Dill Heads

March 27, 2015 • Foodie, Politics

WORD COUNT: 530 One of the unexpected bonuses of learning Russian is discovering just how how much comedy exists in that language. I was always raised to think of Russia as a dour, dull place, but underneath that grey exterior exists a beating humorous heart. Russians engaged in fighting Ukrainians have come up with an… Read More ›

Gypsies »

Gypsies 2, Journalists 0

(5) Gypsy reality apparently includes amanita muscaria mushrooms

I wasn’t even going to write about this until I nearly fell out of my chair laughing as I saw that it’s now an international story. If you prefer video, click here for the Euronews report (in English) or click here for the TVR report (in Romanian). If you prefer print, here’s Mediafax, here’s Adevarul,… Read More ›

A Romanian in exile »

Equality Sucks

(1) How dare you try to give me money?  Can't you see I'm trying to run a business here!

WORD COUNT: 1221 In America, and by extension “The West”, a strange duality exists. By turns, you are either a cowering, timid serf or else a rampaging, narcissistic royal shit. Often, these flips in social roles happen multiple times a day. During the day, while you’re either A) a student or B) an employee, you… Read More ›

My awesome books »

A Brief Guide to What the Morality Police Will and Will Not Let You Write

(2) this ironically is considered moral

Word Count: 3789 After the exciting release of my 2 new books for adults late Friday night, I’ve fielded a number of questions. I’ve also been corresponding with fellow “erotica” authors for a while now as I developed my stories, and I’ve spent untold number of hours researching the current situation in (English-language) adult literature…. Read More ›

CATS! (pisicile) »

Mr. Zig is back!

(5) mrzigfuckingranawayfor18days

Word count: 560 I am very happy to announce some unalloyed good news. Yes! Mr. Zig is back! A couple of weeks ago I wrote about how he disappeared one afternoon, seemingly never to come back. Later that same night, the temperature dropped precipitously and then we had several days of snow and bitter cold…. Read More ›

A few of my all-time favorite posts that I've written »

The Lonesome Death of Cicerone Ionitoiu

(10) ionitoiu

As I described in exhaustive detail in The Black Hole of Romania, it doesn’t take a shadowy cabal to censor the news, only a virulent form of cultural blindness. I lost half an hour of my life on Sunday (January 26) watching the 7:00 pm news broadcast of ProTV, which devoted their entire coverage to… Read More ›

Foodie »

Dill Heads

(2) ukriphelmet

WORD COUNT: 530 One of the unexpected bonuses of learning Russian is discovering just how how much comedy exists in that language. I was always raised to think of Russia as a dour, dull place, but underneath that grey exterior exists a beating humorous heart. Russians engaged in fighting Ukrainians have come up with an… Read More ›

Mailbag »


(5) The bilingual postman only rings twice

WORD COUNT: 2162 Well kids, the ol’ virtual mailbag is getting full of unanswered messages, so let’s dump out the sack and see what we got inside. Yay! Hey Sam, why do all your recent posts have a word count at the top? Well, as much as I love WordPress (the people who run the… Read More ›


Me and the CIA

(8) stupidgovernment

I keep getting comments and quips from people about how I possibly might be working for the CIA, so I thought I’d actually write a full post for the FAQ about it and settle this issue once and for all. But before I can do that, I have to tell you a story. You’re Not… Read More ›

Holiday Road »

Moldovan Christmas, Part 2

(3) Nothing says Christmas like a Cчабsburgher!

Word Count: 981 As I promised in my post The Land of Perfect Christmas, I would report back to you about the festivities here on Orthodox Christmas, January 7. I was actually surprised by just how low-key the entire thing was, even though about 99% of Moldovans celebrate Orthodox Christmas in one way or another…. Read More ›

Moldova - Republic of »

The Land of Perfect Christmas

(2) Bilingual love for Romania's greatest poet

I don’t remember very much about the year 1989, except for the end of it, when I found myself drunk and a little more than depressed on a cold December evening. It was Christmas Day, and I was in Israel. Officially, it isn’t a holiday, as most of the Arab Palestinians and all of the… Read More ›

