July 18th, 2017

The seventh, the eighth, the ninth and the tenth

We went across the border to Iasi, the capital of the Romanian part of Moldova today to meet a bunch of people. It was a good day, we were able to deliver some good news to some people there and when we did they literally started jumping up and down (we underestimated how important it was to them) just like these girls in front of the city's central shopping mall were:

Finally a car fit for Trump the POTUS

I would totally do this if I were Donald Trump. You don't have much to lose anyway, not that you will be remembered as a very reasonable man of great taste anyway so at least you'll have fun.

Imagine all those other heads of states arriving in those boring black cars wearing sensible shoes trying to appear as modest as possible and demonstrate how close to the people they are (and some even cycling or what is it that is "in" right now to demonstrate how down-to-earth a politician is) and here you are rolling in in this mother "'Sup bitches?!".

And watching CNN anchors drowning in their own saliva on air as well as Fox anchors trying not to have massive heart attacks while pretending with a straight face that this is nothing out of the ordinary, makes total sense and is in fact necessary would be fun too.

I am hot and I need cock

You know how when you visit India for the first time it can be quite funny to see groups of moustached guys everywhere walking around holding hands (sometimes they just have only their little fingers crossed, just to express connection / affection symbolically) or even resting their heads on their friends' shoulders or chests or kissing their friend's shoulder or neck in a sudden outburst of affection and tenderness? This is what friends do there and it has no sexual meaning and that's why it can look quite unusual and funny to a western eye sometimes.

In Moldova Russian speakers (speakers of Romanian too but it is less pronounced) pronounce the middle sound in "big" and "meek" in the same way. It is definitely not the sound that is in "big", it is closer to "meek" but just a bit shorter. The same goes for "bed" and "bad" (pronounced exactly the same and somewhere in between the two but closer to "bed") and "coke" and "cock", both are pronounced as "cock". So I have this conversation regularly here:

- Whoa, I am hot and I need some cock! And a big one. Do you want cock?
- No, thanks.
- Who wants cock? You? One? Big or small? You? Big cock for you? OK.
- Bjorn, why you never want cock? You don't like cock?
- No, I don't.
- Why?

One of our British volunteers became really good friends with a local volunteer here and the guys are very close. So the Brit tried to teach the local guy to say "coke" properly but the local guy always forgets and does "cock" again. He says that it is weird to have two different "o"s and that an "o" is an "o" so there. The Brit makes fun of him a lot though. We were in the capital and the Brit went to McDonalds to get some food for us because we didn't have time for lunch and had to drive up north asap. His local friend, who also was with us, ordered a Big Mac and "a small cock" of course. When the Brit returned with our orders he gave his friend his Big Mac:

- Here is your Big Mac mate, small cock you already have.
- Where? No, I don't have cock. You haven't given cock to me yet.

This also happens with Singlish in Singapore of course (but Moldovans do the "coke/cock" pair much better):

Also, locals who only saw my name written and never heard it pronounced before meeting me (happens sometimes when our new volunteers are given their welcome packs on the evening of their arrival ahead of the welcome workshop in the morning) often pronounce the "j" in Bjorn as in "jam" but even more pronounced Russian style (followed by a long "o" and a really hard Russian "rrrrrrr") when they address me for the first time which cracks everyone up. Bzhooooorrrrrn!