A woman sleeps deeply early morning lying face down on the plain of a village from Moldova. One of her hands is under her forehead and the other is hugging her one year and a half baby. The little looks at the white spots on the clear summer sky and mumbles a few strayed words which only he understands. Insects swarm around them, attracted by the smell of vodka “Spicusor” and pampers that have not been changed for three days.The woman has been drinking all night at some of her drinking companions and was not able to get home. She laid down for a short while and fell asleep on the grazing ground just in front of the mayoralty. Suddenly, a policeman runs out of his office and goes straight to the “tired” woman. He takes her by the shoulders and turns her face up. She doesn’t even say a word. She keeps sleeping on the brushy grass. He stirs her a little. Nothing. He tries to get her up, but her legs refuse to cooperate. He calls for help. Social workers come. They make the sign of the Cross. They pull the sleeping woman by the hands, rub her back. The woman opens her eyes. She wants to swear at them – why did they find the time now to give an eye to her!? She gives up and closes her eyes again. It’s unbelievable, but the civil servants manage to drag her to the social worker’s office.
– That’s it. We can no longer tolerate that, Irina! We have already put two of your children to the school boarding house. You kneeled not to take the little from you. We trusted you and your promises to improve yourself, but you keep doing wrong. What a state you are in now, my dear?!, a tiny social worker tells her, while changing the scrubby child’s pampers.
– If you take this him from me, tomorrow morning you will find me dead, hanging in front of the Mayoralty. You know very well I cannot take of them, f…ck. I…., the woman is trying to respond, but stops.
She sits on a chair, her head in hands, and stares at the floor. She is aware that if she talks too much, she may be deprived of parental rights. She is already in the black list.
– Irina, I am sick and tired of this show. You are never at home. You wander about one or another companion, trailing her little child with you, the social worker gives a way of her hand, as if sick of Irina’s case.
The same day, a commission was formed at the Mayoralty to discuss the two-year-old child’s case. Everyone was good angry. Everyone was FOR assigning the little to a boarding house and depriving Irina of parental rights. Only the social worker was AGAINST. After some tensioned discussions, the woman’s third child was put to a school boarding house too, the same boarding house where Irina lived in.
* * *
– I sent the first two [children] to the boarding house. My third child was one-year-old and I decided to keep him. In that period of time, Irina lived together with a [former] convict. Once she ran away from him, but she left her child with him. When we found him [the former convict], he was carrying the little boy in a horse-drawn carriage, infested with fleas. I immediately took the baby to hospital. The [former] convict wondered around the hospital for two days, although the boy was not his. Then, when he heard we want to put the child to a boarding house, he came to me begging not to take the boy from him, because he got attached to him. I told him – “Is this a kitty to give it to you and then take it back or what? This is a human being!”. Soon, the poor man disappeared. He cared about Irina’s child so much, the social worker recalls the adventures the little boy and her mother went through.
Three years passed since that summer. Meanwhile, Irina moved to the neighouring village. We met her in the social worker’s office, at the Mayoralty. Like three years ago, she sits on the chair and stares at the floor. This time, he is ashamed. She keeps cracking the joints of her ragged and cracked fingers. She wants to seem relaxed, so she keeps her legs stretched. She has her sunglasses on her eyes. She arranges her ruffled brownish red hair, laying on her shoulders.
She keeps fidgeting on the chair following carefully every shadow moving on the street. She has less than an hour available. She doesn’t want Iura, the concubine she has been living with since her third child was taken from her, to become suspicious. “I told him I don’t know why those from the Mayoralty called me. I fed him, and now it’s lunchtime”. He will not understand anything”, the woman explains how she escaped from her supervisor.
This time she doesn’t tremble. We tried to talk to her before, but the meeting failed. One early morning, we went to her concubine’s house. It was Sunday. We fixed the meeting beforehand. She was paying the fence separating the courtyard from the garden. She had green paint on her face too. Iura was out. He went shopping with her mother.
We sat on the tiny chairs under the pear tree in the garden. I was listening to her storytelling sharing her broken thoughts. She was proud to say that due to her concubine who found her in a sorry plight her life goes well today.
– I am glad I met Iura. He doesn’t go to whores. At parties, he sometimes pulls women by the tits and tells them “Hey, you devil?!”. I tell him – You go and just whisper at their ears, but none of them pays attention to you. I am the only one he lived together with so long. It’s been three years…
She was just on the point to finish her eulogy when Iura arrived. Like a cock, he fluffed his skinny breast with little hair coming out of the grey T-shirt, and grumbled with irritation from under his worn-out cap:
– What are you doing here?
