. A small plate of salad can last up to 2 hours. As much as I try, I can't do it... I'm a compulsive nibbler, so stretching it out a half hour is a real accomplishment. And they'll do the same thing with the hot, main course. There doesn't seem to be the same kind of concept of enjoying it while it's hot like there is at home. Whats also interesting is that people will be at different speeds, like one person is eating the main course while someone else's salad is still untouched. An interesting effect is that people can drop by during dinner and join in the meal with a salad; I feel like it would be really rude at home if someone's having a dinner party and half the guests missed the appetizers.
So the party was really fun, there was a lot of dancing, and around 12:30 all the young parents plus me went to the kocherinovo disco. I put up a fight about it, cause I didn't want any of my students to see me there, but after 10 pm you have to be 18 so the family convinced me it was ok. We had fun.
Oh and one of the coolest things I did today was milk a goat, I didn't know it til today but Baba Fima has 2 goats in addition to her pig and chickens. Fidanka taught me how, I thot it was really cool but it would suck to do it everyday as it's not easy.
Tonight we had a party at our place in honor of Georgi's name day (imen den.) If you don't know, every day honors a particular eastern orthodox saint, and all the people named after that saint get a party that day. It's as big a deal as people's birthdays. During the afternoon I helped make the food. Everyone brought him unwrapped presents, mostly clothes. Actually earlier in the day Dessi and I went shopping in Blagoevgrad, the student city a 10 minute drive away, and she picked him out a whole new outfit. So we had a long dinner like we always do when the family's together. That is one of the things I find most fascinating about living here, is the length of the meals. It has nothing to do with the amount of food, which is normally less than a large entree at an american restaurant. At regular meals during the week the family eats at a normal speed. But whenever the extended family's together, which happens every weekend, the meal lasts hours. It's like the company is much more important than the food