Dear Padua #4
Reintegration - Home and Family (Moldova, 2012)
I need to stop promising things. Last time I said I would be writing about a time I felt wanted, but what if I didn’t feel like it anymore? Luckily, the sun is out, I had some coffee, so I do feel like it. This newsletter’s tone depends on the weather.
I’m watching Severance. Without giving too much away, it’s the story of some office workers whose memories have been surgically divided (severed) between their work and personal lives. I think it ultimately speaks about the inhumanness of modern jobs, but that’s a topic for a different day. I’ve already mentioned this, but I often feel like I’ve lived two lives—there’s a version of me that stayed in Moldova (Alina 1) and another me (Alina 2) that moved to Italy. A bit of a stretch, brains are elastic.
What happens when Alina 2 goes back to Moldova? I will take this metaphor further and call this a process of reintegration. Read ahead or stop and watch the show.
In 2012, three years after having moved to Italy, my family went on a road trip to Moldova. The journey took about 2-3 days. By the end of it, I believe my parents lost some pounds due to stress. I was already skin and bones. Ever since then I can’t understand people’s passion for road trips. Don’t let an anxious kid experience the streets of rural Romania.
We made it to Chișinău in the middle of the night. It was raining. Our apartment was just like we had left it, but it seemed smaller now. Exhaustion made room for the excitement of reacquainting yourself with a place you love. We had some tea and went to bed.
I can’t speak for my brother’s experience of moving to Italy, he was only four. His cultural background is fully Italian. Nonetheless, he loved celebrating his birthday with our family in Moldova.
My grandparents’ place is in Firladeni. This was the last time I saw my grandma before dementia took her away. I wish I had known that.
I just got an alert that this newsletter is getting too long. I will continue this chapter next time. It will be about my friends, the city, and the version of me that had left Moldova and then came back.
Let’s hope it’ll still be sunny and I’ll feel like it.
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