Fire and Water

I have a replacement fleece.

Well, it’s actually a jacket rather than a fleece. It doesn’t have a hood but it does have lots of pockets, which is always useful. It was also only about £9, from the large 2nd hand market on the edge of Chisinau. It being Sunday, and in the middle of yet another torrential rainstorm, meant it was a particularly grey and lonely place – many of the stalls were closed, the passageways between them covered by various shades and strengths of tarpaulin, with much dripping of water between them.

This was pretty much the highlight of the day; we didn’t venture out much other than that. I went for a walk around lunchtime around the nearby Armenian cemetery, which is actually pretty huge. The main difference between this and cemeteries in the UK is the tendency to engrave pictures of the deceased on the gravestone. This leads to two issues; firstly, given its history, there’s an awful lot of people who look very ‘Soviet Army General’ – broad-built, severe-looking faces, in uniform; and secondly, this is how you’re going to be remembered, and when you commission yourself a full-sized portrait of yourself evidently living up to the ‘cool’ of the 1970s, it doesn’t really look good on a gravestone. #JustSayin.
Also in the area is the war memorial – a rather bizarre red pyramid with an eternal flame burning underneath which gives the whole thing the impression of being a very cheap volcano. It’s guarded by two soldiers who stand so still it was only when I saw their eyes move that I realised they weren’t stuffed.

Other than that, quite a quiet day. Had a small party in the evening with a couple of Gerhard’s friends, and was introduced to home-made Moldovan wine. I’m very much getting the impression though that there’s a lot of ‘undercurrent’ in Moldova, not in a revolutionary way, but more in a ‘resigned’ way – I don’t get the impression the place has a bright immediate future. But that’s a muse for another post.

Tomorrow, I believe I’m going to Tiraspol, in Transnistria. The situation in Odessa seems to be getting worse at the moment, so I think I shall be foregoing there in favour of heading directly to Kiev from here.

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