I am awake at 4:41am then 6:53am but at 9am I silence my alarm then I finally get up at 10am.
There goes some of my plans for the day as I have to make my way to the bus station by noon for my trip to Tiraspol.
Down str Ismail I navigate mud puddles from melting ice and snow before waiting to cross the street at a crosswalk. With the what I am told “crazy drivers” here, jaywalking is frowned upon and probably not the safest thing to do.
Along str Mitropolitul Varlaam the morning activities are brisk as various street vendors hawk their merchandise from food to clothing and probably everything in between.
Arriving at a very hectic bus station I make my way around the back entrance and with a little help find the ticket window where I must purchase my fare for Tiraspol.
Giving up about 37 leu, less than $3, I board for the most part except where covered in street mud a bright orange mini-van for about a one and a half hour road trip.
Looking through a big tear in the tint of my window provides an almost depressing contrast with the dreary buildings and bare vegetation that covers the landscape.
Going down the highway a set of oncoming lights flash at us and I am glad to see some local things are international. Just down the road is a “Bear Trap” and one unlucky victim has been caught. With still a long way to go and a short time to get there, soon our driver puts the “hammer down” .
Before long we nonchalantly pass through a few checkpoints before stopping at another one. Here a few passengers disembark and we wait for them before pressing on.
A few stops to drop off passengers at various points in the city and I began to get a little worried as I am soon one of two remaining. However, I have been given explicit directions to remain on the bus until the last stop and although I am not sure when that will happen I remain patient.
I am here to meet a man I have only met by email.
Through both of our failings neither one of us knows what each other looks like but I do know he is the only foreigner living in Transnistria.