Poem Avantgarde by the Cheeznow Boys

1.

Thank you for having us here,

To enjoy Bowmore and beer.

The first day we arrived,

We drank and our lives were sacrificed!

But luckily we were able to cut,

While enjoying live music and moving our feet

And then we drank some more

Bowmore!

2.

We enjoyed your kitchen cuisine

Even though it was crowded,

It was like a picture in a magazine.

It then took us 10 minutes to get out of home,

10 minutes later we were at a hippie dome.

When reaching the Labyrinth of sound

We communicated simply, yet profound.

After drums, food&beats we went to the garage to eat.

You wanted to sleep, but we had some fun,

In the end Bowmore convinced everyone.

As the sun was setting over the bad part of town,

We were finishing our walk,

But the fun had just begun.

Made our way through some American thieves,

That even Carlsberg didn’t see.

We ignored the police, we hit the streets,

We went to make some beats.

Next to the heat

While breathing some green,

In the Labyrinth’s scheme.

Today we were almost late

To meet our drunken fate.

Thanks Bacchus for Moldavian grapes!

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Cheeznow – Going deeper underground

This is a belated narration of my friends’ visit to Chisinau last November. But it is also a good opportunity to put some light over what Chisinau is actually worth discovering for.

One special little place in the city is Art Labyrinth. As the curators of the place say, the Labyrinth is meant to be the Shambhala, or “​​a vast focal point of energies, which are collected and brought together by planetary Logos in order to create a manifestation adequate to His revealing intention and planetary service …” They also mention that it’s ok if you just go there out of curiosity as long as you don’t break the vibe. And there is a real vibe, I tell you that.

We’ve been to Art Labyrinth with the guys on a couple of occasions. And each time we entered, before we could realize it, we were jamming with a bunch of unknown people in a weird room, drum in hand, making sweet spiritual music.

This little corner of energy channels has got all the characteristics of a cool underground place, without trying to be so. First, it is located in an ex-museum, ex-gubernia HQ and it reeks of history. With its many rooms, including secret ones, with an interior patio and various unexpected building wings, it is a true labyrinth. I think I know very little of its structure and everyone discovers it for himself in a different way.

The hallway and bathroom facilities remind one of an East Berlin scene after the mass exit, with a more eastern touch. Andreas kindly volunteered to demonstrate this for us by modeling in the aforementioned spaces:

Having walked through these communist type halls you open the door and suddenly enter in Africa. The rooms are decorated with a burst of colorful African motives, masks, ropes, beds in the air and what not, and I heard that this is the inspiration of the founder who traveled on the mighty continent. Other motives from all around the world are to be discovered while soul-searching around the room.

Another amazing thing that the Labyrinth is about is the drum making. The founder of the place teaches how to make drums and you can find many of them all over the place. You can also randomly find weird African instruments or xylophones, some flute-looking things or some primitive type of percussion instruments. These are discoveries in themselves – learning how to produce the sound, learning to love the sound, creating. One of my favorites is the big tube in which you blow as to make an above human kind of sound, or something close to the “OM” sound that, legend has it, when you make it, you’re done reincarnating and have reached perfection. I’m sorry for any inconsistencies in the story, I don’t care much for religion, but making or hearing that sound from the instrument really does get you in a specific state of mind. It’s like hearing the common voice of the long-forgotten ancestors calling you to find the true humanity in yourself.

The Labyrinth offers several kinds of tea, including mate, Moroccan teas and incredibly tasty mixes of herbs. Sometimes they offer food too, especially when  there are vegan food classes. Everything that you get is for free, but small donations into the donation box are welcome.

The Labyrinth has become a true spiritual center for many people. I am but a mere visitor,  and it is much richer than what I have depicted. There are so many different activities organized all the time there, ranging from movie projecting to telekinesis workshops to reggae concerts.

The first time we went there with the guys, we lost Mirza and Andrei. We looked everywhere, couldn’t find them and left. What I later understood was something like they were in a room with no light listening to a  stranger playing the contrabass. I’m not sure about this, it’s still a mystery. The second time we went, there was a party: the one year anniversary of LaundryTheather, which is another great place. The party was just starting to get really good, that the police came in, made a fuzz and evacuated everyone. Besides a handful of people sitting silently in a small room with a fireplace and quietly jamming. It felt like we were detached from the ugly reality outside. I think that is what Art Labyrinth is about.

