June 2015

As I live in Moldova, and have been born here, this blog was never intended as a touristy sort of reading. Of course, if anything written here persuades you to visit Moldova on your travels, I would be delighted. However, I’ve always written this blog with the idea of just shining some light on the country. Back when I started writing on the internets, Moldova wasn’t that well-known. Moldova-what’s-that was the usual reply. It’s better these days, but I think for the most part Moldova still remains a mystery to many. You’ve probably heard about our wine, about the abundance of Orthodox churches. Maybe you’ve read about mamaliga somewhere.

What better way to casually highlight Moldova than through the photos from my phone and camera? Not the thematic ones I either take on my purposeful walks or trips around the country or specifically for this blog. The random ones. I snap daily – everyone does these days – and I believe these daily snaps best serve to highlight the day-to-day living in Moldova. At least from the perspective of a lower middle-class female office clerk with a small group of friends and moderately quiet interests.

Go on, then. Seven snaps from June 2015.

June 2015 was the month of yet another corporate party. These days they hold them in July, but back then it was just a random date somewhere in May-June.

I’ve had some fun there, but like this year’s party, it was nothing to write home about.

6.6.15 we were friends then

6.6.15 riparian entertainment

This is Vadul lui Voda.

6.6.15 ice cream

This is Betty Ice Bubble Gum Marshmallow ice-cream. Best ice-cream in town.

6.6.15 trees

This is me being artistic. I was bored out of my wits by then.

8.6.15 patchy mass transit

This is me going to work a few days later. I think the route was A. It has since then been cancelled.

10.6.15 another zone

This is me contemplating the new view. During the last few years a lot of trees were cut down around Kishinev. The administration had its reasoning, some of it valid. Nevertheless, my kitchen has got roughly three times hotter without the protection of the trees, and summers in the city feel much worse.

24.6.15 ministry at night

This is the ministry of Technology, Information, and Communications. Their neon lights died. I find these things ironic.

Chisinau Fountains, June 2017

About three weeks ago I was having a moody weekend. The best cure for peculiar moods is taking a walk so that’s what I did. It was a hot, hot, hot day. I didn’t even feel like taking photographs until I reached the first fountain.

01-fountain in aleea clasicilor

I love it. You can find it in Aleea Clasicilor (Alley of Classics), one of the two central parks in Kishinev. The fountain doesn’t always operate, but when it does, it certainly adds a charm. As you can see, children play in the water. I’m not sure if it’s encouraged, but there are no signs prohibiting it.

I walked around a bit more, then went to buy myself an ice-cream, and moved over to The National Opera and Ballet Theatre of Moldova. There are two fountains, on each side of the main entrance to the theatre. I was coming in from the left, so this was the fountain I occupied myself with.

02-fountain near opera and ballet theatre

03-opera and ballet theatre chisinau

04-fountains in chisinau

I am not sure why, but these photos (especially the third one) basically transport me into the 80’s. Or at least, the fragile peace and happiness of the 80’s that was so well pictured in the technicolour photographs found in the endless books in my family library.

Here, I edited the last photograph for you, giving it a bit of a late 70’s – early 80’s vibe.

05-fountains in chisinau vintage filter

See what I mean? So vintage. If it weren’t for the cars in the background, you wouldn’t even be able to tell the photo was taken in 2017. For comparison, here’s a photograph of the National Opera and Ballet Theatre taken in 1980, according to Wikipedia.

I stood close to the fountain for a little while, being hit by droplets of water occasionally. It felt refreshing.

06-big white bench chisinau

07-modern sculpture chisinau

This big huge white bench is a relatively recent addition to the little square in front of The National Opera and Ballet Theatre of Moldova. I’m not sure how recent – if the sticker in the bottom left corner is of any indication, then the sponsoring bank’s been dead for well over a year now – but I don’t remember seeing the bench there before. The bench is huge – you can climb it using a little ladder to the right. I wanted to do just that and selfie the shit out of the situation (duh), but there were kids at play, and I didn’t want to disturb them too much with my juvenile entertainment.

I then left to the direction of the Cathedral Park, where I met some lovely faces.

08-cow exhibition chisinau

09-cow sculpture chisinau

A cow exhibition! How moovelous. I love these things. I first encountered one over a decade ago in Moscow. This one was organised by a local dairy producer to celebrate its many years in service. (Love their products by the way – not paid to write this.) It was surprisingly busy, with many people taking photographs with the painted sculptures of cows. I took advantage of the two that were unoccupied, and rushed on with my business afterwards.

Snow in Chisinau, 21 April 2017

Friday morning, I woke up to this.

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I had to go to work, so I noticed there was no transportation.

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And only an occasional car here and there.

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Before I left the house, I kept wondering why people walked on the roads. When I saw what’s outside from the ground, as opposed to the window, I wondered no longer.

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I had to almost hack my way through the fallen branches that blocked the exit of the apartment complex yard.

At first I attempted to walk on the pedestrian side of the street, but quickly gave up the idea. The branches continued to fall. There’s a crack in the very first video; it’s the sound of one of the branches breaking and falling down.

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It took me a few moments to figure out where the photo was taken. The place was rendered barely recognisable by the snow.

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Approaching Chuflea.

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The snow there was up to my knees. There, I had to sometimes step to the pedestrian part of the street, because people who tried to leave their houses in cars simply got stuck in all the snow at one point.

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Somewhere around here I noticed there was a single lonely bus going into my direction, but as I was walking on the other side of the road, facing cars to lower the chances of being hit by them, I didn’t get to catch it. That was the only bus going that way that I’ve seen.

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The weather report said the snow level on the ground would be 5-10 cm. As you can see, nature has exceeded expectations. The awkward photo below is so you can scale the amount of snow next to the guy in the red jacket.

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Finally reached the office. You might’ve seen in the previous photos that there were some fallen branches in these alleys. Now there were fallen trees.

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The office stood majestic.

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Taking a break from work, shooting a few photos from the office window. The snow continued falling.

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I left work early (after arriving late), because I didn’t know what transport would be like, and really wanted to get home before dark. In these conditions, the entire trip took around 2 hours, if not longer. 2+ times the usual length of time.

I reached my building’s courtyard, and it’s as if it had been bombed.

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I reached my flat and locked myself in for two days. I just didn’t want to know what was going on outside. Monday I went for a walk to take some photos of the aftermath. As usual, I took a lot of photos. There will be several posts with those.