– I came to talk with Irina about life.
He looked at us from top to bottom, spat furiously and disappeared. We heard some sounds of cracking lids form the courtyard. He was away for ten minutes, so Irina prepared her bathetic speech about her relationship with Iura and spoke from all her heart:
– I left him many times… He would meet me in the street and tell me – “Come on. Let’s go home!”. You know, it happens like in all families. He is lucky I am patient, bu’ when I get angry…
Her hands started to tremble of fear and helplessness. To calm down, she was twisting her ring engraved with bible sayings around her finger. She was not the woman who was paying the fence anymore. She was a helpless girl, chased by everyone and tired of the abjections he had in life. She asked in a hurry about her children. I told her I spent a few days with them at the boarding house. She was listening gulping back her tears and hit with her fist her hand of paint and the cortex of the ragged tree.
– You motherfuckers! If I catch you here one more time, I will break your legs!
Iura was coming to us like a harmed bull. I did not even manage to say good bye to Irina. In a second we were already jumping over the fence our photo cameras on our back. When we were already on the narrow alley, our first thought was to call the police. But we had to give up, fearing not to make Irina’s situation worse. The woman may get a slap on the backhead or kick her back, as he usually does when angry.
We were just finishing our talk when an old car starting chasing us. It was Iura. We were taken aback by fear. We were in a strange village with narrow almost uninhabited alleys… He hit the brake. His mother sat next to him. She could hardly breathe because of the fat covering all her body.
– What the f…ck were you doing in my courtyard?!, the man started yelling.
– We just wanted to talk to Irina. We have nothing to do with you.
– Do you understand that we are all disabled and if you take photos of our courtyard… the woman slobbers, resting her soft silky hands on the belly round like a water-melon.
– You motherfuckers! If I ever catch you here, I will kick your ass! I will break you legs and you will go to hell together with your Irina! Iura yelled and started the engine.
We have been waiting for one month for things to cool down. The social worker was playing the watchwoman at the door of the Mayoralty while Irina and I were moving from one part of the road to another fearing Iura may emerge behind.
The woman wears close-fitting sports pants with two pink stripes on the side of each leg. Her umbilicus may be seen from under her black short T-shirt. She is all flesh and bones. She has strong arms because of too much work. When she is ashamed, she hides her bulging beard in her small breast. The deep wrinkles under her eyes made her sad sun-burned face seem old too early.
– You know, I feel good at Iura’s house. Bu’ I have to endure so much. I have to endure his mother’s accusations, who told him [Iura]: “You will not make any business with this one (meaning Irina). I also have to tolerate his handicapped brother whom I wash, make massage, shave, and he still offends me. But I have nowhere to go. I have a piece of bread here. Thank God, he doesn’t prohibit me to eat what I want. If I want to open a can or take something from the garden – he will say “Sure”, the woman confesses.
Villagers see Irina rather as a servant in Iura’s house than a future wife. „There should be someone to take care of the old woman and cook for them!? At least, this is a chance for Irina to gain some food. Where else can she go, poor woman?!, a neighbour tells us, flapping her hands like a whirligig.
Irina wakes up early morning, accompanied by her “mother-in-law’s gabbles”. She feeds the domestic birds and animals. She changes the clothes of the old woman, who can hardly move. She also changes the clothes of Iura’s brother, who fell from the fifth floor, after having mixed pills with alcohol. Then, she prepares the breakfast.
She would be happy to lie down at midday, like Iura likes lying on the sofa. But she cannot. She is either in the field, or in the garden, or shopping… Even during the night, when everyone is sleeping, she is the one that has to get up and calm down the dog that is barking loudly. “Hey, you don’t hear it? Go and calm him down”, the concubine nudges her authoritatively.
– When he is drunk, he says and does lots of things. I have a notebook where I write everything he does to me. When he sees me drinking a glass of wine, he tell me: “YOU WHORES, GO HOME!”. When I go shopping to the market, he lets me carry the bags alone. He drinks coffee…
* * *
She got pregnant with her first child at the age of 17 from a 28-year-old former convict. They lived together in their native village. One night, Irina’s brother, accompanied by a friend, both former convicts, broke into her house.
Since in the penitentiary, Irina’s husband used to be a prison bitch, the two night guests beat him to death. They tried him too to make sure they did not beat him in vain. Then, the guy who came together with Irina’s brother, raped Irina with the child in her belly.
