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.
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
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.
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,
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.
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
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
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.