Wrap It.....

It is getting to be that time in my Peace Corps service when I am seriously thinking about my departure.  Alright, let’s be honest and say that I have been thinking about my departure since I returned to Moldova in January.  What I meant to say is that I am brainstorming ideas about how to say goodbye to the beloved Ceadir-Lunga and my host family and other friends.  The goodbye might be forever, but who knows, maybe I will be back sometime.  About two months ago I decided that I was going to buy my host mother a silver wear set as a thank you/goodbye gift.  I bought my host mother a tea kettle for her birthday and whenever we are in the kitchen together she says that she thinks of me every morning when she boils water for her coffee because she uses the tea kettle.  So, why not thinking of me when she is eating too, right?  We used to have a set of silver wear in our kitchen that my host mother loved.  It was the kind of silver ware that hangs and it used to sit on our counter next to the sink (The Barbie Dream House  sink as I call it because we actually don’t have running water in our kitchen.  Some people say that Barbie has everything, but that is just a big lie!  The brat doesn’t even have running water or electricity.)  Well, one day I came home from a trip in Chisinau and saw that the silver ware was gone.  I thought perhaps she was washing it or had temporarily moved it.  When I inquired about it, she said she threw it away because it was old and disgusting.  I was shocked!  Good enough for use one day and disgusting the next?  I still do not understand. 


Yesterday I decided that I would finally go to the one store in all of Moldova that sells the kind of hanging silver ware set that I know my host mother would like.  I had two options to pick from and I decided to go with one for no particular reason.  Five minutes later I discovered that I should have picked the other one.  Why?  Well, because I made the mistake of telling the sales person it was going to be a gift.  That immediately signaled to her that she was supposed to wrap it in some nice way.  I don’t know why I cannot just keep my mouth shut about the details.  First she sent another sales person to find the box the set came in.  The sales person was gone for about 10 minutes and returned with the box for the other set.  “Was I sure that I did not want the other set?” the sale women asked me.  Yes, I was sure because the other set looked kind of scratched up, but again this was the incorrect answer.  I should have learned after two years in Moldova that the second choice is always the better one because it is always offered immediately after the first choice does or will not work.  She sent another sales person in search of the box while she looked around for another box that the set would fit into.  The other sales person was also unable to find the box so she finally settled on using a random piece of cardboard to wrap around the set even though it was about three inches to short (no worries- to be covered by wrapping paper).  She removed all of the silver wear from the set because they “had to be dusted”.  She sent her daughter in search of a rag to dust with, but when the rag she fetched turned out to be too dirty for dusting, she used a gross looking cotton ball instead.  Yes, a cotton ball.  I am sure you can imagine the look on my face at this point.  (If you have seen Love Actually, you can see the vast similarities between my experience and the experience of what’s his name who buys the necklace for his secretary and Mr. Bean taking five minutes to package it with all kinds of random decorations.)  Finally she closed the box and decided that she must wrap it in the ugliest wrapping paper I have ever seen in my life.  This took at least another ten minutes because the first wrapping job was not to her satisfaction.  On the second try, she cut the paper too short and ended up throwing another piece on top of the whole and taping it down.  Then she asked if the gift was for a man or a woman because apparently this would help determine what color the ribbon should be.  After spending another few minutes watching her assemble a very odd bow, she handed me the gift-wrapped silver ware and told me to tell the woman at the check-out that I should pay 240 Lei.  “Not 250 Lei as on the price tag?” I inquired.  I was told no, 240 Lei because I was given a discount because they could not find the box.  I consider it a discount for waiting so dang long!  I hope that my next shopping adventure isn’t nearly as disastrous or long!


I shouldn’t say that the entire trip to the store was a disaster because on the way home it started raining a little.  At first I panicked because heaven forbid the wrapping paper get wet, right?  I relaxed when I remembered that I brought along my umbrella (Ella, ella, eh, eh.  When the sun shines will we shine together LeClair?) and when I realized that it would probably only sprinkle.  Halfway up the hill to my host parents’ house, I saw the biggest rainbow I have ever seen in my life.  Don’t take my word for it.  Look at the pictures below, even though they don’t quite do it justice.  For a couple of minutes there was also a very faint second rainbow.  Very cool.  It was the most impressive rainbow I have ever seen because I don’t think I have ever seen a real rain“bow”.  By this I mean that usually when there is a rainbow, it is simply a line across the sky and not the rainbows we draw as children.  But, in this case, both ends of the rainbow were visible although it was impossible to photograph them together because the rainbow was so immense.  Are you sure you don’t want to come to Moldova now?  We have some killer rainbows!




We have killer rainbows and crazy weather.  Two weeks ago when I was attending our Close of Service Conference in the capital, it was over 100 degrees.  Last week it was still fairly warm and humid, the kind of weather I absolutely despise.  This week is suddenly got much cooler and now it is time pants and sweatshirt weather.  I thought that it was just a phase, but the trusty Weather Channel website predicts similar temperatures for the next 10 days.  Someone told me that it snowed in Poland this week?  Hardly September like weather.  I think summer is officially over.  I am not complaining about the insane heat we had this summer, but I am worried because my cool weather attire is in short supply.  Time to head home and go shopping…41 days!

2007-09-07 10:29:23


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