– Well, he liked both, my sister and me. He wanted us both, but he chose me, Irina remembers, somehow flattered.
After a year, she got pregnant. She gave birth to a girl. Almost three moths after the second baby was born, she started feeling sick again.
– A woman advised me to drink a bottle of vodka with black pepper and I will abort. The second day, I had periods. Misa was taken to prison. But, after two months, it turned out that I was pregnant. I could do nothing. Doctors told me I cannot abort at six months pregnancy.
The social worker from the village says that Irina lived together with convicts only and that her children have different fathers.
– She told me once it seemed that she stayed at the prison gates and picked them up.
The woman with her mannish bony and callous hands is 26 years old. She has three children of eight, six and five years old. All of them are at the boarding house. She has no house of her own. Her parents’ house that has only two rooms belongs to her sister. After her last child was deported to the boarding house, Irina started drinking more and more. Party after party, barbecue after barbecue. Till she met Iura and this is where she stopped.
– I used to live in the street. I was skinny, dirty and drunk. I started to go off the rails. I was having fun with some friends. Iura was shocked when he saw me. I was ugly and frightful.
* * *
In the evening, before going to bed, the little children are playing in the reading hall of the boarding house. They have one hour to say good night to all the toys. They ask ne to read tales to them. First, they want to hear the fairy tale “Quail Chick” by I. AL. Bratescu-Voinesti, which they have herd tens of times, as the teacher says. This is a painful story about the quail that had to leave her chick in cold weather, in order to rescue her other children of winter frost.
I am thinking. This is a fairy tale too much alike with their destiny. But they stand still and stare at me. I start reading. Silence. I see in their eyes a quail, a stubble, a boy with a cap. The dog appears in the story. Dana, a blond hair girl wearing glasses makes some noise. “Danaaa, shut up! It’s the bad dog”, her colleagues calm her down.
Children don’t move and lour. I keep reading. You can hear the crackling wings, then the grass fizzling under the dog’s legs, a desperate quail and the song of the grasshopper. Children, their faces burning and making no moves, their eyes big and wet, force me to read the sad tale till the end. I finish the story, but the children understood the ending. I looked down. I could not look them in the eyes. Some of them fetch a sigh.
– Why did the quail abandon her chick?, Oleg, Irina’s youngest child and the youngest child in the boarding house, asks.
I want somebody to rescue me now. Nothing happens. I swallow a lump. I explain them that the chicks’ mother could not do anything else, because otherwise all her chicks could die.
– She had to carry it on her back. She shouldn’t have left it, a little girl with freshly washed hair, says.
All of them nod supporting the girl.
– Ok, read it one more time, a skinny little freckled boy says irritated, as if she wants to make sure the ending is different and the writer made a mistake.
They wanted to hear the same tale, but with a different ending. A few older children gave up on the idea and handed me another book – The Choosy Princess.
After that, they go to their rooms more relaxed. They start getting ready for sleep. They make their bed, then they find their kindergarten clothes for the next day. In the girls’ room, after saying the prayer, Dana starts blubbering why her mother is not with her. Tatiana also starts crying. The teacher comes in and sees tears on their face. Each evening, she has to tell them lies: mother will come, now she cannot.
Elena, Irina’s daughter, is the most obedient and shy child in the boarding house. She doesn’t blubber. Neither cares she about her mother. She asks permission to go to the neighbouring room, where her brothers sleep. She wants to tell them “Good night”.
There is lot of noise in the boys’ room. Someone is going head over heels, someone is laughing, the third one is laying the blanket. They are short and young, but at the same time, they are mature. Oleg is the most spoiled. When he was brought to the boarding house, after having spent his night in the field, near the Mayoralty, sleeping next to his drunk mother, he was almost two years old. Therefore, the older children would carry him in their arms.
The sister and the two brothers hug each other. They kiss each other in the check, say ‘Good night’ and separate until the next day, waving to each other.
The days at the boarding house are all the same. Every morning, when the turn comes, two older children wake up at six and clean the courtyard: they broom and remove the snow, take the garbage out, set the table. Then, they all gather in the canteen to have breakfast. The little children have their own row of wooden chairs. The old ones as well.
The food was served in stainless steel plates. A girl can’t help mumbling for herself: “Ok, let’s eat from the trough!”. The teacher hears her and says: “Our Valentina says everything she thinks! But she should not. First think then speak. The girl gives a fake smile.
