30 Days Straight: #18,19

– Just 11 more days until I will not feel guilty about missing another day. As you can see I am really motivated with sticking to my word here. I think by missing a post on three occasions I further prove to myself and peers that motivation and content are two things I desperately need.

– Sliced my thumb while dicing red pepper. Normally not much to report, but seeing as we did not have running water, paper towels, or band aids at the apartment it became a blood circus. Blood dripped all over the hardwood floor in the kitchen, I destroyed a hand towel, I drank a lot of it, and finally was able to locate surgical tape in my Peace Corps medical kit, which I soaked in blood. After choking the circulation I found antiseptic wash that I poured through the hole of the tape at the top of my thumb. Crossing fingers on no infection. Dinner was good by the way, chicken, tomatoes, garlic, red blood pepper, onion, carrots,  served over chopped cabbage and washed down with cloudy Brita water.

– I asked my partner if I could borrow his stapler to mend a few documents together. He said yes of course and handed me his blue Swingline (one in which Milton Waddams would drool over) but then went as far as pulling out a baby stapler from his office cabinet and gave it to me to borrow. To boot he handed me a small box of staples to go with. How convenient, right?  EHHHHH (buzzer sound)!! He gave me oversized staples and told me to go to the drug store and barter with the guy who works there for smaller ones. I asked him if I could even do that. He insisted that this kind of thing was normal. Thinking what the hell and not questioning the master, I just did it. Legitimately I have never bartered with an object at a store before so I thought this would be an interesting experiment. Walking to the store I wondered, “Did I have the luxurious line of staples in my possession?” and “Could I sway the staple dealer to upgrade?” I went to see for myself. Equipped with large staples in hand I asked the man at the drug store if he had staples that could fit my small stapler. Surprisingly he did. He grabbed the small box, placed it on the counter, and said “that will be 2.5 lei (approximately 20 cents)” in Romanian with a frown. That’s when I changed his world. I pulled out my box of large staples, dropped it in his palm, and told him that my staples were larger and untouched. These could be his for the price of the smaller ones. He looked at the staples and then looked at me as if I was mentally impaired. His facial expression said “Seriously dude, who slangs staples at the drug store?” Not only was my accent funny, but now I am playing let’s make a deal over a box of small staples. Taking a deep patient breath he said no and pointed at the price tag on the box. I asked him if he was sure and told him my partner said it was okay. He reaffirmed his no with force. I handed over 3 crumpled lei, took my small staples, and walked out of the store with my head hanging low. I was pretty embarrassed and sad, I thought for sure I would win. I envisioned myself walking in there like a boss and leaving in glory. Instead, one day I will probably be known in Moldovan folklore as the American who tried to barter staples in order to save 3 lei. As a result I still technically am borrowing the stapler from my partner so I ended up buying him a pack of staples and wasting a half hour in order to mend one document.

– Someone at the supermarket asked me if I was British. HELL NAW I’m from A-MURR-ICA!!

– I have switched to keeping open only one window for internet during work. It really helps me stay more productive. Now if only iTunes was not blasting in the background and staples were not of the essence.

– Recently I was named ‘Cavaler de Onoare’ or Knight of Honor/groomsman, at my friend Chiril’s wedding this September. I asked him if we will get swords and armor to protect our king. He crushed my dreams rather early by responding no, but little does he know that I will begin looking for one at Piața Centrală in Chișinau. I must protect him from danger and other drunk men attempting to steal the bride-to-be. On a serious note, I am honored  by the opportunity and pleased that we have become very good friends over the last 6 months. I look forward to his celebration and being a freaking rat at this wedding.

– Took a celebratory shot of cognac with my new 40+ year old roommate Eughen last night and followed it with a chaser of the man’s choice. Of all things holy he hands me a whole skinless raw onion. Now, I am normally not picky about chasers but DAMN IT do not hand me something harsher than the shot!! Of course, I took a bite. My mouth went from fire to inferno and my nostrils began burning. I stood up from the table and rinsed my mouth out with cloudy Brita. Upon review I think I would have rather chased it with laundry detergent. Taking a sip of coffee this morning I could still smell the onion on my fingers and breath. Just more evidence that these men do not play around out here.

– I will attempt to take pictures of my new 4th floor apartment and upload them tomorrow after work if I am not being too lazy. No promises.

– I have this running joke with one of the older security guards at work. Each time I come back into work after lunch, I walk by the front desk where the guard sits and ask with a straight face:

“Scuzați-mă domn, unde se afla frizerie?” (Excuse me sir, where is the barbershop located?)

He always replies with a smile, “Etajul patru.” (The 4th floor)

Funny thing is our building only has 3 floors. I always laugh and walk away thinking this will never get old..

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2 thoughts on “30 Days Straight: #18,19

  1. Patrick, this is your Aunt Lo. I can’t believe how enjoyable it is to read your blogs. I am so amazed as well as entertained by your writings. You have grown by your experiences it is so amazing to me. I am learning so much from you. Thank you for that. Your insight on Moldova and life itself is inspirational. It has been my pleasure to read your wonderful blogs as often as I can.(your writing is beautifully written) I am so proud of you Patrick. What you are doing in Muldova and experiencing there is so admirable. You took the “road less traveled” and I salute you for that. Your quite a guy, Patrick and I love you so much. Keep up the good work. I am happy for you. You are doing well,meeting so many nice people, finding out what is important in life and learning alot. I miss you. I miss you. Love and Best Wishes, Aunt Lo

    • Lo Lo, THANK YOU so much for this! I miss you too. The whole family, in fact. I am so proud to call you my aunt and to have spent so many years under your watch and guidance. You have had an incredible impact on my growth and I do part of this to make myself happy but also to represent and make proud those who have gotten me to this point. I cannot wait for the day that we reunite and share stories and laughs. I hope that all is well with Tom, Amy, Julie, and yourself. I appreciate you reading my blogs. Stay tuned for more.

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