On a Pale Horse


Nicolae Ceausescu has to be laughing into his raggedy peasant coat from wherever he is in the afterlife.

Welcome to Romania, kids!

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.

Bucharest 2018

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.

This is 500m from a UN office, by the way

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?

The new face of “democracy”

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.

The people are the enemy of the state

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.

Oligarch Lover

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.

Cats of Transnistria observing the “social distancing” rules

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…

6 thoughts on “On a Pale Horse

  1. Your latest post doesn’t allow comments, so her we go:
    Let’s recap.
    Many years ago you decided to move to Romania- not because they asked you to grace them with your presence, but because you wanted to- it was your choice.
    It did not take you long to become the self- appointed “King of Romania” and the ultimate authority on Romanian history, customs, traditions, everyday life and the Romanian soul. As such, you soon started to dispense criticism and unsolicited advice to those who had opened their home to you and welcomed you to live in their midst. While some of that criticism may have been valid, there is a limit to the things one says and does when a guest in someone else’s house but you never had any trouble crossing that line (a little bit like the great white hunter talking down to his little brown brothers).
    Fast forward several years and the authorities kick you out for overstaying your visa. This may have been a technicality, but the bottom line is that you couldn’t be bothered to follow the rules- after all you were the King, weren’t you?
    A few more years go by and having moved first to Moldova and now to the paradise that is Transnistria, you decide you’ve had enough of Romania; but instead of simply abandoning the subject, you publish this “jilted lover’s” post which could be easily summarized in just a few words: “after everything I’ve done for you!…”
    Don’t want to write about Romania anymore? Fine. But why all the “taking my ball and going home” drama? Probably because you know those ungrateful Romanians will do fine without your guidance, which they never asked for in the first place.


  2. “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.”

    Oh dear, the same sort of thing is happening in other places – https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-northamptonshire-52052830

    But hey Sam, seriously now, forget about how the entire world is in bad shape at the moment. Just continue to concentrate ALL our efforts on kicking the Romanian people when they’re also down, and don’t forget, KICK THEM AS HARD AS YOU CAN, TO GET ALL THE ANGER OFF YOUR CHEST. AND MAKE UP AS MUCH STUPENDOUS, FANTASTICAL BULLSHIT AS YOU CAN WHILE YOU’RE AT IT.

    Hopefully no-one will be able to tell that you’re a MUTANT, TWISTED, professional TROLL.


    1. The Coronavirus is mutating, so why wouldn’t this other virus – known as Sam, King of Pridnestrovie – develop mutations? After all, it doesn’t affect us much, since Romanians are smart and easily identify bullshit, especially when it emits a Russian fragrance…


  3. For some reason, I can’t comment on your latest blogpost (”So Long, It’s Been Good To Know Ya”), so I’ll post my comment here:

    ”…these soldiers were deployed in military vehicles and were all heavily armed.”

    The soldiers were posted out on the streets in order to discourage any gibbons and orangutans who shit on the strict rules imposed these days (and we all have seen that there’s plenty of those primates in Romania). And the soldiers are heavily armed because:

    1. This is their equipment, according to the military regulations in a state of emergency (it IS a state of emergency, is it not the Spring Festival, in case you forgot).

    2. They are posted out on the streets in order to support MAI forces, not to give the ladies flowers, or to pose for the passers-by.

    ”…why would the people who fought so bravely against heavily armed soldiers in 1989 be enthusiastically cheering the return of those selfsame soldiers in 2020?”

    First of all, your question proves how little you know about Romania. ”I’m more Romanian than you”… my ass! You really should be ashamed about the confusion you make. In December ’89, Romanians fought against Securitate forces, not against the army! And now you know. Vai, ce bine!

    Second, the army, through its soldiers, is present in the emergency situation because it is the only public authority of the state of Romania that can successfully fulfill a mission that no other public authority can fulfill: to increase (by over 50 percent) the sovereign people’s confidence that the Romanian authorities are governing this pandemic crisis for the benefit of the citizen.

    The Romanian Army is the only state institution permanently credited – from the dawn of the Romanian democracy until today – with a confidence of more than 50 percent (usually over 65 percent) among the governed population.

    As such, whenever the Army is involved in a state decision, even just generically, without any proper legal involvement, the population’s confidence in the justice and feasibility of that decision increases exponentially.

    It remains to be seen whether the decision-makers will also use this prestige of the Romanian Army and will try to make decisions at the level of confidence resulting from the presence of the Army in the tactical field of the emergency situation, at least through uniforms and military transport vehicles.

    ”… after he died, the borders were no longer sealed, and millions and millions of Romanians fled.”

    It’s called freedom of movement, dummy!

    ” I started this little jimmy of a blog almost 10 years ago exactly.”

    Bwahahahaha, the joining of almost and exactly is too funny!

    ”Over and out”

    You have changed too much since you were thrown out 6 years ago (not a positive change, unfortunately) and, to be honest, victimization doesn’t suit you.

    ”… no more. I am, as they say, done.” Finally, some good news. Good riddance! Hopefully you’ll also make some changes in your “titles”. Suggestions: Sam cel moldovean, King of Pridnestrovie, I’m more Transdniestrian than you.

    And now you know. Vai, ce bine!


  4. For some time now I have been wondering if I shouldn’t just sign off your blog and throw your subscription where it belongs. It’s become very clear that the man who calls himself “Sam cel român”, “King of Romania”, and “I’m more Romanian than you” is in fact a person who hates Romania. Maybe this hatred is a result of our country chasing you away several years ago, and now it seems there were good reasons for this… And, of course, you moved to Russia (a proxy, still the same).

    I’m surprised that you don’t write articles in Sputnik.md already (or maybe you do, who knows). Such manipulative posts filled with disinformation must be very appreciated there…

    “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.”

    These forms may be hand-written, too (https://www.mai.gov.ro/actualizarea-modelului-declaratiei-pe-proprie-raspundere/). But how could you acknowledge this, when it obviously leaves you without such a good reason to criticize Romania…

    “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.”

    Such complete bullshit doesn’t even deserve a comment. Clearly, you don’t understand that it is a crisis situation and social distancing and limiting contacts are the first measures to be taken, and that strict rules must be followed and observed. Oh, and in case you didn’t know, Romania is now in a state of emergency.

    I really don’t know why I’m still wasting my time with you. >:(


  5. El despre noi.. greu de apreciat ce face. Noi despre el avem o certitudine : E MORT. Deocamdata, noi astia in viata cat o sa mai fim, avem obligatia morala sa-i uram sa stea casa poporului pe piept si sa o simta in dos…


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