After meal, almost all of them stuff their pockets with bread. They also take a few pieces of bread in hands and a few in their mouth. They do the same at each meal. Almost everyone does it.
Then they divide into two camps. Some of them go to the school in the village. The others – the little ones – go to the kindergarten. The first group comes at midday, the second one – at 5 p.m. As soon as they leave, silence dominates the boarding house. Bored, the dog Roza dozes under a bush till the school boys and girls come. After that, she is tried at different things: dance with them on two paws, fawn at their feet, accompany someone around the courtyard if invited.
* * *
After lunch, a few tables were brought in the pavilion of the boarding house courtyard. Wednesday is the day when clothes sent “from Italy” are distributed. Children carry plastic sacks full of clothes and put them on a platform. Razzle dazzle around the clothes of different sizes, colour, époque. A boy comes across a small skirt. His eyes are searching for the girl he likes and gives it to her blushing. A pair of red guipure underwear appears through the clothes. Children start laughing. A boy touches the cloth curiously for a few seconds. Then, he throws it on the floor, as if it belonged to the Devil.
They look through the bulk of clothes until they faint. The little children get a sleeveless coat, a Russian cap, silver garlands for the Christmas tree, old dolls with disheveled hair. A plump freckled boy, whom everyone calls “The Fatty” can hardly move with the bulk of clothes in his arms. He also took a pair of white pants. He tried them on – they were large, from neck to toes, so he gave up. The trousers could have fit his father, but where could he find him nobody knew.
The older children, especially girls, make a wry mouth when looking at the crumpled clothes. They steal a glance at the little children, may be they have some luck to get better clothes than the red underwear. With the hope alike a pin prick, they give up saying: “We have nothing to choose from here. Let’s go!”. They accommodate in a belfry and talk about school.
– The first time when I went to the gymnasium in the village, I fought with my colleagues. They would call us with different bad words, they would say that we have no parents and so on…
– Yes, I remember. But after that we became friends.
– Ya. Bu’ the teacher of Biology still calls us “Parasites of society!”.
– But we did not give up: „If you say we are orphans and have no parents, then you are sterile, because you do not have children”. I got angry and said it without thinking she could hear me: “I am sick and tired of this sterile woman!”. Oh my God, there was such a noise…
None of the girls knows exactly what to do when leaving the boarding house. Trapped between the system and the freedom expecting them, they cannot afford to dream. They are aware of the situation they have and think practically.
– I think I will marry the guy I like. We have a secret relationship. We date during the day. This is how my elder sister did and now she has her own house, a child.
– I will apply for an industrial school.
– I would like to complete the high school studies in the village, but I am tired of the boarding house. So, I will go to an industrial school too. I will become a chef.
When I hear about studying, I start laughing as if it was a joke.
– What faculty?! Who will take care of us till the 12th form, and then at the university?! We are orphans. You had parents, so you could study at the university, while we cannot…
* * *
– Augustiiiin, Augustiiiin!
The five little children sing, but they seem to roar as much as they can. Usually, they start singing when they leave the kindergarten and finish when entering the boarding house. Oleg, Irina’s youngest child, runs happily after them. He wants to take off his fur coat, but the older ones would not let him. The child stops in the middle of the road and folds his arms. He stamps the ground, purses his lips, refusing to move. Nothing can make change his mind, neither the osier rod in the air, nor the explanations he will catch a cold.
After seeing his coat in the arms of teenagers accompanying him, he joins the running competition. Sister Elena, as a caring mother, cries him out: “Be careful not to fall and hit!”
– Where are we going now? Dana, her blond hair hidden under a cherry cap, stops for a while and asks.
– Home, a teenager replies.
– Bullshit! Not home. At the boarding house, a plump girl, wearing a cap similar to Dana’s, corrects her. Then she turns to Dana and asks her when she will go to her real house.
– May be Saturday, if grandmother comes to take me. She gets drunk, but evenings she tells me stories and I fall asleep in her arms.
As they arrive to the boarding house, the kids take off their clothes and go to the hall. Eduard gets out of the classroom, greets his brothers and, together with Oleg, go outside and join the children on the playground. Elena prefers to stay inside.
