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Friday 15 May 2009

And the Douze Points go to...

For me there can only really be one contender for the best recent Eurovision moment, because it was directly responsible for one of the best holidays I have ever had.

The 2004 Eurovision was won by Ruslana from Ukraine with "Wild Dances". If you look at her performance I'm sure you'll understand the appeal:

As a result of her victory the 2005 contest was held in Kiev. To celebrate the occasion, the Ukrainian government announced that it would lift the usual visa restrictions for European visitors for the duration of the contest and twelve months afterwards.

The competition was won by Greece, but the act that caught my eye were Zdob Si Zdub from Ukraine's neighbour, Moldova. Their song was called "Boonika Bate Doba", which translates as "Granny beats the drum". It was a great song with an excellent performance featuring a real live Granny with a real live drum. Here are the download and a clip:

Lord Roper and I had been planning to visit Eastern Europe that Summer and the combination of the Ukraine's slightly eccentric decision and Granny's toothless grin convinced us that we should head to the Ukraine (Odessa) and then on to Moldova to see if we could find her.

Odessa was good but Moldova was fantastic and we had some memorable times - a karaoke lock-in singing Boney M songs with some drunk locals, bonding with a man called Vlad at the local heavy metal club, experiencing some wonderful rural hospitality and two separate stays in the self-proclaimed republic of Transdniestr. So thank you Zdob Si Zdub.

We never did find Granny, but we did find a woman with a giant vegetable. And here she is.

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