Though ours is not a travel blog, per se, at times it may give the false impression that all we do is globe-trot. “Wait, you guys work?” asked a few of the friends we saw during home leave this summer, a question that was typically accompanied with a quizzically raised eyebrow of mock disbelief. Yes, we certainly do, but the longer we go between trips, the greater the urge to relive past adventures through the photos and stories we share in these pages.
There’s also not much else to talk about. The worst thing about not having much to do is the way time tends to slip through one’s fingers. This is true both for individual days and for longer stretches of time. Moldova is a quiet place, and once we settle into our Chisinau routine, weeks seem to fly by without too much excitement. An occasional dinner with friends, party, or soccer game are the only ways to distinguish identical days that drift by endlessly, melting one into another.
S, for example, has come up with a long list of projects she wants to complete while she is not working. One of her biggest frustrations, however, is that without the structure that a 9-to-5 job provides, the projects tend to linger uncompleted much longer than she feels they should. Walk the dog, answer a few emails, go to her Russian class, make lunch, and all of a sudden the day is almost done and S is left with a sinking feeling she cannot shake that she should have accomplished more.
We did have a bit of excitement the last two weeks. First, our HHE arrived from DC, and while most of the boxes joined their unopened brethren in our storage space to await the move to our permanent house, there were a number of items we had been dearly missing that we unpacked. Also, after sitting unused in our garage for three weeks, our car has finally been registered by the Moldovan government, meaning that we are no longer dependent on friends, cabs, and trolleys for transportation.
The car registration was finalized a few days before D’s birthday, just in time for the day trip S had planned as part of the festivities. We loaded up the dog and drove to Orhei Vechi. When we visited the monastery last time, we had noticed some people wandering around the caves on the far riverbank and thought they would make for a fun hike with Emmie.
Orhei Vechi draws a relative large number of Moldova’s tourists, but this late in the season there were few other people there and we felt comfortable letting Emmie off leash so she too could go exploring. We hiked up to the caves, which sadly were covered in graffiti, and then wandered around the remains of old Turkish baths, which had been built in the circular bend of the Raut River. After an outdoor lunch at a nice, new restaurant, we hiked up to the monastery for another visit, as the light slowly drained from a lead-gray sky.
After two miserable weeks at the end of September, the weather had relented a bit and most of October has been surprisingly sunny and pleasant. Our outing to Orhei, however, may have marked the end of this Indian summer. A cold wind is again whistling at our windows and, now that we’ve set the clocks back one hour, nightfall comes all too quickly. We are settling in a for a slow winter.