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All you need is…

A nice clean toilet with proper running water. A clean shower with hot water. A sink with hot water so that you can wash your dishes with pleasure. A bed which is a bed, not a provisional couch, not a fold-up kinda bed, but an actual bed. That’s it. That’s all you need in your house to make you absolutely happy, that’s all that is worth investing in. Marble entre, leather sofas from the poor Indian cows, huge space, it’s all bullshit to make you pay for some firm’s products. You don’t need more in terms of making you happy from your house.   You can decorate it the way you want from flea markets, online shops, your own art works or of your friends, or the memorabilia from your travels. Anything more than a proper toilet, bathroom and bed is just shit others tricked you into believing is necessary but it actually isn’t, and it won’t make you happier if you have it. A proper toilet, bathroom and bed is the ultimate happiness you can get from your house. Plus, of course, no mold and other basic sanitary standards. Stop looking for something else from it because it will never give it to you. Look for happiness somewhere else, I’m sure it’ll be just as simple as what you get from your house.

The progress of civilization spinning around the GDP growth figure has reached its peak when we could all afford a toiled, shower and bed. It also reached its peak when we could have airplanes that take us to our loved ones, antibiotics that saved us from syphilis and the plague. It still has to work on that cancer, AIDS, world poverty and other stuff. But not exactly on things that give no value added: fancy cars, ever more sophisticated financial products, exclusive so and so, meals that you either eat it all and become obese or throw away half of it, batteries, electronics and all kinds of utensils that are 100 times cheaper than their environmental impact.

I guess this is lamely in lieu of my idea that growth is not really that necessary. I have to say that a year ago I wouldn’t find this idea conceivable, due to the academia and investment banks around me obsessing about growth like  some of my friends obsess about a lack of weed or cocaine on the market. It’s a depression all around, I tell you that. But the point is that some areas of the economy have become obsolete. We don’t need any more comfort and health standards. This is coming from a lower-middle income person from Moldova, or, better said, a household of less than 600 euro a month for a family of four. What we need to develop now is some common sense. There are billion dollar businesses that we support on our backs for no clear reason to our own benefit. And all that to the expense of the lower classes, where I uncomfortably am right now, the people of developing nations blinded by a promise of success USA style and, more importantly (because they have no say in this) to the expense of the other living beings of the earth.

I think our world society is living a bubble. It started with the industrial revolution in the 19th century and it went way out of hand. Most people I met in my life don’t even know a time when it was all genuine and in tandem with nature. I am fortunate to have lived in a Moldovan village where there are still some people living the proper way to live for a human being: growing enough food for the family, taking the best care and loving the domestic animals that they will later, at true necessity , kill for meat, recycling every little bit of stuff, be it for food for dogs and pigs or heat and household needs. But this is disappearing so fast that I want to cry. All because of a perfectly marketed idea of American happiness.

I think the next level of evolution is long due. I think that we are still going around the old level because some rich people have some businesses as cash cows and they do their best to sell the all favorite, old product of prosperity. We are better than that. What we want is to provide the traditional farmers with the best and most sustainable ways of farming, so that they don’t destroy their bodies and have time for vacation. They need to have the best of medicine, which is a domain to be developed in the prevention area rather than anything else. They need to have easy credit when they have good business opportunities, but credit will be given only when there is value added to society. And of course, they really deserve a clean nice toilet, shower and bed.

I guess that is enough thinking considering the cold in my communist designed apartment. But I wish that next time, for a round of warm-up tequilas, I would discuss with someone the feasibility of  all of these ideas in practice.

Peace and love to everyone!

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Cheeznow – Party Time

I, the young Dac princess, was nervous and at the same time in a state of mild delirium, like when the usual laws of the universe stopped applying to you for a moment. I was expecting visitors from my previous cat lives: when I was an energetic aspiring banker, a lonely wise traveler and a normal girl in a normal country with a normal life. I was looking at things around me and try to perceive them as my guests would.

