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dj-_-b spirit
07-11-2009, 21:40
Ecco una storia appena arrivata sulla ML dell'associazione europea di cui faccio parte...
Roba da far accapponare la pelle... ...e il bello che io non sapevo nemmeno l'esistenza di questo pseudo-stato... Enjoy:

--------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Octav Zlatior <oektaw@gmail.com>
Date: 2009/11/7
Subject: Transnistria - things you should know
To: Travellers of BEST <travel@best.eu.org>


Hello travellers :)

The following message contains my genuine experience on Transnistrian
land, and I'm writing it as a warning for anybody who thinks of
crossing this "land of hope" in the near future.

First of all, I am not surprised that 80-90% of euro travelers never
heard of this Transnistria. Especially if you are not a citizen of
Romania, Moldova, Ukraine or, maybe, Russia, the chances you have
heard of this strip of land are very small. Second, I don't want to
offend anybody with this e-mail, I am fully aware there are citizens
of Transnistria among us and possibly on this mailing list. It's just
that some particular aspects of this land were disturbing for me, and
I think it's better that everybody is informed about the issues they
might encounter.

What is Transnistria?
Called Pridnyestrovie (I know, there's a soft sound somewhere there :)
) in Russian, meaning "by the Nister". If you are going to look on the
map for it, you will not find it, because it is a country that
declared independence in 1990 but no country in the world (UN members
at least) recognize it. I'm not going to get into the political stuff
too much. The idea is that the country forcibly keeps it's borders.

You can find more stuff about it on this page:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transnistria

It's situated between Moldova and Ukraine. The capital city is
Tiraspol. They claim to have three official languages there, but the
authorities speak mostly Russian.

How did I get there?
I was on my way from ZiPi to Chisinau. The good news is this is pretty
much the only way you can get to cross Transnistria - going from
Ukraine to Moldova or viceversa. A friend told me before leaving:
"avoid Transnistria!"
Unfortuantely, I had other things to think of when I got in Odessa by
train. I arrived there at 4 in the morning, and the bus station was in
the other end of this pretty big city (seriously, it's a beatiful
place :p ). When I eventually got to the bus station, I went to the
office to buy a ticket, and forgot to ask if the bus will cross
Transnistria or not (yep... ). Only when the mini-bus arrived, I
noticed it said Tiraspol on the route board. I freaked out a little,
and went to ask the driver if there will be any problem because I am
Romanian and I cross Transnistria (naturally, the driver was an
excellent Russian and Ukrainian speaker... and that was all :))) )...
The very little Russian I speak (kind of) was enough for me to find
out that everything is OK, and that he'll wait for me if I have any
problems at the border (that's reassuring) and that my backpack will
cost me an extra 5 grivnia (that's less than half a euro - I actually
found the concept fascinating :)) )

So there I was, on my way to Transnistria :)

What happened next?
Well... I filled in some immigration forms while approaching the
border. We crossed the Ukrainian side of the border with no incidents.

A few hundred meters before the Transnistrian border, we were stopped
by some border guards, policemen and soldiers (with Kalashnikovs :p ).
There was a proper filter, with concrete barriers and barbed wire and
everything... Oh well :)

They just looked at our faces and at our passports... Everything
seemed to be OK for now. I crossed a lot of borders in my life, some
of them were easier to cross, some more difficult. Not a few times
have I been stopped by the guards, have I had my luggage checked to
the last piece of clothing and a lot of other things that seemed to be
a little overreactive on the borderguards' side. So I was kind of used
to a lot of strange stuff. In my opinnion, everything seemed to be OK
so far :p

But what followed was not OK anymore.

Our bus moved forward through the filter, and we reached the actual
border... With fences, barbed wire again, soldiers, officers, border
guards, Kalashnikovs and... the best part... a tank under some
camouflage net :D
The Transnistrian flag was waving above the whole thingie, with the
communist sign (yes - the one with the hammer and the sickle).

