How I almost got into a fight, Moldova, 2007 - Radka Rubilina
In Moldova, in Kishinev/Chisinau, I was waiting for a microbus (also known as marshrutka) that would take me to the opposite side of the city. In Kishinev, public transportation does not exist; it came to the end together with the Soviet Union. Like anywhere in the East, the heavily producing exhaust fumes microbuses, run by private owners and always crowded, are moving people around.
Finally, I could see that ‘my number’ is nearing. “Is this one going toward the hospital?” I am asking the crowd. “Sure, děvuška, it is, get in.”
As a first, a young man rushed out of the bus, coarsely pushing away the people standing in front of me with his hands. I do not deal well with rudeness and so I did not move, standing on a spot. Next three steps and he was by me. He pushed me so hard that I almost fell down. Though, as I was moving down, I also managed to perform the leg trip – similarly to how we have used to play as children when walking home from a school. The man lost balance, staggered, and then went down to the ground. He fell, hitting his elbow.
I did not pay attention to the entering crowd because the situation did not look good. The man stood up, turned and moved toward me. He was angry. I was looking at him in a way suggesting that I would rather swallow a nail but won’t step away. His fist took a swing targeting my face. I cowered, stepped back, and received the hit to my shoulder.
The man waited.
I straightened up, looked at his eyes again and said: “So, man is a gentleman?” He turned around wordlessly and ran away.
The microbus was just leaving the station.