Adventures in Legitimacy

The other day, an attractive young woman in a dress and heels handed me an envelope. When I looked inside, I saw it was stuffed full of euros and (Moldovan) lei. What’s this? Am I being paid by Russian gangsters, the CIA, or some other nefarious group? Nah. The truth is that I now have…

Abandonment Issues: Chişinău Edition

Chişinău has a lot of opportunities for people with my perversion. Of the abandoned buildings I visited, only one—the circus—was inaccessible, largely because there were aggressive stray dogs roaming and snarling around the perimeter. The others were fairly easy to enter and well worth it. The synagogue within the Jewish necropolis was unlike anything I’d seen before. I’d never been…

The Price of Democracy

Yesterday here in the Republic of Moldova it was Independence Day. I was too busy working to attend any of the celebrations but I did see a rather anemic five-minute firework display from my balcony in the evening. It turns out that the pathetic light show pretty much sums up the state of democracy around…