The train’s route is East to West, Chisinau to Bucharest.

Zdob şi Zdub & Advahov Brothers

And so to Moldova, a tiny, landlocked republic wedged between Romania to its west and Ukraine to its north that, fact fans, is officially the least visited country in Europe. I can’t imagine why.

Mind you – imagine if they won it and it was in Chisinau! You’d be rattling along on the train from Romania on your way to the CHISINAU CIRCUS: THE PREMIER EVENTS HALL IN ALL OF MOLDOVA wolfing down some kind of pork dish in a restaurant car that looks like your grandma’s front room (a window framed by heavy purple fluted curtains, silk flowers, a faint smell of cigarettes and orange formica tables) when the conductor comes and chats.

“The best time in Moldova was at the end of the second world war, after the Romanians had left but before the Russians came” he says – which by my reckoning meant that the country’s glory days lasted for precisely one month.


There’s not exactly a surfeit of talent knocking about there, so this year the Moldovans are just entering folk rock pop band Zdob și Zdub again. They first represented their country at Eurovision in 2005 with the quite brilliant Boonika Bate Toba, and were back again in 2011 with the less brilliant but pointy cone headed So Lucky.

The big problem is that, like most of those in this blog, it’s a joke that’s worn very thin over the years – I can’t tell if the “how do you do fellow kids” styling of the lead singer is deliberate or just a sign of his age, and no amount of trying to turn the accordionist and the violinist into Epic Accordion Guy and Epic Fiddle guy is really going to cut it.

They’ve come 12th in the final twice, and while Trenulețul is very much law of diminishing returns rubbish, given the abysmal standard of the competition this year I expect they’ll come precisely 12th again.

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Jim Dickinson

@Wonkhe SUs. Trustee @WinchesterSU. HE policy. Pop. Pro EU(rovision). Windmills not walls. FRSA. Dreams of visiting Moldova. A brunch. Dressing up. A feeling.

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