Mini-bus Bucharest to Chisinau, Moldova takes about 8 hours. Countryside rolls by. Nap. Talked a little to the only English speakers on the bus—a Moldovan Mormon educator who supervises English teachers in 29 countries (my dream job…well except for the religious part) and a young American couch-surfer, a perfect way to travel IF one is young and extremely flexible (Taylor was on his way to live on the couch of a young family with two small children—which makes even a bad hotel sound good).
Chisinau could be Albuquerque. Well not quite, because in Albuquerque we are not all white Christians. It seems Chisinau was once almost half Jewish but they drove out or murdered all of them—which was surely the city’s downfall as a culturally interesting place. The gypsies/Roma are still being driven out of town I hear. No identifiable Muslims, Africans or Asians were on the streets while I was there either. Michelle Bachman would love it there. There was a prevalence of oldish or really old women in Lutheran Ladies Aid outfits so, except for my jeans, I really quite fit in.
Chisinau is the same size city as Albuquerque with equally few attractive buildings; they do have a lot of tree-lined streets though…but we have the Bosque.
On the good side the Hotel Stela de lux was pretty and stylish.
The Boucherie around the corner offered my new favorite food–meat solyanka “…with ingredients like beef, ham, sausages, chicken breast, and cabbage, together with salted mushrooms, cucumber pickles, tomatoes, onions, olives, capers, allspice, parsley, and dill are all cut fine and mixed with cream in a pot. The broth is added, and heated for a short time on the stove, without boiling”—with a big slice of lemon.Thank you Wikipedia).
My second favorite new food, polenta with sheep cheese and sour cream is a regional specialty, all nicely tart and creamy, although sheep cheese did give me pause.
Ended my visit at an okay museum/gallery.