Is it too late to change my vote?

Tweet Last fall I was a staunch supporter of Romania’s 2007 entry into the EU, mostly because they could clearly benefit from the resultant stability and I wanted my friends here who are sporting hard-won university degrees and toiling away at shit jobs for 170 euros a month to have…

Moldovan Wine Huhuhuhuhuhuhuhuh!

Tweet [NOTE: Though this post does not lack for entertainment value, for updated practical information on Moldova’s wine offerings, you’d be better served by reading my Moldovan Wine guide.] I know all you winos have been on the edge of your desk chairs waiting for this one, breathless with anticipation…

Transdnistria

Tweet Transdnistria (A.K.A. ‘Transdniestr’, A.K.A. TransD, A.K.A. ‘Cyrillicgobbltigook-cyrillicgobbltigook’) was a memorably surreal experience.  I’m not gonna lie to you, it was by far the dodgiest trip I have ever taken.  In forty countries I have never felt so watched and on the brink of being in irreparable trouble during every…

BMWs, Mercedes and Butt-Cheeks Oh My!

Tweet With the notable exception of Monaco, I have never seen a higher concentration of luxury cars than in Chisinau, Moldova.  BMWs reign supreme, followed closely by Mercedes with American SUVs making a strong showing.  The Russian Lada, formerly the unofficial national car of Moldova, is a distant fourth or…

Chisinau

Tweet Chisinau (ki-shi-no), the capitol of Moldova, ascended to the top of my list of all time favourite cities within 24 hours of my arrival.  Strangely, there are very few items of tourist appeal to indulge in here (even less now as they have closed one museum and merged two…

Goooaaaaaaaallll! D’ooooooohh!

Tweet Without the benefit of TV or radio, I nevertheless enjoyed the entire range of emotions from last night’s Eufa Cup semi-final game between Steaua Bucharest (Romania) and Boro Middlesbrough (England). That’s soccer for my fellow Americans.  I was sitting in my apartment quietly enjoying a dignified Kvint cognac from…

Finito!!!!

Tweet I am delighted to report that I have completed my road research!  Even though I’ve had the luxury of breaking the research up and retreating to my apartment between trips, my time on the road was nothing short of cruel.  The horrendous weather in February and March took all…

Goodbye Romania, Hello Moldova

Tweet I leave for Moldova in the morning and I’ve gotta admit, I don’t think I have ever been more nervous about going somewhere. Usually Moldova can be challenging and the breakaway region of Transdnistria, which I’m also obliged to visit, is one step above chaos, but things have worsened…

So You Want to Be a Lonely Planet Author?

Tweet (If you haven’t already seen it, I posted an amendment to this piece in June of 2011. This post is pretty dated now, but still largely accurate. And I apologize in advance for the length. As is all too common with me, once I started writing, I completely lost…

My name is Leif and I’m a Racist

Tweet Anyone reading this blog from beginning to end all in one go might notice that my attitude toward Romanian drivers, authorities and postal employees is hovering dangerously close to racist. And they’d be right. On a side note, anyone reading this blog from start to finish in one sitting…

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