Poza Zilei »

Те Хандвритинг он зи Валль

(3) Fara stapan

Word Count: 29 People sometimes ask me, “Hey Sam, is it really true that you live in Moldova?” Uh, yeah. AND NOW YOU KNOW!

my personal life »

Donations to the Cause

(0) The Romanian Cultural Center in Cernauti/Chernavitsi Ukraine

A few people have been asking how to donate and help out. Certainly all support is definitely appreciated! I can’t say I’m a huge fan of PayPal but it has the one advantage of being already set up and working so if you’d like to donate, please click here. I never did find my bank… Read More ›

Word of the Day »

WOTD: Baraj

(0) your ocean is so vast, and my boat is so small

All the recent events over in Crimea put me in a somber mood, my thoughts turning to that strange old aristocrat Lord Alfred Tennyson and his poem The Charge of the Light Brigade about pointless and foolish deaths on that peninsula 150 years ago. Although thousands of soldiers from Russia and Britain suffered horribly, the… Read More ›

You Know You're Romanian When »

You Know You’re Romanian When…

(3) princecharlesbasescu

…a foreign, drunken, philandering buffoon who cheated on his wife during their honeymoon and was best friends with a horrific pedophile is a better ambassador at promoting your country than your own idiotic and unnecessarily combative Minister of Tourism.

English for Romanians »

If I were the ambassador…

(4) Two sheeps is better than not any!

I have to admit that I was initially quite happily surprised to see the latest letter published in the Huffington Post (UK edition) from Doctor Ion “Two Sheeps” Jinga because I thought that perhaps the same ghost writer who recently wrote on behalf of Crin Antonescu had helped the good “doctor” sound somewhat intelligent and… Read More ›

blog бизнес »

My Favorite Posts of 2014

(1) Ukraine in the Membrane

Well it’s getting close to the official end of the year so I thought I’d take a look back through the articles that I wrote in 2014 and post some of the best ones here in a list. Enjoy! January I began the year with a long hard look into The Lonesome Death of Cicerone… Read More ›

Romanian language »

Akum noi toti govarim pa romaneste

(6) I said to the Bucharest man, "Do you speak-a my language?"

Ever since I read The Brass Check on my first e-reader about 10 years ago (yep), I’ve been fascinated by which news stories that people who are hyper-aware of the media know about and which stories seem to drift into the general population’s consciousness, as if my magic osmosis. Last night I was doing yet… Read More ›

1000 Reasons Why I Choose Romania »

Only human

(4) romaniangirlonturtle

Lately I’ve felt like a priest, going to visit the sick to sit with them a while and offer them comfort. An old friend of mine and her husband caught a nasty virus while working in England and now they’re back home to rest and recuperate. Was the money there good? Yes, but both of… Read More ›

Romania Fail Whale »

Pana la ultimii 100 de metri

(10) Don't beat up your children because they don't MEAN to disappoint you by their misbehavior

Well I’ve finally washed up on the steamy concrete shores of Chisinau (the capital of the much-maligned Republic of Moldova), suffering like most everyone in the brutal August heat (yesterday’s high was 41C), and I realize with much regret that instead of writing about my new adventures and experiences I must now address a number… Read More ›

Folk wisdom »

Musețel, un minunat leac universal

(3) musetel

They always say that the good die young, so you can be sure I’m going to make it to a ripe old age :P Picture above is a delightful chamomile (pt romani se zice kemomil) plant that I found growing spontaneously in my tiny garden. In all the years I’ve lived in Romania, I never… Read More ›

lulz »

Call the gokmop!

