On Tuesday I got home late from what was supposed to be a short trip to the city, I was planning on being home by 3 or 3:30, while it was still light outside. Things did not go as planned and I ended up getting home around 7:30. Long past the sunset at 4:20.
I settled in, changed out of my clothes, which had been appropriate for a short day of errands (on a day with 55!!! degree weather) and less appropriate for waiting for a bus at 6:30 when it’s 30 degrees outside. I cranked up the heat, bundled up and settled in for a quiet evening of going to bed early…or so I thought.
Having lived in this country for over a year, I thought I had a handle on all of the surprise holidays, turns out I was wrong. I got a call from my friend, coteacher and all-around life-saver Chezara explaining that tomorrow was St. Andriy Day and she was picking me up at 10:00 because we were going to Valeria’s house to celebrate. Valeria is another English teacher at our school that I work with.
She explained that we’d play a bunch of games and do activities that would theoretically tell us who we would marry, if it would be a successful relationship, who would marry first, where we would live, all kinds of details.
Upon explaining all this to my 17 year old sister in a group chat, she said “so basically you’re taking a buzzfeed quiz.” Yes, Sydney, but in real life.
First up, in classic Ukrainian fashion was food (and alcohol). To my knowledge, it is impossible to celebrate anything in this country without some combination of the two and I was not disappointed on St. Andriy day.
After we got that out of the way, we started with cutting pieces of string, tying them to a skewer and lighting them on fire, whoever’s burned first would get married first, second second and so on. Turns out I’m getting married third. Which seems pretty arbitrary, but who am I to judge.
We tried to do this thing where you coat a few needles in oil or lotion and think of a boy or a relationship and put them into a bowl of water and if they sink it’ll be a bad relationship and if they float it’ll be good, but it didn’t quite work.
We threw our shoes over a fence which tells you where you’ll live, results were mixed for me, but it looks like Chezara is moving to the city.
The most complicated one was ripping up slips of paper. You need as many slips as the day of your birthday (my birthday is on the 16th, so I got 16), then everyone takes a few of your slips and writes names on them. Any names. You go home, you sleep with them under your pillow and then when you wake up and grab one (or two or three) and the one you choose tells you who you’ll marry…look out Liam, or Mario, or James, or Vlad, or whoever…
This party was an all-girl party and it was super fun. It reminded me that even through I’ve lived here for a year, there is always something to learn. Also, that I’ve got less than a year left in this country and I want to take every opportunity to experience it while I can.
Lastly, still putting some pieces together for an upcoming announcement, but check back soon!
And if you know a Liam…
Check out this link for more information on St. Andriy and his holiday.