So, a few weeks ago I came home late after being out with friends. It was about midnight or so. I walked through the front door, quietly as to not wake up anyone. However, I discovered Vili sitting in the kitchen, wide awake. He told me his tooth hurt. Apparently he had been sitting in the living room with the window and door open, which caused a cross-current in the room. The "curent," as it's called in Romanian, is the bane of man's existence. It's often the source of many bodily ailments, from simple colds to mildly more exotic things. Vili explained that the curent had entered his right ear and had settled in one of his teeth, causing him severe pain. I gave him my condolences, and being quite tired I headed off to the bathroom to wash up before bed.
My normal nighttime routine usually involves washing my face and brushing my teeth. All quite normal I venture to guess. In the process of completing these tasks I tend to lean on the sink. Such a posture worked for me every other night, but not this particular night. This time the sink ripped off the wall. All the items that were placed on the sink (cups, toothbrushes, soap, etc) went flying. Quite a nice surprise at 12:30 in the morning! Luckily I caught the sink before it hit the ground. Unfortunately, however, the drain ripped out of the wall as well, and water was leaking everywhere. Not sure exactly what to do with it, I put the sink in the tub. You can imagine all this made quite a bit of noise.
I figured this was a fairly serious issue, and something my gazda should know about right away, so I went back into the kitchen. It was there I found Vili and Florina in a heated argument. Vili was sitting at the kitchen table, Florina was standing over him with a pair of tweezers and a flashlight. When she saw me enter the room Florina motioned for me to come quickly. She gave me the flashlight and instructed me to shine it into Vili's ear, while spreading it open a bit so she could get the tweezers inside. I noticed a big white thing in his ear. Needless to say, I thought this was quite strange, but I was so overwhelmed with the oddity of the situation that I couldn't even manage to ask any questions. Florina spent several minutes poking and prodding at this white thing, trying to extract it from Vili's ear. I thought perhaps it was a huge piece of earwax, but that didn't seem right. It was far too white. I thought, 'poor Vili, first heart problems, then a tooth ache, and now this strange ear affliction. He doesn't even know his sink is broken yet.'
The tweezers weren't quite working, so Florina decided to stab the thing with a toothpick. I noticed by the expression on his face that this caused Vili a lot of pain. It was at this point that I contemplated that the white thing might be Vili's eardrum. I had never seen an eardrum, but who knew. You can imagine my horror!
Eventually Florina succeeded in getting the thing out. She held it up in front of me, with a look of victory and relief on her face. I looked at it, still not sure if it was a chunk of earwax, perhaps the most enormous and whitest chunk I had ever seen. Then the smell hit me. It was garlic, a clove of garlic! I still had no idea what was going on. Florina and Vili simply laughed at me, apparently amused by my look of disgust and utter confusion.
It was then that they explained to me that garlic is used as a remedy for curent. Its funny how cultural differences can catch you off guard. Or at least its funny now, looking back on it. One thing's for sure, this whole experience taught me to avoid "herbal" Eustachian remedies.
So Vile's ear issue was resolved, but I still had a problem in the bathroom. As it turned out, they were very understanding about the sink (apparently it wasn't the first time it'd happened). It was definitely a late night for all of us. But certainly an interesting one.
P.S. the sink has been fixed, and Vile's tooth seems better. They've also been much more fastidious in keeping the windows shut. Of course, this doesn't make the hot weather any easier to bear. But I guess sometimes you've just got to sweat your butt off in the name of cultural integration.