23 September 2008

Tales from the zborovňa

Today there was a highly hysterical moment at school. I was the only teacher in the zborovňa, and one of my colleagues sent a student to ask me for something. I didn’t understand him, so I handed him a dictionary, and he told me ‘zbirnik, anthology’ – and I was like, for what? – the room is full of textbooks! I didn’t understand what subject it was for, and then he told me ‘shelf’ – there’s a ton of shelves in the teacher’s room. Then, I was like come on to the classroom because I have no idea what the teacher wants. So she asked me to watch the classroom for a second while she ran to the zborovňa.

After that class period, I asked my colleague what happened and what she wanted. It turns out that she knew I was the only one in the zborovňa, so she asked who spoke English well enough to go ask me for what she needed. Alas, the kid only spoke to me in Slovak! But it turned out she needed a folder of pictures of Slovak literary figures (anthology of photographs ?). We had an excellent laugh over the whole ordeal! Speaking of which, this particular colleague is one of at least two of my colleagues who are at least partly Rusnaks from eastern Slovakia. This means, world, watch out because we are everywhere.

Earlier in the day, I was in the zborovňa with two of my colleagues, and I asked them to explain to me what kind of milk it was sitting on one of our other colleagues’ desk, because I see this milk everywhere. It’s this flavored sour milk, which I swear flies off the shelves of the grocery store – I should buy some to try it. I said, “this and beer is like your national drink, because I see everyone drinking it.” A few minutes later, we were talking about how absolutely chatty one of the classes is, and my colleague said, “what they need is some slivovica – that is our national drink, not sour milk!”

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