I've been here for four days now and it's still a bit surreal. The day we arrived, we were invited to a party at the home of the owners of Chef and The Farmer the next day. There were a number of us going so Dan suggested we drive the brewery bus. There was a PBS film crew there when we arrived, and it would almost have been impressive with this van full of people - except that there were only five of us pouring out of the van.
This was an Oyster Bake or BBQ or something. I don't even know how to describe it. They washed the oysters, laid them on a bit of tin roof, then placed the tin on an open fire. There were LOTS of oysters. Dan had a few dozen. I had one! That was enough.
The gal doing the filming had her lens trained on Dan as he expertly shucked oyster after oyster, shuck, add cocktail sauce (what's that?), slurp, flip the shell, repeat. He was also good at commentary so when we had the big pot of fish stew with instructions on how to eat it (make sure you get an egg, have it with bread, etc.), Dan had lots to say about the tastes and sensations of the soup. (I wished I could have given the fish scales to Sam, but she wasn't with us!)
And if you are going to go to the house of a celebrated chef, you want to know what cookbooks are on their shelf, right? It went like this: Southern, Southern, Southern, Argentinian, Southern, Southern, Jewish, etc. I haven't heard of any of these cookbooks but I am really excited about learning Southern cooking!
So in this photo I am standing on top of the brewery. That blue house is the one we'll be moving into sometime this month. We went by there on Monday and there is still at least a week's worth of work left on it before we can move in, alas. We are, however, doing okay at the farmhouse that Dan has been living in all this time.
It has felt kind of funny though, like moving into my boyfriend's house for the first time, except that I recognize some of the kitchen tools (where are the rest of them?). Dan started packing up the house before he came to get me, so most everything is in boxes. We were sort of expecting to move into the blue house right away but since we are not, we have had to go grocery shopping. That was an interesting experience. There are three options for groceries: Piggly Wiggly, Food Lion, and WalMart. There is an unbelievable amount of packaged food with lots of sugar in them. Is it the same in Canada and it just wasn't on my radar? I don't know. The prices on the whole are significantly cheaper, though some things are comparable to Vancouver Island.
There are no coffee shops in Kinston, I'm sad to say. We'll be taking a trip down to New Bern on Saturday to meet a new friend and do a bit of exploring. I've done my homework: three coffee shops, one yarn shop, an art supply store and three thrift stores. My new friend suggested we check out the farmer's market as well.
The weather here has been interesting, ranging from colder than I'm used to to warm and humid like Asia. I still don't know where all my clothes are (especially my socks!) so I'm really limited in my wardrobe is. I don't want to unpack all my boxes just to pack them up again next week.
At the party on Sunday, there was a fly hovering above the food on the table, and when the woman I was standing next to learned I was from Canada, she asked if we had flies, what with it being so cold and all. I did my best not to be incredulous, but said yes of course, and that right now Kinston is colder than Victoria.
I love languages and can pick up pronunciation very easily. After talking to a few people from around here, I can't help but affect the accent - it is totally unconscious. Two minutes after meeting Dan's boss he said "you're already starting to talk like a Southerner". I don't know quite what to make of this - do I just go with it? That seems to be the easiest thing.
We don't have Internet at the farmhouse, as I mentioned, and the cell phone reception there is terrible, so I have been largely incommunicado. I also haven't figured out how to get my email to show up automatically on my new iPhone - it's a bit complicated transferring accounts from Canada to the US, and I haven't taken the time to sort that out yet.
Hopefully my green card will arrive this week or next, and I don't recall if we were able to apply for a social security card. Without the SoSec card, I can't start work. That's good and bad. I mean, I'm still unsettled being in a temporary location, so starting a job would really complicate things. It also means I get to do a fair amount of knitting and getting in some much-needed relaxation. It also means I'm still without an income, but I trust that everything will happen as it needs to in good time.
Knitting, how I miss you! I haven't been too motivated to knit much these past months, and was hoping to get more done on our trip, but with the driving at night and the kitty roaming around, I only managed to finish one project and put a few rows on another one. Part of it is not having all my knitting kit in one place, so when I finally do unpack I'll be able to see all my yarn in one place. Since I've had a bit of time to relax and catch my breath, I am now chomping at the bit to get knitting and I have lots of ideas. I'll check out the yarn store in New Bern on Saturday and see what they have, but I'm anxious to knit more with locally produced fibers. The Carolina Fiber Festival is just seven weeks away and I'm looking forward to going!