A Moldovan In Romania

We take a train and arrive at Schiphol Airport four hours before our flight, to be on the safe side. Although I’m mentally calm my body doesn’t seem to respond well to being dragged through another airport so soon. The airport fiasco from only three days ago is too fresh on my palate. A security officer waves me down for additional screening. After five minutes of being patting me down, removing every item in my backpack, and throwing away Clayton’s travel size contact solution, they let us go. The Romanian plane is small and the seats are uncomfortable. Drinks are being served quickly and efficiently. A cup filled to the brim with free red wine is placed on my husband’s tray table. “Welcome to Eastern Europe.” I respond to my husband’s incredulous look. The three hour flight is peaceful. My native tongue hums happily all around me. I’m eavesdropping on [...]

November 22nd, 2015|Categories: Diana|Tags: , , |1 Comment

Traveling is Easy; Life is Hard

“Why did we stop?” I try to sound casual. “Just more heavy traffic ahead, but you guys have another hour; we’ll get you to your plane; don’t worry.” My friend’s voice is reassuring but her nervous tap on the wheel while trying to smile at me through the rearview mirror betrays a similar emotion to mine. I chase away the idea of losing our flight by looking out the wet window. Early this morning we finished packing our last belongings - a springboard, a mattress, four pillows and two old blankets - all packed up and stored on the cold cement floor of the musty Gutenberg College basement. The rest of our possessions, jailed up in variously sized brown boxes, are keeping our modest bed company. For three years we volunteered as resident managers for the small liberal arts college in Eugene Oregon, our alma mater. My husband and I [...]

October 19th, 2015|Categories: Diana|Tags: , , , , |2 Comments

Moldovan Home Remedies: Traditional Wisdom or Snake Oil?

Although I've lived in the US for over ten years, only recently have I been more open about what makes my country of birth different from the country I currently share with my husband. As an 18 year old, I quickly picked up on the fact that talking about slaughtering chickens, using an outhouse, or the absence of running water made people look at me differently. When you are trying to make friends and fit in, it's the last thing you want. So I put my background behind me and began the assimilation process.  I was a precocious young woman, so I learned quickly what sorts of topics to discuss, how to carry myself, and what would make me more likeable. I don't regret choosing to assimilate into American culture. Some of that was necessary to really grasp and appreciate the culture I have chosen to live in. Yet, since getting married, I have began sharing my stories and the world [...]

March 31st, 2015|Categories: Nutrition|Tags: , , , , , |9 Comments

My Expat Life: Necessities vs. Luxuries

My dear readers many of you have expressed interest in learning more about my life in Moldova before I came to  America. Your  support has meant a lot to me as I am learning how to process my childhood and the impact it had on who I am. Today I am guest posting for one of my favorite bloggers, Ariana at And Here We Are, who like me is an expat. The topic of the post is necessities vs luxuries. “So what was the biggest culture shock you experienced when you came to America?” is a frequently asked question that I always I struggle to answer. During my freshman and and sophomore year I would shrug my shoulders and smile, not even knowing where to begin. Once I became a junior, I decided I needed to have an answer. To continue reading follow me on the And Here We Are blog where I [...]

May 30th, 2014|Categories: Diana|Tags: , |0 Comments

The Privilege of Driving

"Hey Sir, can we get a ride to Mereseni? The man looks inquisitively at me and my best friend and then opens his back door for us. "We are in luck today.", Dana whispers in my ear. We jump in the back seat, throwing our backpacks at our feet. I know what you are thinking. "Bad idea." Two seventeen year old girls  hitchhiking home from school with a stranger.  Maybe in America that is a cultural taboo, but in Moldova this is a normal way to commute. The buses that come from the capital city are typically full, so they either don't take any more passengers, or they do, which is sometimes even worse. You get to experience the epitome of Moldovan travelling - standing inside a human sandwich topped with grocery bags and sometimes even animals like chickens, pigs, goats or some other creature. If you have a big space [...]

March 2nd, 2014|Categories: Diana|Tags: , |6 Comments

Letter to my Grandpa

Dear Grandpa, I wanted to let you know I am coming home this summer... It's been more than three years since I opened your wooden gate and sat on your old clay porch feeding chickens together. Much has changed since for both of us and I have yet to accept that.  I live so far away and somehow Moldova and our little village, has frozen in time during the time of my eighteens. When mother came to visit last winter I gasped when she got off the plane. There were too many wrinkles I hadn't kissed yet, there were worries and a deep sadness set in the corner of her mouth that she couldn't hide. I didn't ask and she didn't say. Instead we opened a suitcase carrying aromas from my childhood kitchen- two homemade bottles of wine, bacon from the farm and homemade feta cheese.... The cheese wasn't from [...]

January 20th, 2014|Categories: Diana|Tags: , |10 Comments
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