Outside, at the seesaw, it’s a mess. Dana stands next to the chair where Oleg sits and cries blue murder because she wants to ride on the see-saw too. Oleg roars even louder he would not get up. Eduard offers the girl the nearby see-saw in order for the girl to leave his brother alone and stands near. The boy warns having his fist clenched and eyes strained: “Mark my words! Don’t even try to touch Oleg, otherwise…”
Sun goes down slowly in the courtyard of the boarding house flooded with the cheerful shouts of children. Some of them play the ball, others dance. Some talk, while others feed pig Masca, which will be cut before the graduation ball. Everything happens in front of the teachers. Nobody talks about nostalgia, mother, father, home or when. There are subjects which the little kids share only before going to bed.
Elena, who stays in the hall, calls me outside. She asks me to teach her a poem about “The Sly Fox”. Her face is dark and she has black eyes. Nothing is similar to Irina’s, but for her look.
– Pleeeaaaaase, I want to recite it to mom when she comes to visit us.
The little Oleg hears his sister’s request and decides to join her near the book. Eduard also comes. He whispers he misses his mother very much. He hasn’t seen her very often since they have been brought to the boarding house.
After learning the poem, Elena begs me to repeat it the next day. She wants to make sure she will not forget it till her mother comes. The girl doesn’t even remember how her mother looks like. Only Eduard, Irina’s oldest brother, remembers her well, the head of the boarding house says.
They know nothing about their fathers. They have never met them.
* * *
When I told Irina about the time spent with her children at the boarding house, she didn’t say a word. She just swallowed a lump. Many lumps. I had to wait for a few minutes to start talking again.
– This old bitch (Iura’s mother) does not let me take my children home. She will not let me do that as long as she lives. And she knows she is on the point of death. Iura says I must understand her. He doesn’t want any children. One evening I did not want to eat and he asked me if I missed them. What a stupid question…
Her harsh and miser smile gets lots through memories. She still drinks to blunt her sadness. She herself admits it.
– I had to pay the fee at the kindergarten and I had not money. Everyone from the Mayoralty told me they will help, but they didn’t. You think I wanted to give my children to the boarding house?! It is hard not to have a mother and a father. On the one hand I regretted I gave them to the boarding house. However, the oldest son has already been to Italy (as part of an exchange program for boarding house children). I am satisfied. A neighbor of mine told me not to worry too much, because my boy knows me anyway and when he grows up, he will definitely come to visit me.
He looks through the window. She cleans the dark lens of the eyeglasses and puts them on the nose. She stands up. This is a sign time is up and she must go back in the house in order not to make her concubine suspicious. She almost whistles the last words:
– Once they caught me drunk with my boy in the field and told me they will deprive me of parental rights. I told them I would commit suicide in front of Mayoralty. They asked me if I can find a house for rent, while they have so many abandoned houses. Why don’t they give me a house?! When you know you have nothing and nowhere to live…
She starts going away moving her hips. Then she suddenly stops, turn around, takes off her eyeglasses and says:
– I believe you’ve taken some pictures with my children when you were at the boarding house. Please, when you come again, bring me some.
* * *
The distance between Irina and her children is 10 kilometers. It takes ten minutes by car and almost half an hour walking. They live in neighbouring villages. Spring was the last time the woman approached the gate of the boarding house, but the director prohibited her to see her kids. Irina was roaring drunk. Her clothes were dirty.
Yet, every Sunday, Irina and her concubine go to the market, in the neighbouring village. On their way to the market, they pass by the boarding house. The woman doesn’t get out of the car. She just sits more comfortable on the front seat. How can she tell Iura she wants to see her children?! He will throw her into the street! „The street is not the boarding house graduate’s favourite place”, the woman explains.
Irina’s childhood is almost the same as her teens and youth. Her drunk parents would often fight in front of her and her elder brothers. They would take the knives and cut each other. Then they would treat their wounds and, till morning, they would make peace. At the age of eight, she became an orphan. Father got poisoned and mother hanged herself one month later. The authorities did not think too much and sent her to the boarding house. The institution was placed in the village. After graduation, Irina applied for an industrial school, but “I did not finish it because I got married”.
* * *
There have been 14 years since the law helping orphans after graduation has come into force. In 2006, when Irina left the boarding house, there were already four years since the authorities took the responsibility to provide orphans with lodging and support in finding a job. Yet, as soon as the gates of the orphanage closed forever, the young woman had in front an unknown world where nobody was waiting for her. Neither did the authorities keep their promises to help her. These were promises just on paper.
– Yes, we provided her with social support, but the government authorities must give her a house, but… Our state is not ready to help orphanage graduates. For instance, our Mayoralty has not houses to give her a separate one. May be if she had a house, she could have a different life, the social worker from Irina’s village thinks.
