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[22.05.03] travel to Lviv
[25.04.03] East European Easter
[24.03.03] Kharkov news
[22.03.03] Transilvanian realities
[21.03.03] Iasi-Chisinau operation IV
  [21.03.03] blogs and Iraq
[03.01.03] the misterious Jabber creature
[30.12.02] global worlds
[01.12.02] taste our balls
[28.11.02] the harm of charity
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08 Oct 2003 :: I see a great photo gallery solution has been shaping up here. Probably one day I should separate it from the rest of the site and make it a ready-to-use distributable package... [ more.. ]

12 Nov 2001 :: Why people use express mail? I think everyone has its own reasons. Someone wants to send some tomato sprouts to a granpa in Nebraska. Another one is eager to send anthrax anywhere... [ more.. ]

06 Sep 2001 :: Today in the evening at 8:55pm GMT+2 I'm leaving for Romania. The train will take me there on the 8th September. It takes about 36 hours to get there. It's a damn too long way. I wish I went by plane. Beside of this, everything else is gonna be ok... [ more.. ]

[ 21st Mar 2003 ] Iasi-Chisinau operation IV | 1 comments | leave a comment |

Please don't look at me this way. I admit my guilt myself. Where should I sign with my own blood? Yeah, that's right. It was exactly so. I've been to Moldova again. Again Chisinau and again had a great weekend. And yes, there were a lot of interesting things happened to me during the visit, and I just have to share them with you. BTW, I want to use the occasion to say thank you. It's very nice to hear that reading my travel notes and observations you have impression like you've been to places I describe yourself. That exactly was my aim to make you feel so. And one more things. Please write to me. Don't hesistate to leave comments. I want to know what you think.

This note actually was written in January in Russian, and because of different life problems taking about 100% of my attention wasn't translated promptly for the English version of the site. Several days ago I finally got my hands on it and here we go. Sorry for my English here, for I was a bit in a hurry.

Dragged On Period

Sometimes I wonder myself that in spite of the good tradition to visit the city famous for its wine selections, night clubs and of course, the most beautiful ladies (nope, I'm not tired to repeat that), every time I come back with brand new impressions. Anyway, the Iasi-Chisinau is already an overdriven road and there is a question whether I'd like to change something. This Puskin-style life period (in the biography of the great Russian poet there is the Iasi-Chisinau period mentioned). My answer - "No, it cannot" and "Yes, it's time to change something". Movements towards this direction have already started. Another reason to get it resolved asap is that my current employer -- WebSci is currently in a deep crisys. Not getting into details too much, gotta say the boss is treating all the employees without exception very incorrectly. One day I should definitely write about my current experiences.

Reason For A Party

But today on our schedule the Sunny Moldavia and its capital. The reason to visit this place was my friend Michael's first visit to his native place. The name should sound familiar to you, since it's mentioned in all of my notes about Chisinau [ 1 2 3 ], and after that -- in the published letters from Toronto [ in Russian here and here ]. Sometimes you meet people who you want to keep connection with despite of distances. Moreover, the communication itself with the modern technology and especially, with our profession, is not a big problem since a long time ago. Every day we can see people on our contact lists of ICQ (or other IM clients), with whom it's nice to talk, but do we have a topic frequently and actually talk? Especially if someone (you or them, doesn't matter) has left somewhere. BTW, this thought was already described by myself in Russian in the article called "Our people in.. Romania". The idea is that people with whom you have not only your geografical location in common, are really valuable.

Transmoldavian Airways

For seasoned travellers like yours sincerelly, there is no problem to get to Chisinau. Except for buses that really make you scared with the way they look, there are two more types of transport functioning on the route: private taxis and micro-buses. Because I overslept that morning, I couldn't catch any taxi, but when I came there was a neat micro-bus waiting for me. "That's just what I need", - I thought and got on.

The way the road looked hadn't changed a lot since my last travel. The only difference, maybe, was that winter came and everything was covered with snow. BTW, the snow thing wasn't visible only outside the city. In Iasi itself there was a lot of white stuff, just look at the picture on your left. It's just an illustration how generous can be the nature, as well as changeable, since all of the beauty after several days started to melt.

