What’s fun about expat life is seeing things. The little, ordinary things that are not ordinary to you, or that for some reason catch your foreign eye. I lived in Moldova for a couple of years, a small country in Eastern Europe. It is an easy, friendly place to live for an expat. It’s safe and it’s nice, be it not terribly exotic. But there are things to see, fun things, and amusing things. So here a few pictures of what caught my attention and made me smile:
You want this for your dining room?
Now this is a fabulous room! No, it’s not a spaceship. It’s a wine tasting room deep underground at the Cricova winery. The decor hails from Soviet times. The wine cellar is enormous, 120 km (75 m) of roads in a former limestone quarry.
They made me look fat!
Just walking around town one day I came across these skinny things:
I have no idea who these girls were, or what they were doing, or had been doing. I’m only hoping it didn’t involve bending over in these dresses.
Street art with a smile
Don’t let it be said the Moldovans are a serious lot and have no sense of humor.
For the record, these public garbage containers (tips as you Brits call them) are emptied regularly and I’ve rarely seen an overflowing one.
Good taste is the worst vice ever invented. – Edith Sitwell
Soon after we arrived in Moldova we went on the hunt for furniture. We visited many shops. Here’s one of them. And no, this is not the furniture we bought. I love looking at furniture in foreign countries. It’s a cultural experience.
Since we’re on the subject of furniture, I’d like to show you a picture of the bedroom in our furnished apartment, the one we moved into after our expat house became uninhabitable because of Noah’s Flood.
It was the first time I slept between satin sheets!
Let’s (not) sweat
Here a sign I happened to walk past one evening. My British friend actually pointed it out to me, so I whipped out my camera:
Just in case you’re wondering: This was a perfectly safe street in a nice neighborhood. Not sure how safe the Sauna Romantica would be.
Open your eyes to foreign fish
I love markets of all sorts, and never fail to admire beautiful vegetables and colorful fruit, but here’s a picture of a stall I must have walked by countless times without really seeing it. Until one day I did.
Dried and smoked fish is for sale everywhere, in supermarkets as well as in open markets like this one. In the supermarkets they are available whole as well as neatly sliced and packaged and are quite delicious as hors d’oeuvres.
No, I wasn’t driving
I want to close here with a glass of wine, or rather ten of them. I was sitting in front of them, and quite loved all the colors. Sipping them wasn’t bad either. To think that that very afternoon at lunch time I had tasted and sipped 7 varieties of brandy in Transnistria.
This was taken at the Purcari winery. Moldova has a wine culture and has fabulous wineries which are great fun to visit. Wine tastings, of course, are a fun thing to do in Moldova.
So there you have it.
(Note: I posted this tale a few years ago but thought it had lost none of its entertainment value.)
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What interesting or funky things have you seen in your travels? Things that intrigued you, made you laugh or gasp in horror?