Monday, April 30, 2012

CHISINAU - 4 years later

We arrived in Chisinau on April 6th, but were only able to see the city on the 8th, after Vadul Raskov. I felt many things have changed. First, I saw more businesses and even two big shopping centers. For example, next to our hotel in 2008 there was an abandoned house - now there is a travel agency. But as people told me, more businesses does not exactly mean economic progress. Moldova's economic stagnation seems a constant, as the country primary source is agriculture and there is no real industry per se. Political problems also don't contribute much. The country didn't have a president for two years, and now the political direction is towards getting closer to Romania, creating a "Romanification" of Moldova. For some, it isolates the Russian speaking population, especially job-wise. For others, it means a political opening towards democracy, running away from (still) authoritarian Russian influence.

As an outsider, it's difficult to have a correct assessment of the situation, but it's clear that Moldovans are still very much divided.

On our second day in Moldova, we drove over Chisinau for some city footage I needed, and had lunch at Marina Shraibman's place. 

Marina cooked us delicious mamaliga, fish and salad. Lara especially loved the tea made from a dogwood tree. Melina played the piano and fed the birds outside the kitchen's window. 

We drank homemade wine and celebrated our arrival. Marina talked about Ihil Shraibman and showed us her private library of Yiddish books.

Marina is a very special person, generous and passionate. She belongs to a Jewish community that is also struggling for survival, as we later observed.

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