Everything seemend to be OK still... I was a little scared, but still
- I thought "dude, I'm still in Europe - what could go wrong :) "

They took our passports for checking. Then they told us to get out of
the bus so they could check our luggage. I was amazed to see they had
an X-ray scanner to check the luggage! Never saw one at a border...
When I was about to get out from the luggage office, the officer there
asked me in a very offensive way: "Rumunsky, da?" (it's pretty
straight forward what it means :p )... I said "da". He asked if I
speak Russian. I told him I speak very little, but I speak Romanian
and English. He told me "Good luck then..." in a very ironic way.
That's the moment I freaked out a little, and started to feel that
somewhere in their customs house a big dick was being prepared for
me...

dj-_-b spirit
07-11-2009, 21:41
The interrogation
I got back into the bus, and they brought back our passports...
Everybody got their passports back, except for me. As the officer was
preparing to get down of the bus, I shouted: "Tavarish! Moi
passport?!" I don't know why I thought it's very natural and common
for people to call each other "tavarish" (comrade) in this particular
strip of land :)

He looked angrily at me, and told me to wait. Another guy came in the
bus and called my name (in a very Russian way ) ) and I followed him
to the "Interrogation Room"...

There I was, in a room - me and three Russian officers, with the
hammer and sickle on their forehead, dressed in uniforms, with guns
and everything. They were asking questions, I was answering. In
Russian! When they saw I was getting very lost, they started asking in
English. But it was mostly Russian... The questions were mostly common
stuff like what am I doing in Transnistria, what I do in Cluj, what
was my bussiness in Ukraine. What am I doing in Moldova.

I eventually told them I'm member of a student organization, although
I was aware this is not the kind of stuff they want to hear. Then,
they checked my pockets (remember, all this conversation was happening
in Russian... ). I had a flyier in my pocket - a random one I got in
Kyiv, I took it to learn some more words and stuff like that :)
Unfortunately for me, the flyier was about Work and Travel in USA.
That was it! They started asking me: What's this? Are you working with
americans? Do you have any business with the USA? Do they give you
money? You are sending people in the USA, right?

And stuff like that... I tried to convince him that I have nothing to
do with the americans, that our organisation is not "amerikansky" and
stuff like that. Things were getting really really fucked up!

The most interesting part was that during all this interrogation, they
were talking to each other, saying jokes and laughing... I didn't
understand much, so I was a little unconfortable about this...

Eventually, they started to ask me for bribe to let me go. Two of the
guys went away, and the third one started asking me for "dvatzat evro"
(20 euros). Besides being a lot of money that they had no reason to
make me pay, it was a very dangerous situation. I've heard of cases of
such guards asking for bribe just to have a reason to arrest
unsuspecting travelers :|
I told them I don't see a reason and I refuse to give them 20 euros.
He opened the drawer, and said - just throw them here before somebody
sees it. He also told me that otherwise, I'll have to take my bag and
go back to Ukraine. Honestly, I was happier with this option :))

In all this time, I was getting fully aware of the extremely bad
situation I was in. I was on a piece of land no country recognizes.
They can do whatever they want - nobody can get involved here. There
are no embassies, no UN, no international laws, no nothing. They can
throw me in prison, deport me or worse... And nobody will ever find
out what happened to me. I was already imagining myself sticking the
Mongolian flag in the permafrost in Siberia... LBG Novosibirsk yey )

I needed a solution fast...

The escape
I said to myself: right now I am in one of the worst situations I
could ever be in... If I just wait, it will only get worse. I have to
use my balls - it's my turn to slam the dick on the table :)

I told them it's obvious that we don't agree too well anymore, and
this is because of the language barrier, so I asked for a translator.
He pretended not to understand what I want... It's true, I don't know
the Russian word for translator :)

I told them I'll just go to the bus to take my luggage and I'll go
back to Ukraine (I was already imagining myself hitchhiking near the
soldiers on the Transnistrian border )) )

I went back to the bus, and asked the driver about this situation...
He was very confused by my Russian and told me there is little I or he
could do about it. Then I remembered there was a very very nice lady I
talked with all the way. She was speaking both Romanian and Russian.
She offered to help me with my very bad situation, and she entered the
interrogation room with me, and started talking with the officers in
Russian. From their conversation, I understood she was asking them to
bring me a translator and she asked them if they asked me for bribe to
cross the border. The officers denied everything, and told her I got
something wrong )

Then she left, and the translator came, and I could finally speak
Romanian and everything was OK. But I was still freaked out. They gave
my passport back and I could get on the bus again. We entered
Transnistria. Our bus was stopped by police and military a few more
times for "routine checks".

In and out again
Although I was happy that everything was over, I was horrified by the
thought that a lot of worse things could happen. During the
interrogation, I was at least on the "safe side", and I could get back
to safety in Ukraine at any moment. Now I am inside - what if they
don't let me out? What if the guards I just had this long incident
with called the other border, or the police, or the military to stop
me?

