lunch at Babcia's

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


My first impression of meeting Babcia was shock; she does not look like an 80-something-year-old woman! Her skin is so beautiful, she was just glowing. She introduced herself to me as "Babcia" which means "grandmother" in Polish.  I later learned that that introduction is a really big deal and that it means she likes me a lot. Maybe it's because I spoke "my Polish words" for her when I introduced myself. :) 

Moving on...eating a Polish meal is quite a process. And I love it. You start with a bowl of soup (99% of the time it's barszcz, which is made from beets) as an appetizer. The problem I have with this is that this "appetizer" is huge! Seriously. Usually I cannot even finish the bowl and, if I can, I am not at all ready for 2 more courses!  Other than barszcz, we ate potatoes, beets and baked salmon with spinach and cucumber sauce. I can't remember the last time I've had fish (maybe 2 years ago? or more?) so I was a little worried I wouldn't be able to handle it.... but it was delicious!





It's funny having a conversation with someone who doesn't speak your language, thus necessitating a mediator to translate back and forth, back and forth - every sentence. I know a little over 100 Polish words (oh, don't worry - I wrote them all down and counted), which is not many, needless to say. I had my proudest moment at lunch, however, when Babcia asked me a question and I nodded and said, "Tak" (yes). Everyone at the table just looked at me and said, "You understood that?" and I said, "Oh...I guess I did!". I never thought I'd want to learn yet another language (especially after German has proved to be the semi-bane of my existence and everyone tells me Polish is 10x harder) but learning through immersion would be infinitely easier than the classroom. I mean, after awhile, my reciting the 100 words I know and speaking in one-word sentences will stop eliciting laughs at the dinner table and become just downright annoying.

Oh well...until then!

15 comments:

vintch said...

that food looks delish and so funny about your "polish words." i love learning about different cultures, so i truly adore this post. his grandmother must share her skin secrets! i'm in my 20s but she has me beat with her dewiness!

Jenni Austria Germany said...

okay i have to say that i just copied your comment (above) and sent it to piotr and said, "see? i told you your grandma had good skin". his reply: "what is my grandmother's skin doing on the internet!?" ohhhhhh goodness. laughing out loud right now....if he ever saw this blog he'd probably feel so exploited.

Megan said...

icky beet soup. I love that you remember me talking about our first accidental experience with it! haha.

Polish words are so hard! BUT I can say hi, thank you, and please.

Jeanine said...

Hmm...those dishes do look interesting. I'd like to sample some, please :)

April said...

Those plates look like they'd really fill you up!

Candice said...

Aww she's adorable, and that food looks so delicious! :) I love that Piotr has you say your Polish words..that's awesome! My Norwegian friends like to have me do the same sometimes :)

Jenny said...

ahh! Babcia! My college roomie was half Polish and her grandma came to the US from Poland to visit. She was hilarious. She sang opera for me and told my roommate to get married soon.

Jan said...

Oh my gosh, she is beautiful!!! She looks about 50!! Maybe she used to be a supermodel!! The food looked delicious. I LOVED the plates. I'm glad you liked the fish.

Whitney said...

Oh. my. goodness. She's beautiful! and that food looks so yummy.

I definitely would say Zooey is on my list...but my list has a TON of people.
I look to Rachel Bilson for stuff I can actually pull off (b/c she's height challenged too).
I just like stylish people...and street style.
Haha. This comment made absolutely NO sense.
Sorry bout that...

Brenna [fabuleuxdestin] said...

that is so sweet!! nothing like a family guy. i get nervous too when I go to people's houses for dinner about the food. i don't want to be rude but there is usually lots of courses and lots to eat! Looks delicious though :)

Lynn said...

i LOVE that description "intentional", how perfectly put! i think he'd be honored by this post, you should totally give him your blog addy girl, he should read your awesome words. she is sooooo beautiful, how does she get that glowing skin?! mine seems dull as chalk right now. i'm sure any language barrier was well merged with smiles and yummy bites of food! ♥

Melissa: Write it in Lipstick said...

wow that does look like a process. but at least your full when your done right?

Vic said...

the food looks so awesome... What an incredible experience.

Saara said...

My italian boyfriend is the same! He has lunch with his grandparents every sunday! He does things with his parents and siblings and is very close to his family. In Finland it is uncool to be very close to your relatives and family and you kind of want to hide it. I have been so positively influented by my boyfriend that I have completely forgotten all of this crazy uncoolness.

So interesting that you have lived in Austria! What kind of thoughts do you have? Why did you want to live in Austria and why did you move away? I find the country really beautiful but I have a really hard time understanding the culture and getting good friends.

Jenni Austria Germany said...

@Saara, I noticed the same about my Spanish friends. They prioritize their family waaaaaay ahead of everything else in their lives....on a regular basis, not just special occasions. It was very refreshing to see.