Have you seen the series Outlander? Or maybe read the books? They feature an English nurse at the end of World War 2 who is unexpectedly transported to 1740s Scotland. On the bus coming home from Chişinău I watched an episode in which our nurse is traveling with a group of Scots. She is surrounded by people from the place where she currently lives, but is not from. They understand the way things work in that world in a way that she, the outlander, does not. Most of the time they are friendly towards her, but sometimes they are suspicious, since the two countries (England and Scotland) have not always been friends. They are bilingual, and she understands only one of the languages they speak. They frequently joke among themselves in the other language. And I feel a great kindred for this character, as I realize, there on my bus, that all of these statements apply to me and my fellow travelers, as well!
In the summer, I was astonished at how quickly things dried. Wet sidewalks, laundry on the line, puddles, all dried much more quickly than in the humid Gulf Coast city where I grew up. This fall, I walked to school on roads of baked, dried earth. Then the winter rainy season hit, and now those streets are covered in glod (“glode”*). Mud. Walking to school has become a little more complicated! And this morning some of the mud puddles were covered in a glassy layer of ice. Winter is making its presence felt! Maybe next Wednesday’s word will be gheață (ice)!
“It’s snowing!” I crowed joyfully to one of my advanced English students. “Mmm-hmm,” she replied, already bored with the subject. Clearly snow is more of a big deal for a girl from south Alabama (where it last snowed about 20 years ago) than for someone who has spent every winter of her life in Moldova!