Everything was like in a strange movie - that kind of films with
american tourists in Columbia or stuff like that :)

All this experience didn't stop me to enjoy my presence there - I went
to buy some Transnistrian money as souvenirs - the coins have the
hammer and sickle sign :D

Fortunately, the exit was much easier, nobody interrogated me anymore
and I entered Moldova.

Last scare
Just as we crossed the Moldovan checkpoint, everything was OK, they
took our passports and gave them back to us after a while... The
driver started the bus, and when we were at a few kilometers away from
the checkpoint, I finally got my passport (the stack of passports was
moving through the bus for each of us to pick his own). I checked to
see the Moldovan stamp, and I realised I don't have one!!!

I asked the lady that helped me with the border, and she told me that
she has no idea if I should or should not have a stamp, because she
has Moldovan passport and they don't put a stamp in it by default.

I went to ask the driver, and showed him the passport. He looked at it
and told me "harasho" (like - it's OK)... I had some problems
understanding which part of this story is "harasho" because I heard a
lot of stories of people that got deported, arrested, interrogated,
banned to cross borders because of mistakes of the border officers :|

But what could I do... He didn't want to stop and turn of course, so I
had to get used to my situation of illegal imigrant in Moldova :|

Eventually, I found out what's the thing: because the Moldovan state
does not recognize Transnistria, they can't have a border, because
having a border with stamps and everything would mean recognizing the
Transnistrian state. Therefore, they just check your passports and
sometimes luggage, but they don't stamp your passport. It's just a
customs checkpoint, not a border :)

All the authorities know this, so when they check for entry stamp,
they see the exit from Ukraine to Transnistria, and know you don't
need an entry stamp. If you ask me about it, it is very very strange
:p

What can I say...
It was a very interesting experience. Until today, I'm not sure how
close I was to serious problems (LBG Novosibirsk kind of problems :))
). One thing is for sure - I will never cross Transnistria again. I
strongly recommend all travelers to avoid it!

Still, if you are forced to cross Transnistria, take these into accout:
* don't take anything strange with you, don't give the guards a reason
to hold you
* don't bribe the guards - seriously, you could get in jail!
* avoid taking any alcohol and cigarettes with you
* keep your cool when talking to the guards
* they will use Russian as a weapon of intimidation against you... try
to be as communicative as possible
* find somebody in the bus that speaks your language, or that speaks a
language you also speak
* don't be afraid that you don't have entry stamp for Moldova - it's normal
* maybe learn some Russian before :)
* drivers and travellers in that part of the world are used to this
kind of shit... don't be afraid that they will get upset or leave
without you; them waiting for hours until they release you is included
in the ticket price :) - I was held in for one hour, but they would
have waited for more...

I am still amazed such a place exists at only 200 kilometers from the
border of the European Union (Evropevsky Soyuz :D) ...

So... Take care and good luck travelers :p

See you around (hopefully),

Octav
BEST Cluj-Napoca
RA of Mongolia

dAb
07-11-2009, 21:57
Che storia :D

Comunque sembra essere uno stato comodo per far sparire personaggi scomodi :stordita:

badcat
07-11-2009, 22:19
Questo il Dialectik dell'est :D

lnessuno
07-11-2009, 22:22
sticazzi che esperienza :eek:

NyXo
07-11-2009, 22:31
io volevo dire che conosco la transnistria.
mi ci sono imbattuto proprio qualche giorno fa cercando il TLD dell'ukraina (volevo registrare $utentessa.ua :mame: )

:98:

Domenix
07-11-2009, 22:47
Qualche tempo fa, se non erro, quelli delle Iene ci sono andati a fare un servizio.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iN5G5fbCjzc

dAb
08-11-2009, 00:03
Originariamente inviato da Domenix
Qualche tempo fa, se non erro, quelli delle Iene ci sono andati a fare un servizio.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iN5G5fbCjzc

Interessante, ci sono molte parti che confermano il racconto. C'e` anche il carroarmato :D

LevkaRomanov
08-11-2009, 01:09
Con i soldi e il potere si possono anche creare stati nuovi :zizi:
:mafia_rulez: :fighet:

Una regione che vive di commercio e/o contrabbando di armi... :stordita:

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