Still, I find it fascinating and mystifying that according to Alexa, which tracks such things, 25 percent of Away With Words' readers log on from a little landlocked country between Ukraine and Romania. That puts Moldova, population 3.4 million, in second place among my readers, behind the United States (40.6 percent) and well ahead of the United Kingdom (9.4 percent).
Why Moldova? Who knows? I've never visited the country (although now that I am a virtual culture hero--author of the 2,297th most popular web site being read by the glorious Moldovan people--I am of course available for personal appearances and factory tours), and everything I know about it comes from Wikipedia. I will say I'm quite taken by Moldova's shape on the map, a sort of Italian boot in miniature. And I'm sure the Moldavan language controversy (is it really just a dialect of Romanian?) would be a terrific topic to explore if only I knew something about it. Any country whose national anthem (Limba noastră) translates to "Our Language" certainly has a big investment in words, and that's OK by me. (Ukraine's anthem, by contrast, is titled "Ukraine's Glory Has Not Yet Perished"--nice touch, that yet--and Romania's translates to "Wake Up, Romania!")
It's not as though I have no connections at all with that part of the world. My maternal grandmother's people, the Rabinowitzes, claimed to be from Romania, and in the late nineteenth century, when they boarded a ship for the United States, Moldova and Romania were pretty much the same thing. For all I know my ancestors lived near Chişinău (formerly Kishinev) or Bălţi (formerly Beltsy), or even Ungheni (whose sister city is Winston-Salem, North Carolina, another locale I've never visited).
So, greetings, my possible-distant-kinfolk! Thank you for honoring me with your readership! Put your feet up, have a cup of coffee (surely not as robust and satisfying as Moldovan coffee, but what can I do?), and let me know how I may amuse and enlighten you.