The Party, The Guests and The Host!

We were in Bucharest, Romania, when Eastern Europe was communist.

We had just turned eighteen, my high school boyfriend and I and with the wisdom typical of that age group, we eloped and got married!

Shortly after, still enveloped in our “daze of independence” we were hopping from party to party, especially on weekends.

One Saturday evening, we were invited to a party in an apartment complex where several of our friends lived. On the outside, the complex was grey, gloomy. The main entrances and windows looked desolate but there was a lot of life and happiness once the doors to the apartments’ opened…

We rang the bell to our friend’s apartment, where the party was about to start. It was a little early, so when another guest, a mutual friend of ours and the host’s, opened his door, we were relieved she had arrived at the party before us!

She smiled a little surprised. She probably didn’t know we were invited at this party. That was okay… I smiled back, reassuringly.The three of us sat on a sofa and chatted, as we waited for the Host who was probably finishing up in the kitchen.

I launched into telling a story to avoid the silence. My throat was dry. Where are the drinks? I wondered. Where was the Host? How rude, to have a guest open the door to his apartment and have guests entertain one another! He really shouldn’t have a party if he is such a poor Host!!!

The friend who opened the door for us fidgeted increasingly.
No wonder, I thought, she is nervous! Doesn’t know how to handle this embarrassing situation. To try and entertain us, when she, herself is a guest! She and the Host, barely knew each other. I fact, we barely knew him. The Host had some nerve to be unprepared and let guests entertain themselves…

I glanced at my watch. It was getting late. Where were the other guests?

My husband and I “exchanged meaningful looks.”

The conversation continued to dragged. Our friend barely answered my questions about the weather any more… She didn’t seem to care my forecast was rain!

After about half an hour, in desperation, I flattered her:

“How nice of you to open the door for us!”

“Oh you’re welcome, but now I have to leave.” she said and stood up.


“I don’t mean to be rude,” she continued,” but wasn’t expecting you… at my apartment. I was going out when you rang the bell. Going to “X” party, on the 3rd floor.”

… and you know what followed:)

Oh… well thank God we were all invited. Over the years this became a treasured memory of how foolish we were and yet survived!

Happily Ever After:
The three of us took the elevator to the third floor, rang the door bell and the right Host opened the right door to the right apartment. After all, there was a party and the door opened at last! There were drinks too!

Many thanks to Karen Salmansohn’s post “If it does not open, it’s not your door (xo which was posted on my Home Feed, on Facebook and triggered my memory and desire to share this true story from my youth.

Whom Does God Help?

Many, many, many years ago, I was 18 and living in Romania. Our country was called  “a romance island  in the mist of a slavic SEA!  (we were bordered by the Soviet Union and the language spoken there was Russian -slavic) Today, a majority of the Romanian boarder is with Ukraine…and that is another story.

Romania,  contrary to many’s impression, was not part of the former Soviet Union, was “only” liberated by it!!! (read sarcasm) We spoke Romanian, and yes, were forced to learn Russian, but all I remember are two words: Nhiet (NO) and Haraso sp??? (GOOD) This clearly illustrates the saying “you could take a horse to the water, but can’t make it drink!” meaning, we did not want to learn Russian, and didn’t!

Going to college was so competitive that my mom decided to hire a tutor, which she did, at a huge expense. The tutor, a virgin in her late thirties, blushed furiously each time my boyfriend escorted me to her door.

My one-hour lessons remind me of another story, in which a boy hated to eat oatmeal, but loved to play football. All I remember from this story was a clock, and  its slowly moving handles. When the boy was forced to eat oatmeal, he thought: Oh time moves so slowly when I have to eat oatmeal! and   when he played ball, he’d think, oh time moves so fast when I play ball!

Just like the boy in the story, my tutoring lessons were endless…

The goal of this torture was to prepare me for a hard exam to be allowed as a student in the University of Bucharest, the English Department. The number of students who were going to “make it” in the elite university was very limited, so the success of these tutoring lessons was crucial for my future. Frankly, my priority was to finish high school and get married to the love of my life, but Mom didn’t think that was such a great idea. The result was that Mom won, and the tutoring and waste of money went on for a while, until one day, the virgin- tutor burst with hatred: ” You will NEVER be able to put together a sentence in English, you are hopeless!” and she blushed, sure sign she was really, really angry.

That one day, I just could no longer take it and stood up, walked to the entrance and with no words or paying her for the insults I left the place of torture and went with my boyfriend and ate ice cream! Actually a special drink called “Cafe Frape.” Yummy!

My Mom was upset, but truly she was unable to make me “drink” this woman’s tutoring style.

We found a new tutor, “found” is not the right word…She came highly recommended by a friend.

Her tutoring style was the opposite of the blushing virgin’s and soon under her guidance and continuous praise, I started to speak English.

Slowly, but surely, I loved it and made it into the elite group of college students who were allowed in the University of Bucharest.

My entire life was shaped by this ONE event. By the decision I made to ignore the tutor who discouraged and insulted me, and persevere under the guidance of a positive teacher, who truly believed in my potential to put two words together in the English language and make sense.

After graduation from college I worked for various International Exhibitions, then I was hired to translate for the US Embassy, eventually I escaped communism and the Russian liberation and became a US citizen. I got married in America, raised a family and oh, shock!!! Wrote a book in English and shock again, it was published.

Shock, shock, shock, YOU are reading a blog written by the “idiot” who was assured will NEVER put two words together in English, and make sense.