Also, in the Republic of Moldova, there are no “support services for young people leaving the residential care system that could meet their needs and help them get integrated in the society”, a study of the Lumos Moldova foundation shows.
– Children that are in residential care institutions need to be prepared for after-graduation period from the very beginning. This requires a lot of work that lasts for a long time. Drops crack stones not through power, but through frequency, Domnica Ganu, deputy head of Lumos Foundation believes.
Ten years ago, when Irina left the boarding house, the authorities started implementing the deinstitutionalization reform. They intended to take children out of residential care institutions and place them in their biological families, family-type homes, community homes, etc. Thus, the number of children in residential care institutions decreased considerably.
In 2007, there were 11,500 children in 67 residential care institutions, while at the end of 2016, the number of boarding houses decreased to 34, and the number of children decreased to 1,618.
Valentin Crudu, Head of Pre-university Education Directorate of the Ministry of Education, admits that the focus of the deinstitutionalization reform was not put on the right issue and the Ministry of Education is the one to be blamed for that.
– When the deinstitutionalization reform started, people thought the focus had to be put on the fact that these children need to feel warm and have what to eat. They did not focus on education, teaching staff. […] Then in 2010-2011, we started integrating these children in biological families”, Valentin Crudu explains.
Thus, in 2012, a year after the alternative services for children at risk have been applied, “because of the lack at the local level of alternative or specialized services for children, 431 children were placed in boarding houses for orphan children and children separated from their parents”, the Strategy for Child Protection (2014-2020) states. Irina’s two older children are among them.
Rodica Moraru-Chilimar, representative of the Ministry of Labour, Social Protection and Family, says that placing a child in the boarding house separately from his parents is not a solution. Although sometimes they do that, the term must not exceed six months or it must not last longer than a year.
– When time is up at the boarding school, the local public authorities must find a solution. First, the biological family must be evaluated. If not – the family must be extended, Rodica Moraru-Chilimar explains.
Despite all recommendations, there have been already four years since Irina’s three children have been living in the boarding house. Every morning, they wake up under the ceiling of the orphanage that used to host their mother too. The headmistress thinks that the woman’s kids will leave the institution when it closes. They will go to a family type home or will be taken by Irina’s elder sister. The woman who gave them birth is considered a failed case.
– We are looking for other forms of protection, if we cannot do anything with their mother. We tried everything we could with Irina. We do not expect Irina to realize what she did. She may come back, but… We gave her the possibility to arrange her life. We met at the Mayoralty and we told her we will keep her children in the boarding house until she finds a job and a place to live. We could not force her to do so. What can we do? We take care of her children, the director says.
The reforms which the authorities say “work well, even better than in Ukraine, there are plenty of social care services for children” surrounded the young orphan mother and her children. “We did not succeed with Irina, because it’s genetic”, they give the verdict.
This happened after the woman, who had no home, was condemned to take care of all her three children having a social aid of only 700 MDL per month. While, after Irina was deprived of parental rights, the state issued to the boarding house a sum of money seven times higher to take care of these three children.
Official statistics show that in 2012, the year when Irina’s children were taken to the boarding house, the average cost for a child’s yearly maintenance was 21,000 MDL, which is equal to almost 1,750 MDL per month. Thus, the authorities would spend 5,250 MDL per month for taking care of the woman’s three children.
– Our state does not invest in children’s care. The employees in the health care and education system have the lowest monthly salaries. As for social care area – it’s a drama – there are no human resources in this area. The social worker has a lot of work to do – to take care of children, old people, as well as of disabled ones. He cannot take care of the child as much as he needs to succeed in life, Domnica Ginu concludes.
 Vodka (alcoholic drink) made in Moldova
 Russian swear word
 Şliaiha – spoken language
 Оbedu – from the Russian “oбед”, adjusted to Romanian morphology
 Borrowed from Russian “тусовка”
 Borrowed from Russian “терпеливая”
 Chişioarele – spoken Romanian
 Vulgar language
 Idem 7
 „N…hui” – Russian swear word
 From Russian “петух” – A male prisoner used as a sex slave used in the absence of available women
 It is the story of a quail chick that gets shot, and then suffers with a broken wing as all his siblings learn to fly, and he can not. And then his mother sits with him, through the progression of Autumn, until eventually she leaves. And then he dies. Alone.
 From Russian word “нержавейка”
 From Russian „сука” – swear word