(5) milkdoctor

If you ever need to learn the Cyrillic alphabet, all I can say to you is God have mercy on your soul. The way the legend goes, about 1150 years ago the Byzantine Pope decided to send his homeboys Cyril and Methodius to the Slavic lands on his northwestern frontier and tame their wicked, pagan… Read More ›

The Revolution Begins Now »

A million Changs to you all

(0) senorchang

A million thanks to all of you for an awesome first day of my Kickstarter Project. It’s been great seeing all the excitement (hey, I’m excited too) and the RT’s on Twitter and the shares on Facebook and messages and emails and all the rest. Amazing! The weather also turned golden here today and it… Read More ›

Politics »

KKK Illustrated

(1) whykkk

Word count: 47 A lot of people have contacted me to tell me that my post about the current situation in the Moldovan parliament was too long. Fair enough. Here is that entire post explained in a single graphic: AND NOW YOU KNOW THE CURRENT STATE OF THE MOLDOVAN PARLIAMENT!

another satisfied visitor »

No Sign of Threat Whatsoever


Amen: I rarely felt as safe in a foreign capital as I did in Bucharest. And I am not a naive tourist. There simply is no sign of threat whatsoever. I think Berlin and London are vastly more dangerous. So forget all that crap you hear. Now do you believe me??

Video Zilei »

Americans wanting to be Romanians


Wannabe Romanians ❤💛💙 — Deyonce (@Dalmaghi) June 23, 2013 God bless Twitter (and Vine) is all I’m saying ;)

Marketing, Advertising and Propaganda »

How a Minor Medieval Prince Became the Most Famous Killer in History

(6) Original claim to fame: most awesome moustache EVER

Word Count: 1689 In the ordinary course of things, one minor noble who struggled to hang onto his kingdom in the sparsely populated backwaters of an Eastern European principality in the Late Middle Ages would be familiar only to historians and antiquarians today. A prince who won and lost his throne three times and spent… Read More ›

Money, probability and predicting the future »

Parallax Denig-rate

(3) 1leu

Yesterday I mentioned the money here in Moldova but now it’s time for a full post on the topic. As I said, you can tell a lot about a country by its money. Let’s see what it has to say! Background Moldovan money is called the leu (singular) or lei (plural). Just like its neighbors… Read More ›

Преступление и Наказание »

The one who got away

(8) terducken

Since I am forbidden from talking about my own case, I thought I’d take a breather and tell you about another case, starring once again the crack units of the Cluj-Napoca police. I assure you that everything you are about to read is entirely true. Two officers in a Transportation Police blue Volkswagen with full… Read More ›

People in Romania »

Barátok és ellenségek

(13) szeklermeeting2014

If Laszlo Tokes had had the decency to die back in 1989, now he’d be a martyr to the revolution, a hero to all of Romania. Unfortunately, he’s still alive and continues to be the burr under this country’s saddle, just like he was back in 1989 when his stubborn refusal to leave Timisoara helped… Read More ›

Poor Widdle Romania »

With “Historians” Like These…

(8) Larry Watts explaining to a room full of Securitate agents how Romania frightened the Soviet Union

Since I’m not busy cashing checks from Romanian or American intelligence agencies it sometimes takes me a while to catch up on what’s been going on and be able to properly respond to accusations made here on the blog. Luckily, this week I’ve been able to carve out some time to address this nonsense. The… Read More ›

Scolding of Righteousness »

Incompetence on Every Level

(37) Incompetence1

A few weeks ago I read a piece called The Illusion of Corruption on the blog of a Romanian who grew up in Canada but has now returned to his homeland (and as a side note, the author is a personal friend) and the more I thought about it, the more I realized what he… Read More ›

Sexy times »

Women and War

(5) soldiersparade2

I’m currently restricted to prepay internet, which means that I pay for every byte, so I’ve spent a lot of time offline, plumbing the archives of my computer. As such, I’ve had the time and fortitude to re-read Herodotus, and it reminded me of the first time I went to Moldova. — As a brief… Read More ›

Solutions »

Mr. Saxo Beat

(15) alexandrastan

Well I imagine you’ve heard by now that the singer Alexandra Stan was savagely beaten by her boyfriend a few days ago, landing her in the hospital. The English-language reports decline to show the graphic photos and videos of the injured Alexandra, which are quite disturbing. I happen to follow her on Twitter and saw… Read More ›

Jesus is my Co-Pilot »

