Car Crashes, Weddings and Twin Toilets


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August 10th 2009
Published: August 11th 2009
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Since we have done very little in the last two days of our trip to Moldova (what with the first two being eventful enough) this posting will probably be more observational about Moldova....

Anyway, picking up where we left off:

After a team doctor (Vicky) and nurse (Fiona) effort on the dutch boys - due to the shoddy quality of Chisinau hospital care - we dropped them off at the station late in the day. This was good for us because it meant we had a free taxi ride to get our train tickets for the following day and also we were fairly knackered due to the fact that we had got in at 6am and then spent most of the day fixing them up. We then walked back from the station, which was rather horrific as it took us an hour after a misjudgment of the map scale - it took us at least an hour, although most people could have walked backwards quicker.

That evening, we decided to relive the life of the nouveau riche and dined on the same street as the night before - rather hoping that the consequences would not be the same. In fact we chose to dine at Symposium Wine Club and nearly didn't have enough cash with us because we only took 15 pound with us being too used to the cheapness. Should point out though that this is one of the most expensive/classy restaurants in Chisinau so 7.50pound each isn't that bad when put into relativity. Although perhaps mistakenly, a "melted chocolate" was ordered for desert - this isn't reaaally hot chocolate, but literally, melted chocolate. It was tough. Couldn't even finish it between us. That night, needless to say, was back to the hostel early for bed.

The next day, we were rather revived, but took out time to actually get out and about. We had a lunch date with our new Moldovan friend Victor but were slightly ahead of schedule so sat in the park to wedding watch. We have never seen so many weddings in our life - I think we may even beat my mum who works as a marriage registrar. Everyone in Moldova is getting married - EVERYONE! Our observations of these weddings are the following:
- Bizarre photos/photo locations: Seriously, this is weird. We even saw a couple at the train station - the groom had to pose under the clock and the bride had to pretend she was running to meet him. There are also pictures by statues, parks, ANYTHING! Meanwhile, all the guests stand around waiting, which must be fun.
- Miserable Grooms: Perhaps this isn't specific to Moldova though but all the grooms really didn't look as happy to be there as the brides. Victor said this is because the wives are so demanding - although maybe he has a rather biased opinion...
- Beeping car lines: Now, I've seen this in France - but here it's much stricter... Victor's friends refused to pick him up because they couldn't bear to break the chain of incessantly beeping cars of the wedding party.

Moving on... We then met Victor for lunch at the cafe where we bumped into him on the first night. It was rather lovely to meet up with him before we left but then he had to go after a while because.... he had to attend a wedding. Although, we did find out that he is coming to France at the beginning of September so he has accepted an invitation to Strasbourg!

Again, that evening was rather uneventful, it mostly involved napping and internet. Eventually hunger got the best of us and we toddled down the road to "Andy's Pizza" - I guess the Moldovan equivalent of pizza hut. But probably not as good. Although about a 100th of the price. At Andy's Pizza we bumped into a fellow hostel stayer - Geoff - the Burnley message board addict/obsessive who had left the computer for a rare few minutes to eat. Dinner was fairly average but on the way back we stopped off for a glass of wine. This is where the twin toilets observation comes into play... This may sound unbelievable (and we have photo evidence for when we return) but, it is what it says - twin toilets. TWO TOILETS IN ONE ROOM. NO CUBICLES. JUST TWO TOILETS!!!!!! Like you would go to the toilet with a friend, a very very very close friend. On top of this, NO LOCK!!!!! It was the most bizarre thing we'd ever seen, and needless to say, we held it in until we got back to the hostel. After this shock, we needed to lie down and went back to the hostel to sleep.

Onto the last day in Chisinau:
Got up, got dressed, and wondered down the main street - Stephan cel Mare - to see the market one more time. We then stopped off at our tried and tested cafe for a salad before visiting the oh-so-thrilling National Archaeological and History Museum. Actually, it was fairly interesting and cost about 70p. It wasted an hour at any rate. About an hour later, we then went for our main meal at Andy's Pizza - now to be known as Andy's Not-so-Great Pizza - very disappointing compared to the night before. There was some chicken sausage thing covered in cheese which got left and the most artificial mozarella pizza in existence. :-( After that, stopped off at the supermarket for some train provisions and headed off in a taxi to the station to leave Moldova.... Onto Bucharest!

Final Observation: Moldovan Driving
Moldovans cannot drive. Or park. You see at least two car crashes a day, if not more. This is mostly because Moldovans do things like drive five lanes where there should only be three. They can't merge, or give way. Or much else. But we survived. Hoorah!!!!

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