In the peak of winter, it’s common to experience at least a foot of snow (and often much, much more).And if you’re in northern Eastern Europe (e.g., northern Russia or Baltic states), the days become very short and you can completely forget seeing any sun at all from late October to late March.
Such serious praise should probably belong to Lichtenstein or Andorra—not Moldova. Having grown up in Eastern Europe and having returned and lived here for the past 3 years, it got me thinking about the region as a whole. And after living here for a while and going through another extremely depressing Eastern European winter, I’m starting to wonder whether the cons really outweigh the pros.
Moldova is certainly “a must see” country by any stretch of imagination. I realized that most often than not, the region is portrayed as some paradise on earth instead of being depicted closer to reality. Here are some factors that are either fully ignored or are majorly downplayed when describing this region: Let’s start with the things that directly affect your psychological well-being: weather. The difference between seasons is not moderate but extreme: very hot and humid summers and very cold and freezing winters.
Apart perhaps from Antarctica or Siberia, I can’t think of a more depressing part of the world to spend the winter.
Maybe that partly explains why Lithuania ranks second on a list of countries by suicide rate. Just like it’s possible to meet super friendly people, it’s also possible to meet unfriendly people. The friendliest people I’ve ever met were in Brazil.
“The third world” is typically associated with underdeveloped countries of Latin America, Africa and Southeast Asia.
But if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, quacks like a duck, then shouldn’t be a duck?Perhaps such items exist in Eastern Europe, but I didn’t go to the right stores. The bottom line is that I couldn’t find something in a large Eastern European city that’s readily available in most mid-size department stores all over New York.This isn’t limited to specialized gadgets like digital travel scales; it affects all kinds of non-essential goods that you take for granted in the West.Using that argument, Eastern Europe can easily be considered as undeveloped as any third world country.For instance, outside of the Baltics, you can forget about doing mundane things such as drinking water from the tap. Petersburg, I spent a week in October with absolutely no hot water.The majority of Eastern Europeans (except perhaps the young people from the Baltic countries) simply do not speak English at a very high level. I’m not saying that young people do not speak English—they do.