No, I’m not visiting the zoo – I’m the attraction! Or so it would seem. My landlord called the first day we were here. He wanted me to pass on a message to ‘a man’ (presumably my husband) that the water pressure on our hot water heater needs to be adjusted. I think he was just calling to talk to the foreign chick. Guess what — I passed his test.
So, the next step was, he came to the apartment the next morning with his pal – to check the pressure on the water heater himself. As we chatted it came out that the primary reason his friend came along was to see the crazy American who moved to Moldova and actually speaks Romanian. “Really? You understand? But, how? And, why?” I suppose maybe it’s not so strange for a foreigner to be able to say hello and thank you, but for someone who’s only been in country for a couple days to be able to have a conversation about water heaters, pressure settings, water leaks, and why on earth that back room gets so darn cold – I’m no more than an attraction at the zoo.
I shouldn’t be surprised. As a friend put it once, we foreigners are just ‘bait’ – we draw people to us by our very being. The oddity of it, the strangeness, the craziness of someone from the West coming… well, here. So there it is. I’m bait.