Moldova’s eastern border is Ukraine. But down a strip of that border exists the “State of Transnistria” (or Pridnestrovia, as its Russian-speaking population calls it), population 500,000. I know this sounds like something I made up, and that’s because, officially, every UN country considers it to be part of Moldova. Moldova begrudgingly desribes Transnistria to be an “autonomous region” within Moldova. Continue reading
On Saturday, we woke up mid-morning, which is to say too fucking early, and I felt about as well as one does the day after drinking many glasses of wine and cognac the night before, which is to say like ass. Coffee and breakfast were required.
We went back to Coffee Molka, but it was shuttered until noon. As we wandered around, looking for somewhere else to go, we experienced an irritating shortage of places able to caffeinate and feed us. I guess Moldovans like sleeping in on weekends as much as anyone else. Eventually we wandered into what appeared to be the cafe district. Continue reading
(If you wanna see some pics of my Moldova trip, follow me on Instagram at ivanxqz .)
We woke up Friday, and went to the coffee place down the street from our hostel, Coffee Molka. We ended up spending the next four hours there, talking to the gregarious and deeply knowledgeable owner, Alexander. His is not an ordinary coffee spot — he only serves Turkish coffee, and he has set it up as a coffee museum, with equipment and liqueurs and various coffee-related items. He wasn’t going to let us order something without us first smelling various jars of coffee grinds. My fave was the one with cardamom. We asked him to make us what he likes. He prepared an arabic coffee with cognac for us. (They drink early and often in Moldova.) Continue reading
We took a a taxi from Chisinau Airport to the center of the Moldovan capital. Brian suggested that for lodging we should either stay in a five-star hotel, or stay in a hostel, if we could find one with a private room. It was all the way, either way. We chose hostel, for the sociability and local feel. Five star hotels are, in their own way, all the same. Continue reading
My NYC to Rome flight landed on time, so I had a cool 3+ hours to burn at FCO airport. I was sort of anticipating that I’d have to fill out some immigration form or at least show my passport to someone, and possibly even exit and have to go through security again since Moldova is not part of the EU, but, no. I came out right in airport central, free to transit. Continue reading
Thursday was a super packed day, with me trying to get all my appointments completed and work done before leaving on my Moldova adventure.
Remarkably, I held my shit together the whole day, kept a tight schedule, and then left directly from my last client to go to Penn Station to take the JFK AirTrain. Continue reading