Soros v. Romania

Word count: 1868 Oh lord, where to begin? Today, as I was working one of my three jobs (it’s complicated), I came across this story from Craig Turp of Bucharest Life and I simply had to respond. But first, a lot of necessary disclaimers! Disclaimer Time I have nothing but admiration for Bucharest Life. They…

Nuland Endorses Moldova’s Most Hated Politician

Hmm…. this all sounds very familiar. First, the staid New York Times piece: These days, however, it is a different photograph that is rallying support for Moscow’s allies in Europe’s Poorest Country™. It shows a United States assistant secretary of state, Victoria J. Nuland, standing shoulder-to-shoulder in Washington with Vlad Plahotniuc, Moldova’s most-feared figure, a…

Happy Western Easter Time Travel Day!

Hi there, folks! If you’re Catholic, Protestant, or any of about 500 other flavors of Christianity, today is Easter. If you’re living in Moldova, where only a few renegade Ukrainians and “weirdo” evangelicals celebrate Easter today then you’ll have to wait another month or so for all the Orthodox fun. Fun Fact #1: The Orthodox…

Pot Calling Kettle

Well this is certainly interesting: Romania plans to counteract Russian mass media in Moldova. Dan Stojanescu, the head of the ministry’s department for politics towards and communications with fellow-Romanians abroad said at the first session of the board the time was ripe for supporting Moldova in the sphere of European values through the creation of…

A Secret Deal for Ukrainians to Enter Romania

I was trolling through Ukrainian media this morning when I found this. It’s a rather bland news report similar to this one in English: President Klaus Iohannis met on Saturday with his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko on the sidelines of the International Munich Security Conference, reiterating on the occasion the support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence…

День культуры Румынии

January 15 is scheduled to be Romanian Cultural Day in Odessa Ukraine: Генеральное Консульство Румынии в Одессе организует музыкально-литературную встречу, посвященную Дню Культуры Румынии и Дню рождения Михая Еминеску. In case your Russian is a little rusty, here is the Google Translate of the same article. People often say that Romania has “no involvement whatsoever”…

Good Hitting Police

Word Count: 698 A couple of weeks ago, I had the chance to visit the lovely city of Odessa in Ukraine. A casual comment got one supporter all riled up, which led me to write a lengthy response. Since then, I pointed the Unsleeping Eye towards activities in that neck of the woods, and discovered…

Choo-Choo! Riding the Rails Moldova Style

WORD COUNT: 1240 Ever since writing my seminal piece about riding Romanian trains five years ago (with many follow-up tales, like this one), I’ve been burning with desire to ride some trains in (the Republic of) Moldova. Luckily, this week, I finally got my chance! There are a lot of differences, the most important being…

Dill Heads

WORD COUNT: 530 One of the unexpected bonuses of learning Russian is discovering just how how much comedy exists in that language. I was always raised to think of Russia as a dour, dull place, but underneath that grey exterior exists a beating humorous heart. Russians engaged in fighting Ukrainians have come up with an…

Loony Gas

Word Count: 1655 Lately, I’ve been up to my eyeballs dealing with personal problems, but even so I managed to note that Victoria Nuland, Romania’s frenemy, made a brief stop in Bucharest on Wednesday (Jan 14) for private meetings with PM Victor Ponta and newly-elected President Herr Klaus, as well as the usual coterie of…

In the Land of the Blind

Sometimes I read things online and I honestly believe someone is spoofing me, playing some kind of prank. This morning everyone is talking about the editorial by George Soros that was printed in the New York Review of Books about how evil Vladimir Putin is and how the European Union (and America, via the IMF)…