September 6, 2009—The Comfort of Discomfort… and a few random pics from Cahul.
Last night I was warned of two things before I went to bed: 1) Watch out for the hanging lamp; and 2) don’t forget to close the gate when you go to the bathroom. I awoke this morning with a sense of urgency that I have found all too familiar in this country. I jumped up, struck my head on the lamp breaking it just a little bit more than it already was and went out to the outhouse where after a few moments of rest I began to decipher the sound I was hearing—it was the near-silent waddle of the ducks making their great escape. I rushed the process as much as one can and I returned in doors hysterically laughing at myself and admitted to my friend that I had completely forgotten his words of advice. I ventured back out (into stormy weather to find my friend’s host mother rounding up the ducks by force of broom. Pretty sure she had done this before, she was pretty fast. I felt like a huge help giving the last duck a threatening stomp before he finally entered the corral. Then I started my day the way I had intended, by eating.
The Placinta (thank you ma'am--lol) Bar
Yesterday I spent the day in Cahul, the biggest city in the south I believe. A few of the other “Southerners” here in Moldova met for what I like to call a “Southern Conference,” essentially drinks and good times with familiar English-speaking folk. Exactly what you need from time to time here. I enjoyed some hilarious stories and hypothesized ridiculous ideas for making money here in Moldova.
A good Rusky friend in front of a beautiful church.
Upon departing for Cahul I took only a few things in my backpack. Nothing too important: a change of clothes, deodorant, and books I needed to return to friends. The weather over the last month has been absolutely gorgeous; I believe it has only rained once since I have been in the South. I packed according to the weather I had been witnessing. During the night there was a pretty large thunderstorm, I awoke to have the pleasure of a very wet morning awaiting me.
The walk wasn’t horrible it’s really all about getting passed the initial soak. I had the satisfaction of getting it over and done with very quickly. The mini-lakes and narrow roads made for water-logged shoes and a thorough drench resulting from cliché showers sprayed by passing buses and cars within the first five minutes of the twenty-minute walk. I got to the bus stop on time, turned down a few overly ambitious taxi drivers and entered a bus full of Moldovans whose silence was only broken by the squish of my size 12’s slapping the floor and the gurgle of the rainwater bubbling up and out from the impact. The next hour was spent listening to music and enjoying a very bumpy game of Sudoku.
This particular bus did not take me the entire way to my village, but it got me within twelve kilometers I believe. After that I had to rely on my increasingly effective hitchhiking skills. The problem with hitchhiking on a cold raining day in Moldova in my area is that there aren’t very many people going down it. I stood in the cold weather shivering for about twenty minutes before I finally gave in and chanced missing a ride for a much needed cup of tea from the nearby convenience store. I exited the store and I decided to start walking all the while splashing the hot tea over my hands which was very refreshing. I did forget to mention that at some point in the waiting I started to laugh at the scenario, laughing in the sort of way that any passerby would reconsider the good deed of picking me. I only had to walk little more than a kilometer before getting picked up.
I made it back my house to find that I had hot water and hot food again—something I had been without over the last week. In all my years living in the states I can think of only a few showers that may have topped this one. Following the shower I sat down to a new, delicious, and hot meal from my babooshka. All of this setup the rest of the day for being perfectly lazy and warm. I wouldn’t trade one element of the day for anything else. Sometimes it takes a tad bit of discomfort to experience some of the greatest comforts of our lives. Metaphor for the PC…I think so.