Back to normal

Things are getting back to normal here in Chisinau, though it’s hard for me to define what normal is.  After 5 years away things were much different here than I remember them, and after the elections we took a little trip through the looking glass. While some of my friends still talk about being depressed and fearful after recent events, when I’m out in town everything seems to be going as normal.

I got lost in central market yesterday. And let me tell you – central market is huge. And it seems even bigger when you’re wearing a baby in a backpack and tromping around in high heals and a wool sweater in 70-degree weather. Add to that, baby is sweating from being overdressed in the heat and babushkas keep telling you that your baby is cold because he doesn’t have a hat. (I guess they didn’t see the sweat dripping from his sideburns.) It’s a labyrinth in the middle of the city filled with vendors of everything from egg dye (Easter is this Sunday here) to printer paper to rose bushes to pottery. And fish. Lots and lots of fish. The stinky kind. I turned corner after corner thinking that my mad sense of direction and street smarts (!?) would get me back to where I needed to be, but it seems that there are several city blocks of exit-less-ness in central market. Thankfully my sense of direction pure luck did in fact steer me in the right direction and I escaped, with only a small trail of babushkas cackling about my hat-less freezing cold sweating baby.

Knowing that one of the parked taxis on the corner could drop me and Bruiser at our front door in 15 minutes for a mere $3, I kept drudging on – probably out of stubbornness – to the nearest bus stop. For about $0.25 I got myself a bus ticket a few blocks down that took a mere 40 minutes to get me within 2 blocks of home. I have blisters on both feet to prove it.

Today we’re taking a taxi – since the bus and trolleys don’t go where we need to – and we’ll hang out with our new friends just outside town at Home of Hope. Tomorrow brings new adventures – Bean and Little Man start their Spring Break, which tends to mean that I start my trip to the looney bin. Wish me luck folks – I’ll be outnumbered 3 to 1.

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