Bollocks to the EU – On the Piss in Tiraspol

“So, tell me fine sir, how is Transnistria?” Bob grinned at the angry Transnistrian taxi man.

“Your friend said he’d be 2 minutes, it’s been 20. I’m leaving. You can either wait here for him or come with me.”

Bob weighed up his options:
a) he could wait in a pitch black housing estate in a country which didn’t really exist, for a friend who wasn’t really his friend (because he was a guy he met in the pub an hour before) for drugs which maybe really did exist but realistically wouldn’t be consumed by him tonight despite the fact many notes (which though really did exist were of a currency which didn’t really exist according to everyone else in the world) really were in the pocket of his unreal friend, who now had really done a runner with the money and left him in a really bizarre drunken situation talking Czech to a angry taxi driver who really only understood Russian;

or

b) he could go back to the pub

“You might never have heard of Transnistria,” the official English language site suggests, ‘but’ it proudly boasts, ‘it has double the population of Iceland.” There is, however, more to the country than fascinating population statistics; for instance in Igor Smirnov they have one of the world’s most popular leaders (he managed to poll 103.6 per cent of the vote in one region during the last presidential election.) They also have one of the world’s warmest attitudes towards foreigners with a majority of the country’s leadership and most of the parliament being born outside of Transnistria (and, interestingly, subsequently banned from entering the EU). Could you imagine allegedly liberal tolerant EU states such as Germany or Britain allowing their country to be run by foreigners? It’s understandable why the open-minded people in Transnistria don’t want to join a union where intolerance is so rife.

Bob, however, had yet to experience such warmness, and wondered what he had done wrong as he wandered out of the taxi, onto October 25th street and into the pub where his partner in looser-hood Mart awaited him, “so we got fleeced” Bob sighed, “I blame Lenin,” Mart replied. Bob agreed. They stumble back out into the Communist Utopia (actually the country has a free market economy – but that’s a technicality) and go in search of a 24-hour food outlet: this wasn’t Prague, it seems that in Communist Utopias you can’t get a pizza or a fried cheese at 4am. Protest by Bob and Mart to this lack of understanding towards the needs of foreigners on the part of Tiraspol came in the form of a trail of vomit, a symbolic piss in the park of the national monument and a storming of a hotel reception demanding cheesy crisps and peach juice….

Officially the Best Country in the World

The country, officially known as Pridnestrovskaia Moldavskaia Respublica, is one of Europe’s babies being only 16 years old, but she has packed a lot of interesting history into her short life. Their self-declaration of independence took place on September 2nd 1990; they wanted to be an independent soviet republic, Russia laughed at the idea and by November the separatists were fighting with the Moldovan police. A cease-fire was signed in 1992 and the conflict has remained relatively stable ever since, “We weren’t fighting Transnistria,” Andrei a waiter in a restaurant in Moldova’s capital Chinsinau muses, “we were fighting the Russian military. How could we win? Transnistria have the best factories in country, they are famous throughout the region, Russia didn’t want to loose them.” Indeed in 1990, before the War of Transnistria the region produced 40 per cent of Moldova’s GDP and 90 per cent of her electricity, despite only having 17 per cent of the population.

Bob failed to notice and industrious activity amongst the native population however; Russian (correction just Russian-speaking proud Transnistrian patriots) soldiers mooched about the river sleeping in the hot November sun, whilst the youth or Tiraspol sat about seriously involved in day-time drinking and the art of doing nothing. Bob was kept busy however, as he had to officially register with the officially pointless office of official registration, where the registration officer officially ignored the irregularities in Bob’s official registration form but officially charged him 8 rubbles for the official pleasure. 12 bottles of Moldovan wine later Bob and companions decided it would be fun to visit the bar at the hotel at which they had officially registered as staying at, but were not actually staying (because the kind Transnistrian’s living room at whose house they were staying, didn’t want any trouble from the officials). One hour later Bob was trapped in the same hotel and fearing for his life…

Escape from Witch Mountain

In September during a national referendum, 78.6 per cent of the population overwhelmingly voted (97.1 per cent in favour) to remain independent from Moldova and develop a ‘free association’ with Russia. The EU was understandably hurt by this public rejection and consequently declared the results void. The actions of both parties raised serious questions regarding sovereignty of smaller nations. Can the countries of Eastern Europe exist without falling under the influence of one of the world’s super powers? Be it the US, the EU or Russia. Even Transnistria with its strong industry, warm attitude towards foreigners and a population double that of Iceland are struggling. However even with the Great Russian Bear growling in the ears of Transnistria, there are some at least who show a great interest towards those from the European Union:

“!!They’d locked the doors we can’t get out!!” Bob scream-whispered nervously in English to Mart, his companion in looser-hood.
“They are blocking the exits, we can’t go round them,” Mart replied despairingly. They were trapped in a hotel corridor which reeked of urine and sweat. Behind them were the toilets. Straight-ahead the doors through which they came were now locked shut. Bob was being held by a lady who resembled a Soviet-era weight lifter whilst Mart was being pinned under the steady gaze of a toothless imbecile.

“Dance.” They demanded.
“Kiss. Give me kiss.” They implored.
“Listen I would love to give you a long sensual passionate kiss, and maybe I would if you were not possibly the most scary woman I had ever met in my entire life. For instance, do you remember before when you tried to drag me onto the balcony and nearly broke my arm when I said no to your kind offer…?!?” Mart’s eyes lit up at Bob’s comment whilst the two horny girls stood slobbering and (thankfully) failing to understand Bob’s tirade. Mart skipped through a side door and came sprinting back…. “!The balcony! Of course the balcony, we can escape via the balcony…”

And escape they did: the Hotel, Tiraspol and the whole Communist Utopia (despite the border guard who demanded, but never got, a bribe claiming that Bob had never officially entered the country) and back into a safe world where governments were desperate to join the expanding monster of the European Union…

links

The Official English Site full of fascinating denials
www.pridnestrovie.net

This man visited Transnistria (and Moldova) and wrote about it in a far more interesting and funny way than what you have just read above
www.vagablogging.net/archives/000838.shtml

This article was posted in Best of Plotki, Europe without frontiers and tagged .

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