Fashion Window Display Awards

Best Fashion Store Window Display Awards happened in Moldova last week and this is the winner:

Here it is from inside:

Runner up:

Third place:

One of our volunteers asked me what I thought about these. I told her that neither of them probably would get a second look from anyone if they were even in Croydon's South Bus Garage or somewhere on the outskirts of Swansea. And from what I saw here they are very unremarkable even for Moldova's capital. She told me that everyone knows that they are not the best, nothing is won in Moldova without bribes so the "winners" always are those who paid or have "important people" in the family.

This is how Moldovans do things. A daughter of some minister here who say opened a shop won't bother to hire best window display designers, buy expensive props, pay best photographers and models that her "mere mortal" competitors can't afford and win this way. She will just get daddy to call the judges on the panel and/or have him pay them. And it doesn't matter how blatantly obvious it will be that her shop's windows are not the best. People are accustomed to injustice at every step here. And they are accustomed to feel absolutely powerless about it. In the past it was Soviet / Russian shit that made everyone feel small and now it is the horrific criminal corruption supported by the US and the EU as long as the dictator plays "on the West's side" and antagonises and shames Russia internationally when told to do so instead of (heaven forbid) ever side with it (as half of the population here do). And the people here are just hostages to this shit.

Does alternative medicine work?

So what's the deal with all this alternative, complementary or integrative medicine? Does any of it work? Do you or your friends or relatives have any experience with it? Is any of it real stuff or all of it is quackery or placebo? Please share your experiences or just thoughts with all of us here. I am naturally sceptical of this stuff but I know nothing about it and don't really have an opinion.

Did acupuncture save your life? What about magnets therapy? Was infrared red light therapy a turning point for you? Are you hooked on shooting coffee up your ass for the rest of life? What about healing crystals? Cryotherapy? Reiki shit? Did craniosacral therapy turn you into a different person? Is your life split into before and after hyperbaric oxygen therapy? Or is oxygen passé and it is all about ozone therapy now? Do you have a chiropractor you take with you everywhere if your trip is longer than three days? What about amplipulse therapy? Isn't it what they did to gay men fifty years ago to 'cure' them? Has it 'gone mainstream' now? Do you swear by aromatherapy and light therapy? And finally what the fuck is thalassotherapy?

Also do you 'detoxify'? Do you Tai Chi? Do you yoga? Ayurveda? Chakras stuff?

Tell all, guys. Let's figure this stuff out, if we can't I don't know who can.

Rain, wash away my sorrow

I just heard this song about rain playing at a cafe here:

Rain, feel it on my finger tips
Hear it on my window pane
Your love's coming down like
Rain, wash away my sorrow
Take away my pain

One can be certain that whoever wrote the lyrics is not Moldovan. After spending a lot of time here we know that you feel it way more than just on your finger tips and you can hear it not on your window pane but hear your window pane almost breaking because of it and the thunder instead.

And it very often does the very opposite of washing away one's sorrow and taking away one's pain and causes a lot of problems and pain for the locals.


Different strokes for different folks

Today we visited the home village of one of our local volunteers (a great guy who volunteered with us last year and came back this year too). We always noticed how different he was from the locals in our village and today we saw how different his village was from ours too. Ours is all green rolling hills and dense forests and his is all about rocks, rivers and the wind. There are rocks and water everywhere you look, it is beautiful, open and windy and very different from our village.

And the villagers are different from ours, they are mostly fishermen, stonemasons and sheep shepherds and are "harder" and more solitary (much less hobbity) than our villagers who spend most of their time working in the fields and orchards in huge teams.

We had local speciality sheep cheese and freshly caught river fish with mamaliga (see here) for lunch. It was extraordinary.

And this is the car I drive here at the entrance to the village:

We will come back here.

IRA is still active in UK

I have heard that before the age of the internet a lot discussions that happen online now happened on public toilet walls but I thought it was long gone. Well, apparently some of it is still going on and one can catch a glimpse of this time-honoured practice at the public toilet in Leicester Square in London.

For example, on this door of the stall I was using a gentleman named Chris kindly left his phone number. I guess one could call Chris if one feels lonely in that stall. Quite nice of Chris.

A phone number that promises to connect one to a ladyboy is conveniently placed below Chris's number. I think one can use it in case Chris is busy and can't really talk or if one generally had all those questions about ladyboys and never really got the time to get them answered.

Finally, someone also kindly informs us that IRA is still active in the UK, which I found a useful reminder but judging by "So fucking what?" below it, not everybody did at first. But in response to that question someone kindly explained that it was important because they "still want to murder innocent people".
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