Monday, December 04, 2006

a 'gift' of time ..

so, sunday was an adventure ....
here's how i spent my day.
(all times are approximate.)

08.15 wake up in moldova (another country!) without an alarm. like doing that. wander around the apartment where we (my teammate and i) stayed with friends, find everyone else asleep. read Bible. wash face and hair. dry hair. iron skirt. eat breakfast of tea, bread, butter, and good cheese.

09.30 leave for church. walk about half an hour in a marvelously foggy town.

10.00 2 hour church service. all in romanian with beautiful songs, a choir in robes, women in skirts, and married women wearing scarves. some of the friends we stayed with work with deaf people, and they translate the service. really enjoy observing that. since i know a bit of american sign language, it is fun to notice similarities and get to match romanian words with physical signs. (since i am somewhat of a kinesthetic learner ..)

12.00 deaf service downstairs. able to communicate a little bit with the sign that i know (some who are there understand my asl). enjoy their prayers, music (some with heavy/felt beat and others in silence) - and seeing God worshiped physically. it is cool and encouraging.

13.15 take taxi to the bus station. buses and maxi-taxis (15 passenger vans, sorta) gather here and travel all over the country and to a couple other neighboring countries. including romania.

13.30 discover the bus that leaves at 2 is full and the next bus does not leave until 6.30 pm. purchase tickets for this bus at 6.30. have 5 hours to spend .. we go into a little cafe there which is warm and drink tea and eat pastries. have to leave when we're done because they need the table. go back into the large foyer of the station. mind you - it's foggy and cold outside, probably 25F or so, and there's not much heating inside - although it's much warmer inside, maybe 50 or so, because of the bodies and doors being shut etc. .. we read, listen to my mp3 player, think, talk a bit .. go into a bistro for some more warm tea, have to leave after a long while because of full tables again .. more reading, etc.

18.30 bus leaves the station and we're on it. (not a bus built for comfort or space..) along with one of the friends we stayed with who was surprised we hadn't called them or gone back to their place. didn't know how to get back, and it was just easier to stay, and .. bus drives slowly because of the thick fog. and roads here (and there) don't go straight. they sort of meander around.

22.00 bus arrives at moldova customs. officer comes to take all our passports (all 50 people or so on the bus). everyone gathers all their belongings. we go inside to go through customs. two men are there to question and check our stuff. so this takes a while.. then we're allowed to leave moldova. a kilometer later we arrive in romania. they too take all our passports and stamp them and ask a few people questions..

00.30 bus leaves romania customs. yes it's true. 2.5 hours basically sitting still. this is something abi loves. sitting still. yes....

00.45 bus arrives in iasi. we say goodbye to our friend. get off the bus, and grab a taxi to get home. this happens quickly and as normal. i even remember how to tell the taxi driver where i live. very glad for this - even in my state of tiredness..

01.00 abi arrives at home

so -- an adventure. and now i find it rather funny. and very cultural. because nobody else on the bus seemed particularly worried by it. like this was normal. it's a fairly cheap way to travel and gets you where you need to go. just takes more time than one might like. (i suspect the trip could be made in about 2.5 hours if customs didn't take too long and you were in a car.) but .. i did enjoy having some time to think and wonder and read (probably 250 pages or so) and talk to God. and be glad this isn't something i have to do often. the end.

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