Whole the way was reminding me a scene from the recently seen "Onegin" movie -- an ecranisation of the same-called book by Pushkin. By the way, a very successful one: manners, habits and amosphere of that time are shown just great there. So, the main hero was going on a wagon through expanses covered with snow all around, thinking his own thoughts and looking at monotonous and thus, relaxive landscape. The only difference between my own landscape from Onegin's one was the state border right on my way, where by the good tradition the citizen of Ukraine -- a very unusual phenomenon for the place -- was called outside to talk. The ones who called me were Romanian border policemen who got lost in visas in my passport. The issue got settled quickly: I explained why I had the leave visa, why I didn't extend the temporary stay permit and in general, what it was all about. The strange tale about a computers specialist from Ukraine who was working in their country rising the technology area by attracting foreign investitions and this way supporting the local economy usually makes a good impression on representatives of the Romanian state. Though, like any other state, this one should look scary. Especially so that I could see before I came to their room they introduced my passport data into some kind of a form and invoked a "restrict access to the country? yes/no" dialog. Of course, I took it very calm and even didn't shown any interest, so the dialog was cancelled shortly. No impression made. Maybe, next time.

Set For Picking Nose

I've already told that the visit was full of various funny events. They started right on the bus station. After Misha met me there, a guy came to us proposing to buy from him a set of excellent screwdrivers. Questions that came to our minds sounded different: Misha was wondering where the guy stole them, and myself -- if it was possible to pick nose with them. Having tried to highlight the quality of the screwdrivers being proposed, the guy realized we weren't prospective as clients and left. I cannot get it till now: a lot of people, nothing to tighten up, and he came right to us, and right with screwdrivers.

From the bus station after just one block the central street of the city is placed. It has the name of an ancient Moldavian ruler Stefan the Great (cel Mare in Romanian). Right after we came out to it, I got delighted a lot. Yeah, since the central street first of all is a place with a very active traffic, including the walking one. It's nice to walk along such a liveable street and look at pedestrians, especially female ones. The latter are worth a separate description, because such a great number of ladies with beautiful faces, nice shapes and taste in clothes I haven't seen anywhere. First of all I mean the frequency you can see such species walking a street. I heard in Las Vegas and Hollywood come beautiful people from whole the world in hope to find a place in life that would match their appearance. However, I have never been there. But about Chisinau I still can say a lot.

Las Vegas And Hollywood Are Nothing

Moldavian ladies just don't stop astonishing me. In such moments, especially after a long period that passed since the last visit, a painter wakes up in me. The dead one who I burried about seven years ago when I finished arts school. He rises from his grave and stretches his cold firngers towards the incredibly nice females. He wants to touch the most attractive parts of every second of them, and every third he wants to paint in oir-colors.

In the majority of countries the situation about the beauty is the following: the most of population is rather ugly, a lot of fat ones, with horse-like faces and big jaws, that's totally against the modern beauty standards (well, female beauty, I'm not good a men) for a European type human. All the slim, shaped and with nice faces are on the cinema and TV. It's specifically valid for the North America and West Europe. Let's say, you watch a movie or a tv-show -- the pure beauty, but as soon as you go outside it's scary and you're about to cry. But Moldova is an unique country, because the situation there is totally inverse. And banners with social ads "You're not a merchandise" with a hairy arm holding dollars (we counted them, there was nine bancnotes, each of $100) and a girl, are not put on the streets just for fun. The beauty sells well.

Wide Souls

Besides of looking at going towards nice ladies, our walk had other scope. Even more -- it was a specific destination, beause we had to respect the tradition of visiting the unique bar where they have the "Heres" wine produced on their own. The drink is very interesting, and the "Ialoveni" bar, probably is the most suitable place you should start visiting Chisinau with. From the very entrance you can see that it's one of a few places where nothing has changed during the last 12 years: real Soviet glasses, strange people and the Musician. You can see Him on the photo to the left. Because of the quantity of consumed drinks the old guy could hardly move his feet, but was still able to perform orders from the public on his synthesizer. He also played his own favourities.

At the same place, at "Ialoveni", something happened to us what Misha described like one of a few moments the life is worth living for. Like it happens every time when really good friends meet, we had a great mood, thus we even rised a glass for health of guys sitting nearby. They were dressed well and looked decently, in spide of being drunk as hell. So, they propsed us to drink some vodka with them. Dunno why, but almost every visit to the Sunny Republic totally unknown people invite us to their table. Last time it happened to us in a sauna where a Moldavian woman was celebrating her 50th anniversary. The guys in the bar appeared to be workers of airport and had a reason to drink for. However, we left them shortly, after saying several New year cheers and having wished them every success. We wouldn't had managed to stay for a long time, since there were important things to do on our schedule. Like bowling, for example.

