On Saturday, Ryne, a fellow Cahuligan, decided to throw a good old, American Chili party. He invited everyone who was basically South of Chisinau. There's a friendly rivalry between the "Southies" and the people in the North as we are known for getting together and throwing parties. I got my first taste of this...and it was glorious. There are 5 of us here in Cahul, myself, Jesse, Holly, Maggie and Ryne. Also joining us were Jamie and Tom from Leova, Rachel who is South, Brendan, Dylan and Jeremy who are South of Cahul, Jeremy's girlfirned, Jessica who infiltrated from the North, Craig and Brad, Monika who is way South, and Maria and Natalie who are East. (I think that's everyone...) Also joining us was Erin, a local Fulbright scholar and a German volunteer who I'm not even going to attempt to spell her name. I'm sure I'm forgetting some but there were close to 20 of us overall. I met up with a small gang for lunch at our favorite pizza joint in town. Since the majority were from villages and hadn't been to Cahul before, they were very happy at the thought of not only eating at a restaurant but getting pizza as well. (Like I have said many times, I have it really good here...). From there we headed over to the wine bar and hung out for a few hours as people trickled in. It was so nice to be surrounded by people who spoke English. Surrounding tables noticed and started sending us pitchers of wine and plates of food to welcome us to their town. People are incredibly nice here.
We all headed over to Ryne's apartment. Ryne has a nice sized apartment, however, when you get 20 people in it, it seems incredibly claustrophobic. But he had made 2 big pots of chili, one vegetarian, one with the good stuff, along with sour cream, tons of wine, salad, veggies and dip as well as assorted desserts. It was like heaven. Chili never tasted so good. Tom had brought some hot sauce along so I could even spice it up. Oh it was so nice to have flavor again. We all sat around and chatted and got to know each other and it was just plain delightful. Jesse and I began a long game of Movie Mashup that went on all night. (Movie mashup - for example if I say 'two teenagers stranded on a desert island search for pirates' the answer? The Blue Lagoonies. Stole it from a TV show and it provides hours of entertainment...)
From Ryne's we were all walking to an outdoor concert. The outdoor concert turned out to be a HUGE outdoor Disco Tech (European for dance club). There was a DJ on stage with a bunch of people 'leading the crowd' and it was just a huge dance party with lots of lights and tons of people. It was nuts. Unlike anything I had seen here. So House music is pretty prominent here in Europe, which I'm not big into. It's just that constant 'THUD THUD THUD' over and over again without any real melody. It was fun to stand in the middle of a group of Americans who were all jumping and pumping their fists though and watch them enjoying it. (I think the wine had a lot to do with it...)
Out of nowhere, I hear a very familiar melody and what song starts?
I almost died. This song FOLLOWS me around. I know it sounds silly but it always seems to come on the radio or pop on my iPod when I need reassurance. And who better to reassure me then the All American, Jon Bon Jovi. Ridiculous? Maybe, but it sure is a source of comfort. The message of the songs is basically that it is my life and I can choose to live it or standby and watch. In an evening full of boring house music for this song to just pop up and sing to me, well take it as you will, but for me it was an awesome moment. And I joined in and jumped up and down and pumped my fist and there I was. Dancing to Bon Jovi in the middle of Eastern Europe. And those are the moments that you just can't ask for!