6.18.2010

I'm going to see a principal about some honey

A few days ago, my throat was sore. The perfect sore throat for honeyed tea.
So I went to a couple of the stores in town.
"We don't have honey" they all told me.
I was confused. I know honey exists here. I've been given choices of honey or sugar in tea, I've copied a recipe for honey cake, I've seen bee boxes.
"Where do you buy your honey?" I ask Silvia, my math colleague.
"I buy it from my cousin who is the Principal at the Construction high school in the nearby town."
"I'm going there tomorrow. Do you suppose I could buy some from her?"
"Of course. Actually, why don't you buy me a bottle while you are at it?"
"Sure"
"Just go to the high school and ask for Doamna Directoara Geta."
The next day, after finishing errands, I walked through the nearby town towards the Construction high school.
"Buna ziua Rachel," a fellow teacher and his wife greeted me on the street. "What are you doing here?"
"I'm on my way to buy honey."
"Where do you buy honey?" his wife asked me.
"From Silvia's cousin who is the Principal at the Construction High school."
"Oooh. Can you buy me a bottle too?"
"No problem" I answer nonchalantly, although I am becoming anxious that the Principal will not be at school and I have two orders on my conscious for this elusive honey.
As I near the high school, I meet some of my now 9th grade students from last year.
"Where are you going, Miss? Are you going to teach here next year?" They are excited to see me.
"I'll take you to the Principal's office," one of the more enthusiastic girls offers.
We enter the courtyard and climb the stairs.
"Hello. How are you," the english teacher at the school recognizes me. "What are you doing here? The Principal? She's not here.
Can I help you? You need honey? Of course. I'll give you her phone number."
I call the number and the Principal answers her phone.
"Hello. I am Rachel and I am a volunteer and colleague with your cousin Silvia and she told me I could buy honey from you."
"Of course. Very nice to meet you. If you go to the Secretary's office, they will help you. If there is not enough bottles at the office, The secretary will call me."
I walk into the secretary's office, which turns out is four desks with four employees busy with diplomas and typing.
"Hello," I speak to all four desks at once. "Who do I talk to about honey? I just talked to the Principal and she told me to come here."
"Honey?" said the young man behind desk one. "Here is a bottle." He lifts up a bag.
"I would like two bottles."
"Just a minute.....Are you going back into town? Come with me and you can pick up the second bottle with me."
We drove into town and parked next to an alley behind an apartment building. A woman was standing in the alley in an open doorway, holding out a 2 liter bottle of honey.
"It's ok." the young man called out to the woman in the alley. "She speaks Romanian."
I went over to the woman, settled the price for the bottle and was invited to have coffee with the principal the next time I visit her high school.
Back at the car, the young man asked, "Where can I drop you off?"
All for a spoonful of amber honey in a cup of tea.

1 comment:

Mark said...

I love it Rachel, such a great chain of interactions and dialogue, reminds me of my visit.