Garbage Fire

Lately, I’ve had my mind on my neighbor down the road, but that doesn’t mean that I’ve forgotten about good old Unicorn City. Ah yes, my pet name for dear, sweet Cluj-Napoca, a charming city that is, unfortunately, a little too full of its own shit. How many times have I written about this before, for goodness’ sake? Shameless Cluj-Napoca, the second-largest city in Romania, … Continue reading Garbage Fire

Nation vs. State

Considering all the racist shit that’s been going on lately, I thought it was worth discussing a few basic definitions. Today, we use the word “country” (Ro: țara) rather loosely, sometimes meaning a sovereign political entity and sometimes in the older sense of a territory inhabited (predominately) by one people. For example, we say that Romania is a “country”, but there are several “countries” inside … Continue reading Nation vs. State

Race Baiting for Fun and Profit

Over the weekend, I had the misfortune of watching the (Romanian) internet blow up over a video posted on YouTube. Ostensibly, it shows a faceless Romanian man filming with a hidden camera as he tries to order some food at a Kaufland in the town of Odorheiu Secuiesc but get refused service because he didn’t speak Hungarian. Antena 1, the conservative television news network, covered … Continue reading Race Baiting for Fun and Profit

We Don’t Need No Water

You know, I’ve met Emil Boc several times, the (apparently) permanent mayor of Cluj-Napoca. He’s a nice guy and quite charming. But he’s an old Communist bootlick and one of the most racist anti-Gypsy politicians in the country, and that’s saying something. Yesterday, I couldn’t help but note that the Pata Rat garbage dump, described by its residents as hell on Earth, something that I … Continue reading We Don’t Need No Water