Tiraspol, Transdniestr

To use the snappier title, Tiraspol in Pridnestrovskaia Moldavskaia Respublica.
I’m in an internet cafe full of kids playing computer games, to be precise.
There’s no left luggage at the train or bus station, so we’re taking turns to mind the bags and see the sights.
Last night we met up with some Moldovan lesbians (I hope the kids next to me can’t read this) Min found through a GLBT rights organisation. They were really lovely (and quite hot) and we had a really good night.
We were up early today to get to the bus station. No big buses so we got a maxi-taxi to Tiraspol. The border crossing into Transdniestr was interesting – they took me into a back room, shut the doors and tried to get me to pay $US30 for a entry permit, but I knew that it should only be about 50c so I refused. We’d hidden any extra cash so we wouldn’t be taken for everything we had – the internet is full of stories about people paying huge fines/visa fees. It took some discussion, but we were eventually ushered back into the front office to pay the local entry fee. The story kept changing but at one point one of the guys was trying to tell us we needed to have $US150 each to show that we could support ourselves while in Transdniester. Considering we’d said we were in transit to Odessa, this seemed like quite a huge amount. We showed that we had cards (Mastercard and Visa), and eventually that we had Ukrainian hrivnia to pay for the next bus to Odessa from Tiraspol. I guess they eventually decided we either didn’t have any extra money or weren’t going to budge, so they gave up.
It was a little scary but it was just a matter of getting through it.
It’s really hot – probably mid to high 30s. We’ve already walked most of the main street but with our backpacks so we weren’t stopping to appreciate the sights. We’ll probably be back at the bus station by 5pm to get another maxi-taxi (mini-bus) to Odessa. One more border crossing into Ukraine then staying at a proper backpackers tonight, I’m kinda looking forward to it – mostly because I want to relax with a beer with the most difficult border crossings out of the way.
Moldova was really lovely – you could probably see the sights of Chisinau in half a day, but the parks are nice places to relax and watch people, and nearly everyone I met was really friendly and open. I’d been dreading Moldova a little because the Moldovans I’d encountered en masse in Antalya airport were horrible, rude and pushy, with really awful dress sense. I guess the kind of people who go on a package holiday to Antalya tend to be different to the general population. I’d love to go back to Moldova and see more of the country on something like a tour of the wineries.

One thought on “Tiraspol, Transdniestr

  1. foo says:

    I keep forgetting to read this often.
    woo! you made it, well done. did you show them a copy of Molvania?

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