Nicolae Ceausescu has to be laughing into his raggedy peasant coat from wherever he is in the afterlife.
Military ordinance 3 (🇷🇴) has been issued by the authorities, mandating that every single person out of their house now possess both an ID card as well as a printed pass justifying their presence on the street.
“Acceptable” reasons for being out of your house are limited to:
- Walking the dog
- Doing farm work
- Going to/from work
- Taking care of a family member
- Going to the doctor (for a reason that “cannot be delayed”)
- Getting fresh air/doing exercises “for a short time” near your house
- Donating blood
- Doing humanitarian/volunteer work
- Buying food
As I mentioned yesterday, these passes have to be printed out and then filled in by hand every single time you go outside, meaning that if you walk the dog twice and go to the grocery store once in a single day, you will need three passes.
Absolutely no word on how, exactly, you’re supposed to print out these forms if you don’t have a printer at home. Pretty much every photocopy/print shop in the country is now shuttered.
During the Prime Minister’s speech, he emphasized that “lying on the form is a crime,” which just goes to show you exactly what the government thinks about its people.
Perhaps most chillingly, all persons age 65 and older are now forbidden by (martial) law from being outdoors for any reason whatsoever except for between 11 am and 1 pm. And then they can only go outdoors to:
- Go to the doctor
- Buy food
- Take care of a family member
- Walk the dog
- Get some fresh air/exercise
Romania is a nation of snitches, so you better believe that there’s going to be a torrent of phone calls over the next few days from people informing on their neighbors for violating the rules, whether imagined or real.
And the old fraudster, President Klaus Iohannis, promised (🇷🇴) that he will call out the army tomorrow. You can be absolutely sure that nobody in Romania will even do so much as issue a whimper of protest.
Lastly, if you want further proof that Romanians truly do not give a shit about the Republic of Moldova, not a single mention (🇷🇴) was made in any of the Romanian media of Moldova sending armed soldiers to flood the streets of Chisinau yesterday.
For the record, I also checked Evenimente, Adevarul, Digi24 and Realitatea. There were plenty of stories about what New York City looks like and what Hollywood celebrities are posting on Instagram and other useless horseshit, but not one word about their so-called “brothers” in Moldova.
Republic of Moldova
The big story, of course, was President Dodon sending out the army into the streets of Chisinau yesterday.
Fleets of US-made “Hummer” vehicles complete with machine guns posted up at every major intersection in the capital.
Just about everyone who isn’t part of Dodon’s former party, the Socialists, severely criticized him for the move.
Some actually had the guts to question why the army is needed when there’s only ~100 confirmed cases and fewer than 10 fatalities, but most were just angry that the soldiers were armed. What, exactly, were they supposed to do with those guns anyway?
Furthermore, unlike in Romania, it’s still legal to take the bus, walk, or drive around in Chisinau without any special papers or passes, so the army setting up at major intersections did literally nothing except scare the shit out of people.
Theoretically, there is supposed to be a presidential election in November, and Dodon just scuppered all chances of being re-elected with this stupid move. Even Komsomolskaya Pravda, the most widely read newspaper in the country, which had earlier the same day been praising his decision to involve the army, changed their tune when they saw the fucking machine guns.
Naturally, it didn’t take too long for internet jokesters to start publishing humorous pictures like the one above.
Let me tell you… if I ever had the slightest doubt about whether leaving Chisinau last year and moving to Tiraspol was a good idea, that’s gone.
By the way, for anyone who is interested, one of the local media channels published a photographic essay (🇲🇩) of what life is like in Chisinau right now.
Lastly, it appears that Dereck Hogan, the US Ambassador, has returned to Chisinau. He put out an inane video yesterday talking about what a great friend the US is to Moldova. I know for a fact that he went to America on March 16, and yet he’s magically back despite the fact that the border is “closed.”
It’s more than a little ironic how all these countries with sealed borders (including PMR, Romania, and Moldova) have exemptions for diplomatic personnel as if ambassadors flying around the world and meeting God knows how many different people were magically immune to viruses.
As one of the last American citizens left in this region, here’s my message to Ambassador Hogan: Go fuck yourself, buddy, and that goes double for your stupid boss 😈
The sheer amount of horseshit that I’ve had to listen to over the past year about how Pridnestrovie (“Transnistria”) is a dictatorship and a police state has now been revealed to be the lying propaganda that it always was.
Here, the army has definitely not been mobilized. There are no armed cops on the streets, much less soldiers with machine guns. PMR state media was having quite a laugh about that yesterday, comparing the peaceful situation here in Tiraspol to the jackboot fascism on display in Chisinau.
Everything is extremely calm and peaceful here in Tiraspol. You do not need a pass to go anywhere, and there are plenty of masks for sale as well as foodstuffs, medicine, sanitizer, et cetera.
They’ve even said that they will re-open the food markets as soon as they can set up tents. Normally, only during the winter do they use tents (otherwise it’s an open-air bazaar), so they’ve now got to go get them out of storage and disinfect them.
As I suspected yesterday, the authorities just want to be able to enforce strict hygiene rules, so all of the local farmers and food makers will be happy to once again be able to earn some cash. And my wife and I will be happy to get access to more locally-grown food and pickles.
Last I checked, there were some five confirmed cases in the country and a couple dozen people under mandatory quarantine, none of which have tried to escape or do something else stupid. The president is not going on TV yelling at people “not to lie” and the health care system seems to be holding up quite well despite the fact that PMR has a large elderly population.
These are the kind of images that are being passed around on PMR social media, which as you can see, are the complete opposite of the hyperbolic, panicky messages that the Moldovan and Romanian media are reveling in.
This morning, as has started to become my custom, I went down to the Dniester River and spend a good half hour there just drinking in the sights and sounds of nature.
I love to see the sparkle of the sun on the water, and seeing the birds flit about in the forest on the other side of the river is quite soothing. It’s also a really quiet spot, so it’s nice to get away from the noise of the city even if it’s just a 10-minute walk from my apartment.
I’ve also managed to “befriend” a cute little gray cat who comes to visit me every time I sit there, so that’s also been a balm for the soul.
I truly think I would go insane if I had to worry about cops (or soldiers!) pouncing on me and demanding my pass and “justification” for sitting alone on a bench.
Freedom matters to me a lot, and that includes the freedom to let my eyes roam somewhere more distant than the other side of the street. I also really like to go for walks, not walking for a purpose, but just walking to ramble along and let my mind wander.
It’s pretty sad that I’m near tears with gratitude for the privilege of being able to sit by a river, play with a strange cat, and stare at some trees without having to worry about armed goons swooping down to arrest/cite me, but that’s the crazy world we’re all living in.
Until next time…