Hey Sam, I want to write a book

(0) samcelromanstyle

Me: Hey, what’s up? Person: You have an awesome life. How can I write books like you? Me: I’d tell you the answer but people say I’m wordy so I made up some picture cards. Person: Hey Sam, how long does it take to write a book? Me: Funny you should ask! The girls like… Read More ›

This is a true story »

Romania, where not even the banks understand capitalism

(15) oldguywink

An associate of mine is out of town at the moment and asked me to go to the bank and pay off a small debt that they had, and promised to repay me upon their return. I said, “Sure, no problem.” [[Fast forward to inside bank]] “Hello, friendly lady at the teller window,” I said…. Read More ›

Tongue Twister Thursday »

Tongue Twister Thursday

For Engrish Speakers: Tuburi, jgheaburi si cabluri Verde, repede si rar O chinezoica Pentru Vorbitori: “Pile it, pilot!” said Pontius Pilate The writer rider crushed a spider I heard about the boot that fell out the boat

Unicorn City »

A poem for David Ciceo

(3) progressbrochure

This weekend I was out at the Unicorn City Airport to pick up the SMG from another one of her endless training-uri when I saw that they were building a new gas (petrol) station alongside the main east-west street here in Cluj-Napoca. The bulldozers were still on site and most of the asphalt has yet… Read More ›

TV/Film »

Romania is a vivacious young girl

(0) French_caricature_on_the_Romanian-German_Peace_Treaty

If Romania were my field of study at a university, my second doctoral thesis would definitely be entitled The historical trend of the nation of Romania’s depiction in visual space as a virginal maiden (my first thesis is a little less conventional lol). Time and again, from all historical periods, there seems to be a… Read More ›

weather »

Merry Christmas!

(3) Siberia!

I know it may seem strange to some but my all-time favorite television channel is the Weather Channel (in America). Sadly, there is no equivalent here in Europe so for my Christmas present to all of you, I decided to make one with all of the weather forecasts for today, December 25, 2013. In order:… Read More ›

off the wire »

Broadcast News

(1) mad-as-hell

Excuse my “absence” lately as I’ve been extremely busy working on a project and haven’t had much time for writing although due to my (apparent) inborn ability to focus on multiple things at the same time, I have been watching a lot. In fact, thanks to a high-speed internet connection and a powerful computer (plus… Read More ›

Transportation »

Frozen Tears

(5) "She died with frozen tears on her face"

Well this week Romanian journalists haven’t had to resort to stealing videos and photos because there’s been non-stop coverage of a domestic incident, the crash of a plane (link in English) in the Apuseni Mountains near Cluj. This story is still ongoing and I’ve been closely monitoring the media but I’ve decided to hold off… Read More ›

Geography »

Big Brother

(2) olderbrother

Word count: 1054 Hey, here’s an interesting question – which came first, Romania or Moldova? I realize that the photograph shown above looks like it is about 50 years old, but it is actually a photograph of a newspaper from 2014. During the run-up to the parliamentary election season in November last year I got… Read More ›

Hungarian language »

At Play in the Fields of Paprika

(10) rodicapettingpony

I must say that I am a bit ashamed of my threadbare article that I wrote last year about Cluj’s “Hungarian Days” festival, particularly this paragraph: I can’t say that I ever participate much in the Hungarian days festival, mostly because I don’t speak the language or eat Hungarian foods. I’ve certainly heard the concerts… Read More ›

Auf Deutsch! »

Wie ich Rumänisch in 37 einfachen Schritten lernte

(0) Ja, das ist gut!

Note: what follows is my (in)famous post 37 steps translated into German (much thanks to the SMG), also available in limba romana. Enjoy! Schritt 1 – Sprich Italienisch und Spanisch und lach und wink ab. Rumänisch ist doch auch eine romanische Sprache, oder? Praktisch das Gleiche. Schritt 2 – Triff einige Rumäner in den USA,… Read More ›

wikileaks »

After The Flood Had Swept Over, The Kingship Was In Kish


Just about every week someone new asks me to justify why I live in Romania. I guess I should start a new category of posts just to list all of these answers, which are far too numerous to fit into a single article. One of the simplest reasons is cash money, (pronounced kish by most… Read More ›