Before we left last time, "Ian" made known one simple request: he wanted a hat and shirt with American flags on them. Simple, right?
Not so much.
The shirt I found rather easily, but the hat was another story. I looked and looked, wandering through Walmart, Sam's Club and just about every clothing store at the local mall. Zilcho pilcho. Plenty of UVA hats, Virginia Tech hats and so on, but not a single American flag hat did I find.
So I was overjoyed at the airport on Monday night, when I happened to walk by a kiosk and see this:
HALLELUJAH, I FINALLY FOUND "IAN" A HAT!!!
But wait, not so fast.
Unfortunately, it happened to be quite late-- so late that the kiosk was closed. Oh, the attendant was still there, which is why I got my hopes up. Regrettably, though, she had already closed her register for the night, and couldn't (or wouldn't) re-open it for one more late sale. Despite that PERFECT hat sitting right there on the shelf, and despite all my PLEADING about special circumstances, I flew out of that airport hat-less.
Sigh. No doubt I can find one online.
We arrived in the capital last night to find hundreds of e-mails and Facebook messages wishing me a Happy Birthday. What a sweet way to spend the morning: reading through friendly messages, feeling quite loved despite being so far from home.
Since we are only here for a few hours before we take a train to region, we decided to go out for breakfast rather than make our own. It was the first time we have ever eaten out for breakfast in all of our many trips to this country.
Upon finding a restaurant with an English menu, we figured we couldn't go wrong. How could there be any confusion about two simple orders, one of scrambled eggs and the other of pancakes?
It turns out that "scrambled eggs" really means two eggs over medium with toast and pate on the side. Which posed no problem, as the eggs were fresh and the bread homemade.
We had to chuckle over the pancakes, though.
Instead of fat American flapjacks topped with Aunt Jemima's, we received a soft crepe topped with hot apples, ice cream and chocolate syrup. Although it was quite delightful, it tasted more like homemade apple pie a la mode than what we call pancakes.
Fire the menu translator, but retain the chef.