My friend who works now in Moldova mentioned to me that he got “Moldovan flu” – that was 2 weeks before I got to Moldova. I thought “What is that anyway? He must be confused”. And here I am suffering exactly from the same ailment just 3 weeks later. And it is totally the last thing you want to do when you have 12 days only to see your family and all your friends in your home country which you visit once a year and which is located 20 hours away by plane. But I did get sick. So my trip to the south of Moldova to see my relatives was cancelled and I am spending my days gargling with hot pepper and doing nasal irrigation with salt. Good thing I have 1 more day to recover before I need to get on the airplane back.
But this incident reminded me of a beautiful thing – the totally caring health-care in Moldova. I got a fever on Wednesday night and on Thursday a doctor showed up in my Mom’s apartment. She was pleasant, accommodated us by speaking Russian despite being a Romanian-speaking Moldovan, and left us with good advice and an offer to call her cell if my situation worsens. I did enjoy this kind of medical service before when I was growing up here, but after 10 years in the U.S. it felt totally novel and cool to me. I know there are lots of problems in the Moldova health-care system with doctors underpaid and the system bankrupt, but as a patient for 30 minutes yesterday I felt royal.