Blanka's baptism is this weekend.
So, I walked down to the bakery to order the cake and bread for the event. It's our favorite bakery and we know that staff well. So, I explain to them what we need in terms of bread and then turn to the issue of the cake. The cake expert is called in and she pulls out a book to show me page after page of cake pictures, all geared toward baptism. They even had one of them on display. And while it was sort of cute, I found them to be rather tacky. ...Heaps of frosting, molded into the shape of bibles...or baby booties...etc...
So, I point to the elegant chocolate layer cake with chocolate shavings on top sitting in the glass case and ask,
-why can't I have a cake like this?
-That's a birthday cake.
I move in for a closer inspection. It didn't say Happy Birthday on it or anything like that. So, I replied:
-I think it looks good.
-Yes, but for baptisms in our country, people take these cakes.
She proceeds to point to the pages in the book geared for baptism. So, I shore up my strength for the fight and I say,
-Well, I think these cakes are more elegant.
-I don't think you understand me. That's a birthday cake.
...and so on...
Ladies and Gentleman, I left the bakery with an order for three ˝birthday˝ cakes for Blanka's baptism. Later, I told my husband that it was fortunate that I handled the transaction. As a foreigner, they'll chalk it up to my being an idiot and not knowing how things are done ˝kod nas.˝ Moreover, they'll sympathize with my poor husband who has to be subject to my crazy American ideas.
The funny part of this is that she acted like I was assaulting some deeply held principle when in fact I know that 20 years ago no one would have been ordering anything from a bakery -not for a baptism or anything else. Some old baba would have made the cake. And guess what...it would have looked just like one of my ˝birthday˝ cakes.