Here we are:

It was probably still the effect of the strong auto-suggestive religion of positivism that I imposed on myself since I came back that I thought they would see this:

                   when they actually saw a lot of this: 

But I think they also saw a lot of this:

Day 1 was quite full. I think already on Day 1 we surpassed the 100 Euro budget that I erroneously recommended.

We went to eat at La Taifas, a traditional restaurant that never fails to leave the best impressions for its excellent food, genuine and carefully designed interior, live traditional music and great service. You can request songs and the Taraf will play them, even some international ones. Placinte for appetizers and loads of meat for mains went great with some Chateau Vartely Pinot Noir and Cabernet. Pickles are required for such a meaty meal. Mirza and Guillaume even came up with a fancy pickle tasting procedure.

Here is Dana and Andreas with his inappropriate rape face (there’s more funny faces from Andreas)

I love folk dances and Andrei made an attempt at digging up some of the moves from his Romanian DNA:

Then we crashed at a wild international party at Valentina, the most obscure, small, cheap and shabby place in the center of the city. The jukebox and the people truly make the place. Girls dancing on the table, everyone screaming and shooting vodka, genuine party place. Nobody thought of taking decent photos there due to a big lack of oxygen so Valentina will remain obscure and yours to discover.

For clubbing, I thought I would show my guests the most glamorous nightclub we’ve got. Not that any of us was crazy about the fancy way of life, but I thought I would show a good contrast, or the huge inequality factor persistent in the city. So I booked a table for Drive, paid in advance and all. Everyone dressed up and looked gorgeous. And still we didn’t get in. Not that I ever wanted to go to Drive, I’ve been there before and my guests and I have all seen better places than that, but them not letting us in was simply lame. Had we been three 16-year-old girls and four 50-year-old guys we’d gotten in. But I think they saw that our guys weren’t much of prostitute clients and found no point to let us in. Whatever that redneck security guy imagined in his head is not important, bu if you want to have a decent night out, don’t plan for Drive.

Change of plans. We went to Kurabu. A short talk with the barman suggesting we’ve got money to spend and we had a table, a great waiter and everything. Kurabu is one of the few clubs with decent DJs and music which doesn’t sound like you turned on the radio. No entry fee and a relatively small hall make it especially attractive. The minus being the relatively young audience. But that was no problem for us. We had fun. Especially Andreas:

At about 4 pm we were looking for a change of scenery. Since there weren’t many options, we went to Booz Time. By the time we climbed the steep and infinite stairs to the entrance, there were barely any people left. The more reason for a pole dance, Andreas thought (no footage of that, but it was priceless). And a few more tequila shots.

                                         

That was more or less day one and there’s more fun to come. Bowmore to the next post

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Why are we here?

That’s not the right question.

I have a suspicion that this question is as toxic as drugs. A heroin addict, a nail biter, a fat person… they all wonder at some point why they’re doing the thing they’re doing and see no point to this activity besides satisfying the need of doing it. I think asking ourselves why we are here is just as masochistic as stuffing yourself with food into a heart attack or killing yourself in a speed related car accident.

And I think men are usually more prone to taking up such auto-destructive activities: wars, boxing, luxury cars etc.

So comes this question into a lively discussion between many people of both sexes as to separate them in two different worlds. Men retire into a microcosmos trying to decipher the meaning of our existence and consume themselves in doing so. They suffer like the artist and die like the junkie. Just like the artist they try to grasp the mysteries of the universe in its infinity and simplify it into an equation. A cause-effect.  They need everything to have a meaning. What they are in fact doing is eating the big KFC bucket every day after school and then crying that they’re obese.  Just like the junkie they have destroyed the inter-human harmony, the family and the positive relationships only to die alone and unaccomplished.

Women smile politely at their attempts and leave them be, no rehab can help this. They then turn to the world in all its beauty with everything alive in it, they love it and cherish it. Women play the instruments and pet the animals. They have a shot of adrenaline for every breath of a living being. And every ray of sunshine is a wave of happiness through their bodies and minds. Behind the doors closed by men, women whisper to themselves the secret of life. They know it because they produce life. Men are only spectators, they are grown people who get frustrated that they can’t explain the cheap old magician’s trick.

