Scared, Alone, and Paranoid in Transnistria

Last weekend, my wife and I decided to go visit Transnistria, the “country that doesn’t exist”, but, of course, very much does exist. But an unexpected burst of cold rain and a malfunctioning battery quickly turned our carefree day trip into something we could never have anticipated. This is a true story. Chisinau has several…

What You Can Do When You’ve Overstayed Your Visa in Romania

As you know, I’ve been answering a lot of general interest questions on Quora lately, but I also get some questions that simply can’t be answered in that forum. If you’ve come to Romania and overstayed your visa, I’m going to tell you everything I know, but you must understand two very important things. One,…

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…

Fahrenheit 451

If you’ve been a fan of this site for a long time, you know that I call my former town of Cluj-Napoca Unicorn City. Here is yet more proof of why it keeps on deserving that nickname: Cluj-Napoca’s Avram Iancu International Airport is the first airport in Romania that hosts a free library. The library,…

For Once, I Almost Agree With the Romanian Gov’t

Is illegal logging a huge problem in Romania? Why, yes it really is, with experts estimating that more than half of all logging in Romania is illegal. So you’d think I’d be quite supportive of this measure: Romania has toughened its legislation in order to protect its natural resources by defining illegal logging – but…