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Eastern Europe Halfway Around the World 2005
Transdniester Republic

      OK, here's the deal: when Moldova got caught up in the fervor of the breakup of the Soviet Union they declared independence. But while the majority of Moldovans are ethnic Romanians and west-leaning, a significant amount of people in the eastern part of the country are ethnic Russians and they wanted things to remain the same. Despite the status quo of the Soviet Union being impossible, they pretend it isn't, and somehow they are allowed to have their own border patrols, their own currency, their own government and other trappings of pseudo statehood, though no one in the rest of the world recognizes them, perhaps not even Russia. It is strange that the situation hasn't changed.
      I went to the "capitol", Tiraspol, and the nearby second city of Bendery for a few days. It was very bizarre as epitomized one day when I crossed a street and saw a Chrysler PT Cruiser with California license plates and a plate frame from a Stockton dealership. ( I don't think I have ever seen a Chrysler in Europe, much less a Cruiser.) I flagged him down and it turned out to be a local guy who got lucky and emigrated, and now he was back to sell his car, which was like printing money, he said.
     The photos below showing Lenin are variations on a common theme seen in the Transdniester Republic: the glorious Soviet Union, long may it live!

A walk down Soviet Memory Lane      

Tiraspol's streets are QUIET. This is the main street of the capitol.
Still the main street as you enter town

a tank

Kvas, a very popular fermented drink . There is so little to do in town, I would drink it all the time, too.
More kvas. It's the only growth industry.       Grape vines grow undisturbed

Bendery train station
Behind Bendery train station

Tiraspol train station

      The Moscow-Kishniev express, a long journey.

Pigs in the trunk of a car at the market



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