It’s a pity to lose this and try to think like a man, act like a man and try to be the same. Men lost touch for some reason. Women start losing touch too in their quest for being able to address the “why are we here” question as well as men do. While men might have good intentions by asking this, they are in the wrong direction and we shouldn’t follow it. It would be too bold for this world to say that we should actually point them into the right direction. But at least not follow them.

There are many questions worth asking, but not this one. This one is the same as eating your nails. This is the same as watching Dom2 for the 7th year in a row. Sick, harmful and pointless. And of course a junkie will never admit it.

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Les Visiteurs and I

Have you seen the movie “Les Visiteurs” with Jean Reno playing a medieval nobleman with his sword and his clothes and his attitude?

Hint:

Well I envisage myself as the Moldovan-Romanian version of the traveller. A Dac, fresh from antiquity. It’s funny that the best imagistic account of the Daci is the one that symbolized their demise – Trajan’s Column.

Yes, some people know about the Trojan horse the war trick, others about Trojan horse the virus and most know about Trojan the condoms.

We know about Trajan’s Column, a totally different story. The Trojan horse belongs to Greek mythology and came into play after goddesses Aphrodite, Hera and Athena couldn’t decide which was fairest. The Trajan Column belongs to reality and it impacted what are now over 25 million people. That’s how we speak a Roman language in this part of the world isolated from the main Roman cluster.

Not the point.

So yeah, the imagery from the Column:

This could easily be an older profile of me, or any other random woman on the street. We didn’t change much. There we are, baby in hand, doing what we do best: support functions.

Now here is another problem I have with this Dragosh-induced view of the self: when exactly in time do we decide that this is our identity and what happened next was just an alteration and needs to be reversed. Most people at home believe that they are “Moldovans” as in the post-communist stupid ugly beast. The intellectuals tend to promote the “Moldovan-Romanians” that we were before the Russians. Some very few, like Dragos, say that we were genuine only before the Romans conquered us 2000 years ago, therefore the discussion about the Daci.

As to what concerns me, this is what I have to choose from, in chronological order:

I would drop out the deity just because I smell something fishy every time a God takes a form oddly similar to human. I am dropping out the fourth one for being a French copy-cat and the last one for being an American… freedom… expression… fighter… I don’t really know what she is but I’m dropping the Moldovan woman of today. Now I don’t like the third one for the connotation that it’s been given: traditional = countryside = poor and stupid and always inferior to the woman in trend with the world (like number 5). So I’m left with the second one. And I quite like it: the strong, dignified, beautiful daughter of a king (albeit only in Nicolaescu’s imagination).

So I adopt this image of self and walk proudly on the streets of my kingdom. I believe that anything is possible, I need only wish. It might not be true, but tell me, when did things – good or bad – ever happen without a belief?

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SNAP OUT OF IT YOU ZOMBIE!

To be fair, hating your country and being embarrassed of your nation is not something new under the sun. Actually, it might seem like a boring pursuit to quite a few people I know in Eastern Europe and India and Africa etc. And my point was not that this was the one feature of Moldovans that makes them stand out in the world, namely how fucked up we are. My point was that, for once, I could take aside all the bullshit poured on me and feel another reality, maybe not the real reality (whatever that might be) but something different. And that was my revelation: We’re a nation of hypnotized people: people who used to be people and now they think they are stupid ugly beasts. It has been told to them so many times: you are a stupid ugly beast; you’re not good enough to own land, or to have your language, or a position of power, or a Mercedes-Benz and pointy shiny shoes.

And then Dragos goes “snap!” and I wake up from the hypnosis and suddenly feel free, powerful, proud, full of dignity and surrounded by the deep mystery of my beginnings like an aura.

This is what we were made to believe:

and this is who we really are:

Then I look around and I see things are just as shitty as before and go about my life. But, once in a while, I am pretty happy with the places and people I find to be awakened, which is something new. There is beauty around us, but we’re so used to not seeing it, that it passes us by, day by day.

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