The Big Moldova Blog – Part 8: Two Days for the Price of One [Warning: contains pictures of butchered pigs]

Because I’m a sucker for a bit of adventure – I met Alex at half 5 in the morning outside the school to head for the meat market in Chisinau. I like the mornings but because of my chronic laziness I rarely get to experience a sunrise – so as the bus climbed out of the valley I saw the sun rise over the hills and it was beautiful.

Regretfully I only had my iPhone to rely on for imaging – drat.

Sunrise over Trebujeni

The bus ride cost about 19 LEI, just over £1 – for a journey of over an hour. A return from Norwich Railways Station to the University of East Anglia cost me £4.40 for a return journey of about 2 miles – it makes me spit. Spit.

Alex and I talked at length about a bunch of stuff in a desperate attempt to stay awake – sitting is a bad policy when you’ve only had like 4 hours sleep.

We arrived in the capital and headed for the Piața (market). There were several meat markets in the complex of stalls and buildings and we went into one recommended by the school principal (who had some shopping to do herself). Now the butchers is rather unlike the butchers back home, people were slinging pig and other carcasses around. It was clean and the meat was fresh, but I don’t think I’d really want to touch the banknotes that were moist with pig ‘juice’ again. Hand sanitiser to the rescue – Alex was well prepared.

Not quite the same at my local butchers, but interesting nevertheless

Our pork legs are prepared

Now the cook had given us a list of the meat she wanted – as we (i.e Alex) ordered it we started to think that perhaps we were ordering rather a large and unaffordable quantity – 45 pork chops, 2 entire pork legs, 4 kilos of diced pork and 4 kilos of minced beef. The total wasn’t shy of a hundred pounds (sterling) and we had to hurriedly go to a bureau-de-change so I could convert a few more Euros to LEI. Even then we couldn’t afford the bill and Alex had to fess up to the butcher that we would only be taking 23 pork chops. The butcher was not best pleased.

Alex preparing to talk to the butcher.

Once we’d paid and were handed the meat we were then definitely sure that the cook had over-ordered – perhaps confusing lbs with kilos. In any case it was f**cking heavy and contained only in plastic bags which meant more delightful pig juice on our hands, tshirts, shorts etc. Delightful.

Loaded all the meat onto the back of the bus and we went back to Trebujeni, not forgetting an enormous hill to carry the pretty much whole dead pig up – I promptly had a nap – and it was only 10 in the morning!

There was still a fair amount of work to be done including the grand moving of the septic tank into the hole.

Many hands make light work...

John created an enormous lever contraption to lower the septic tank into the 35 foot hole – pretty impressive!

Daring trapeze artist...


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