Monday, March 23, 2009


Last day in Moldova! The exclamation point doesn’t mean we were happy. I think it was a mix of excitement, sadness and an advanced nostalgia. We had seen a lot, met a lot of people and would come back with a lot to tell.
Because this was more like a “do what you want” kind of day, I don’t remember exactly what we did. I do remember we met up with Maria, Kerley's friend, bought my Zdob si Zdub CD (they didn’t have any nice shirts – I wanted to get one of the Moldovan soccer team, but it was getting too complicated to find it), walked in the park, etc.

In order to go get my CD, we needed to take a shuttle. It was our first experience using public transportation. The shuttle was nice and I was soon amused by another cultural shock. Suddenly the driver wanted to give me some cash. I couldn’t understand why, but he was insisting. Maria then explained very quickly it was the change for somebody in the back of the shuttle. Basically, when people get in they pay and sit right away. At some point, the driver has their change, and asks for the other passengers to pass it onto the person. So I got the money and gave to the person behind me, and this person gave to the person behind her and so on, until it reached its ultimate destiny. If this happened anywhere else I’m not sure if the change would reach its owner in its entirety.
Soon, there was the announcement of rain, black clouds, strong wind… So we decided to stop there and go back to the hotel. And it started to rain, for the first time since we were there.
At the hotel, I called Viorel, and he said he would come by. My dad stayed to get some rest, and my sister and I met Viorel for some late lunch. He took us to this old typical Soviet bar, something I’ve never seen before, really cool, like a Russian movie. Kerley would wait and eat with Mauro, so Viorel bought me what he called a “Georgian barbecue” and some beer. It was very cheap and good. The barbecued pork came in a skewer, with some pickled salad, fries and bread.

Viorel invited us to go to a concert. Kerley declined, she had to get food for dad and herself – and rest. I was very tired, but accepted right away. As my last night in Moldova, I wanted to enjoy it.
So Viorel and I walked to the venue and met with some of his friends, most of them the same ones I had met before, but I didn’t see the French guy. We drank a bit, talked, they smoked a lot. We soon entered the venue to see this band called Snails, the second most popular rock band in Moldova. For my surprise, they sounded like any regular Brazilian pop/rock band. Later, listening to Zdob si Zdub, I found out they were the real deal. More personal and fresh, combining elements of Moldovan folklore and modern rock.
The place was sizzling hot, I was sweating all over the place, had to take in a few beers to cool down. The crowd was very young and enthusiastic, dancing cheerfully. But I don’t dance, so I talked a bit with Viorel and then seated on a table with some of his friends. It was then one of them told me the most important documents were transferred from Moldova to the Archives in Iasi, Romania, after the World War II or after the independence, not sure now. I kept this information on a safe place in my drunken mind to check out later.
It was getting late, I had an early flight next day, was sweating like crazy and my ears were hurting. So I made the difficult decision to leave. Although I wanted to walk back, Viorel called me a cab. On the way to the cab we ran into Viorel’s friend, who practices capoeira. He said there are no Brazilian capoeira masters in Moldova, and they kinda have to learn it on their own. Unfortunately I don’t know much about capoeira, but was surprised to see it had reached those lands.
And then I went home.
Kerley was still kinda of awake so we talked a bit. Dad also woke up, and we had a little family conversation in the middle of the night. And then I went to sleep.
Next: Flying back and seeing Chisinau for the last time.