LukOil Center

The place we head to in the evening suffered a lot of changes since the last time I'd been there about a year ago. Since then they built a place upstairs with a restaurant and bar of two floors and also made so-called "karaoke-bar". The name of the latter thing sounded interesting, so we decided to take a look ourselves. Unfortunatelly, we couldn't stand a minute being there. Two languorous women in an armchair singed a song and we felt like running away of their voices swelled by the boxes. Having left the bar, it was funny to see a wall. The way it looked like says for itself. Seems like before us someone else was there to listen to karaoke. Whoever he was, the guy definitely had weaker health than we did, thus running out he puked in a corner. But inspide of it, during whole the upcoming evening there were a lot of walking up and down to the bar well-shaped girls.

Actually, during the last year LukOil's business extended a lot: it acquired the "Patria" cinema, a taxi service appeared. In the very place besides bowling a very decent bar and restaurant were made. Damn, I should give up programming and get to petroleum business too one day.

We were definitely lucky about bowling that evening. In spite of the fact that the track was reserved for us in advance, we had to wait about two hours until it freed. There was a positive things too, since the delay gived us a possibility to visit the Brazilian restaurant upstairs. It was really funny to see in a separate Brazilian menu dishes like "mamaliga" and "zacusca" (they're actually traditional Romanian ones).

I wouldn't had been myself, especially in the night from the 11th to 12th January if the adventures were over just after the international bowling competition was over. One of the brightest impressions from the visit was the boots change, when my favourite footwear bought in Romania disappeared. Instead of them I saw a bit similar but certainly someone else's boots, most likely of the same size. Turned out that one of several drunk guys who were playing on a track next to us left in mine. The rhetorical question I kept on asking "Why me?" made ladies laugh. I was inconsolable. Really, why exactly my boots left in an unknown directon? Nope, I won't believe in Karma anyway.

The real luck was the fact that the absent-minded boots-thieves were regular visitors there, and the stressed administration from the place quickly performed an operation with the scope to return a foreign citizen his legal property. The moment of glory was shot with the Canon PowerShot G2 digital camera that was brought from Canada. Its great feature was that it's possible to press the button with a help of a remote control unit. Quite impressive. To your left you can see the evident glory of justice.

Grand Hole

The biggest shop in Chisinau is called "Grand hall". Traditionally, exactly there we went with Michael on the next day in the morning. The point is that on the ground floor there is a place where they pour "Martini" which is possible to drink eating some olives. It's usually done as a profilactical brain anestesy. The dead painter didn't give me rest whole the time, because shop-girls and waitresses there were really cute. In their eyes you can read that if you just try to find out when their work day ends, she'll f*ck your brain off and tear you apart as soon as it ends. Like in the joke about a female weight-lifter who teared man's ass during orgasm. Anyway, "Grand hole" is a very serious potential.

Ma intorc, draga Romania

Meanwhile, the moment of leaving came. The most terrible thing was that in the evening there were neither cabs nor mini-buses to Romania, and it would be better for me to be in Iasi on Sunday so that in Monday morning to be able to attend to some important stuff. Finally a regular bus remained the last opportunity to leave. I knew it wasn't good from the very beginning.

Proceeding from the "winter must be cold" principle the bus wasn't heated well. Also, in such a transport you can feel on the full scale how Moldavian citizens (usually they are Moldavian citizens who're going by Chisinau-Cluj route) are treated by both Romanian and their own Moldavian states. The point is that on the way all the passagers are proposed to leave the bus and go through the customs (Moldavian side yet) building with their bagages in hands. During this they're asked questions and their bags are checked too. In my opinion, quite stupid and humiliating procedure. I commented it the following way to the guy who I was sitting next to in the bus: "it's done so that Moldavian citizens don't forget about their state's existance". Probably the worst border point I've ever seen.

In such situations it's difficult to guess what to expect: a boring travel in cold or an interesting talk. This time absolutely unexpectedly a guy who sit near me turned out to be a doctorate student in Iasi. His specialization was ethnography, the subject I take a great interest in as an amateur. We exchanged our phone numbers so that later we could meet in our crowd.

In the same bus I received an aswer to the question why Romanians treat their brothers from behind Prut - Moldavians. When we had to go out for a check, a young guy who drunk a bit more than needed before leaving and (sorry) puked on himself and being in the green stuff from feet to neck slept in chair. When a Romanian border policeman came the same guy started wrangling with another passenger of about 35 years old and the latter knocked him in face several times after all. Puke and sudden kick-boxing, unfortunatelly, don't help people to respect somebody.


Like all the previous trips, this one left very worm memories and impressions, while the bad things were more funny than unpleasant. New impressions usually inspire creativity, but meetings with friends who you have not only geography in common, give optimism and make spirits brighter. And geography is not a big deal at all. For the Earth itself is small and round.

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