A date that lives in infamy...at least in my head. It's just after midnight here in Moldova so I guess technically that makes it my birthday.
Holly and I moved into a new apartment. We had planned on moving in on the 15th, which sucked but our landlady got wind of it and told us to move out on the 1st. That kind of screwed up our plans since the apartment we were taking from our friends Erin and Natasha wouldn't be available until they moved out on the 15th. Therefore, we've been living slumber party style for the sat two weeks. Even though I like my privacy, it's been kind of fun. Don't get me wrong, I'm looking forward to having my own room again but that comes at the expense of Erin leaving and that makes me sad. Our new apartment is much better. Our old landlady was pretty mean to us and when we would tell the story no one seemed surprised. "That's Moldovans for you." But here's the thing, our new landlady is the greatest and she is also Moldovan. So it's not about bad Moldovans or good Moldovans, it's about good and bad people. They're everywhere.
Today was weird. Holly and I were woken up at 4am to the sounds of breaking glass. I mean it sounded like a Michael Jackson video outside with people smashing car windows or that the Lakers just won and there was a riot. However, when Holly looked out the window, there were 3 fire trucks. We saw smoke and realized that the building we were in was on fire. The funny thing was, neither of us panicked. Instead we kind of groaned at the fact that we had to change out of our pajamas. We exited the building and joined the crowd out in front. We were lucky to run into an English speaker we knew and she explained that a man with mental issues had been throwing his furniture out the window all night and had eventually set his apartment on fire. But let's hear it for Soviet Block cement structures as that was the only apartment with any damage. After a couple of hours of standing outside in the wee hours of the morning, the fire was put out and we could come back inside. A strange beginning to the day. But I guess we were lucky. I'm thinking it is a side effect of living in Los Angeles so long that we were not even the slightest bit alarmed. Just annoyed at the inconvenience.
But anyway, today is my birthday. A year ago, I had been in Moldova for a week and I barely knew the people around me. It was strange celebrating with strangers and yet I was so touched by their kindness in trying to give me a good birthday that it was oddly comforting. Now, a year later, they are my dearest friends and strangely, I won't see any of them today. Lindsay and Conrad are with their family in Turkey, Lyndsey R. is running a seminar with Michael. And my dear friend, JESSICA, who I neglected to mention last time just lives to far away. She thinks I don't care about her because I don't mention her in my blogs but how can I admit that? I don't want her to think I have a heart. But dammit if she hasn't become an important part of my life. Damn you, JESSICA!!!!!!!
But I will be surrounded by my friends here in Cahul as well as my friend, John who is coming down to hang out. There has been no gas here in the city all week (that just happens sometimes during the summer) so we will have to go out to dinner instead of cooking which is always fine by me. Saturday, I think the plan is to have another barbecue by the lake which will be fun.
It will be a day full of smiles. Even if my thoughts are with my sister and niece who are preparing to go on a Disney vacation with my nephew, aunt, uncle and a crapload of cousins, with my mom and Leroy who are still adjusting to a new house and worrying about everyone but themselves, my brother Bob who is finally enjoying success in the family restaurant that he was destined to run, thinking of my Uncle Bob who is desperately fighting a damn disease that has already taken too many of my family and to 2 years ago when i sat surrounded by my siblings at my dad's funeral as we pondered what was to come next. My head is filled with these thoughts but yet, here I am, in Eastern Europe celebrating yet another birthday, healthy, happy and satisfied with my new friends. Life does go on so I will celebrate another year in honor of those who won't get another one.