach this holiday season we see the Lord’s blessings more apparently than usual.  Personally I think it is because of the tremendous need all around us.  Abundance for the most part, is hard to find and so humbly we give thanks for many of the other things that normally don’t grace our table, so to speak. May God enhance our seasonal love, that much more.  To missionaries and to those that serve our countries and those who serve, everywhere……God bless.

Love Bob

Wendy’s Xmas message:

Thank you to those of you who have faithfully followed our Mission blog these past 17 months. I think that many of you will agree that my husband has been blessed with the  gift of writing and has the unique ability to relate in words what he visualizes in the world in a very raw, humorous and detailed way. Raw, meaning, that there might have been a time or two that I encouraged him (well, made him) x out a word, pic or phrase. But of course, those are few and far between. Lol!! I appreciate his tremendous efforts in keeping you in touch with our lives here, as well as all of his love, help and support not only to me, but to our Branch members. Having the opportunity to serve a Mission, especially during the holiday season, has blessed us to to be able to focus more on the our Savior and the true meaning of Christmas. No running around last minute shopping for gifts that might be returned, no staying up late on Christmas eve wrapping last minute purchases and no fighting the traffic to get from place to place. The true meaning of Christmas is serving the loved, unloved, the poor and the downtrodden. We have witnessed that here time and time again and are so grateful to be able to help in any way possible as well as to feel needed. We truly love and miss all of you and feel grateful to have you as our dear family and friends. May the Lord’s blessings be with you during this beautiful Christmas season!!!

 

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