Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas is coming

Today was spent sorting various administrative problems that are endemic in Romania. They always entail lots of bits of paper with lots of stamps and signatures on them and result in not having to do it again for another year. It's a bit like a perpetual motion machine. It doesn't actually do anything, just keeps going.
The Mayor was insistent that we should be at his house sharp at 5 pm for lunch. Both Alin and I were delighted at the prospect, as Tina his wife is an excellent maker of ciorba, which is Romanian soup. It usually has a few dods of cigarette ash in it as well, which definitely adds to the flavour.
So we were sitting quietly slurping our ciorba when there was a shout from the yard, and the Mayor rushed out.
I can't remember if I told you but his house is right next door to Erne the policeman's.
After a few minutes the Mayor called us out into the yard.
There, in all their glory, were two superb turkeys. A somewhat shifty individual was there as well.
Now I assumed the turkeys had been ordered for Christmas.
Not a bit of it. They were technically a thank you for some service rendered.
The Mayor thanked the man, who then said " Are you sure it's OK having them so close to the policeman's house?"
"Of course,"said the Mayor. " You didn't steal them did you?"
" Er well, no, not as such. I found them walking along the road." The Mayor raised his voice.
"ERNE!" The man nearly fainted and started trembling.
"Yes boss."
" This honest citizen has brought these two turkeys who had escaped to me for safe keeping. I want you to take them into custody and if noone claims them by Saturday morning I want them served up for the Old Folk's lunch."( Erne is a fantastic cook)
"No problem boss"
Now I suspect the turkeys were always intended for the lunch, which was fine, except we now had to get the turkeys from the Mayor's yard into Erne's. Erne, because of his superior police training, disappeared for a few minutes and reappeared with a net. Within moments the turkeys were captured and removed to protective custody.
Until Saturday, when police protection will be withdrawn.

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