I have been accused by some readers of not posting on this blog, and those of you that keep up with what is posted here know very well that those accusations are 100% correct.  Today I am making one small attempt to contribute to the blog in a meaningful way.  I want to share a few stories from Moldova that I find amusing or interesting.  Hopefully you enjoy them and they will provide a little insight into Moldovan culture and Moldovan perceptions of America.

About a month ago I was walking down the road in our village when a guy stopped me.  The conversation went something like this:

Dude: “Hey I heard that in America you guys hit each other with pillows?”

Curt: “Huh?”

Dude: “Yeah, I heard that you have fights with pillows.  Have you ever done that?”

Curt (with a confused look on his face): “I have but not for about 20 years.”

Dude:  “Okay here’s what we are going to do – you go home, get a pillow, then come back and meet me here at my gate.  I will go inside and get a pillow, then we can beat each other right here in the street.”

Curt: “Okay – sounds good.”

Unfortunately the pillow fight never actually happened.

After we had been in Moldova for several months Susan and I were at a dinner party and a lady whom we had met several times admitted that she was surpised we were both white.  Apparently she thought all Americans are black.  When we asked why she thought that, someone answered for her by saying, “Well your president is black.”

Yesterday I went for a run, and when I got back I began stretching my calf on a pole in the street.  Two guys, whom I don’t know, came around the corner and immediatly began staring at me.  (As a side note, getting stared at is part of life in our village.  Maybe it is the fact that they don’t know me.  Or maybe it is my sexy mullet they are staring at – can’t tell for sure.)  When I began staring back one of the guys asked, “Are you drunk?”


“You are leaning against the pole so I thought you must be drunk.”

“Nope, I just went running.”  In response to this comment I received two very confused looks.  As they walked away shaking their heads I am sure they were wondering why in the world anyone would run.

For the past several days a couple from Romania have been staying at our house as they are friends with our host family.  They are very nice people and we enjoyed talking to them.  I found them very well read and knowledgeable.  This morning as they were packing their car to leave he said to me, “It was a pleasure getting to know you guys.  You changed my impressions of Americans.  You’re very civilized.”  I enjoyed the compliment but can’t help wonder what his previous impressions of Americans were given that he finds me of all people civilized…

This story comes second hand via our host.   Several years ago there was an earthquake which was felt in our village.  Rather than staying inside everyone in our neighborhood ran outside until it was over.  After the shaking stopped one lady went back in her house before other neighbors and found that some of her dishes had fallen and were broken.  When she came back out into the street and told everyone, one guy immediately sprinted through his gate and down into his cellar.  After a few second he emerged saying, “Don’t worry the rachiu (homemade brandy) is fine.”  He had several 15 liter glass bottles of rachiu on the shelf in his cellar, and his first thought upon hearing of the broken dishes was that it had been lost.

And of course, people have all sorts of perceptions of American celebrities. Susan has been asked on numerous occasions by mobs of swooning teenage girls if she personally knows Justin Beiber. Unfortunately she doesn’t.