Internet

Moldovan children, girls, Skype, Moldova, Cate

Baba’s and computers

The Internet coming to Varatic has been the topic of discussion in the street (yes, the only street) lately. All of the Babas (aka old women) have been talking about who has already had their Internet installed, who is still waiting for the phone, who has Internet AND TV, how much everything costs, why did this baba get Internet if she doesn’t have anyone to talk to and doesn’t know how to use a computer…
Oh, wait. That last one. Let’s go back.
She doesn’t know how to use a computer.
Honestly I do not even remember learning how to use a computer. I know we had a really old one we played games on and made cards with and we had a printer with that paper that was folded like an accordion with perforated edges… and then I remember learning to type in school… and getting our first home computer in 3rd grade for Christmas and Mom had it hidden under the dining room table (not a very good hiding place for snooping kids) and my Aunt spent all Christmas morning programming it… then creating an email account and getting email addresses from my friends (aka their parents) and spending 45 minutes typing a paragraph to a children’s author, then learning properly how to type and then becom
ing the master at it through AIM (AOL Instant Messenger)… and then the rest is history. I don’t remember it. Not sure how I learned but I just did. Maybe it’s because I was a kid and I just absorbed everything… who knows. But I just don’t remember.
Most of the villagers in Varatic, though? No idea. I have not seen one person that knows how to properly place their hands on a keyboard and type. The Internet is for finding videos, chatting on Russian Facebook, Skyping with relatives abroad, looking up the weather, poorly translating homework assignments into English, and copy+pasting articles found online and calling it a properly written paper by the student. This is what the KI
DS know. But most of the parents… and grandparents? Nimic.

Apparently today the Internet was supposed to run out with it being the first of the Month and all. There has been quite a bit of confusion, however, because we had to go into the city to pay for the Internet but didn’t get it for a few days and then it wasn’t really clear just exactly what we were paying for in the end and if the month of April is
covered or not. Apparently it’s not. The reason I know this is because our neighbor’s Internet stopped working and she called the city and they told her this (although mine still works?). This is how her conversation apparently went:
Baba: Why isn’t my internet isn’t working?
Internet company: I don’t know.
Baba: How can you find out?
IC: Do this, then this then…
Baba: Slow down.
IC: Do this… and type in 1… 34…
Baba: (quietly, away from the phone) Do this… and type in 1… 34…
IC: Who are you talking to?
Baba: My little granddaughter. I don’t have any idea what you’re saying!
Somehow kids are learning here, too, what to do.
The first day we had the Internet, these 3 girls (one has her head turned) called me to tell me goodnight. Made my day!

Outhouses and my new house

Buna seara! (Good evening!) Check out the toilet- for which I have an awesome story.
When I first arrived, my host sister, Nadea, was giving me a tour of the house. She speaks English incredibly well, so it has made my adjustment that much better. I had been told time and time again that the chances of having an outhouse were pretty high. In fact, it would be odd if the home where I was staying did not have one. So, I’d like to say I was mentally prepared when she said, “the toilet is outside”. Unfortunately, though, I did not have to use the restroom until it was dark outside, so when I went to try to remember which gate lead to the outhouse, I forgot. Along comes Nadea with a flashlight (thank goodness!) to show me the way. She helps me open the gate, then shines the flashlight in the direction of the toilet (a hole between 2 boards. literally). My thought was she was then going to walk out and wait for me, but no, she says, “Don’t worry, I won’t look” as she is shining the flashlight on me. Ok, that’s great, I don’t want to fall in. As we were leaving she says, “You have great legs!”
Welcome to Moldova- where privacy doesn’t exist.
… now that’s a story for the storybooks.