Thursday, May 19, 2011



Thanks to Pete for finding this. When I read it, I couldn't help but wonder if they had female sales reps at the party.


And thank you to TJ for finding this.


Barber (shave only), 12 ROM

Food, oriental, at a mall with no drink 11 RON

Captain Morgan spiced rum, regular sized bottle 64 RON from specialty store, only 44 RON from the grocery store

Baileys liquor, 700ml, 80 RON

Jack Daniels, 80 RON

Bushmills, 68 RON

Three pack of condoms, in the 'impulse items' near the checkout of the store, 7 RON

Toothbrush, 2-12 RON


To Logan on DAY 4: "Did I told you, you are mental?"

On alcohol: "It's made from plants, it's good for you."


On the registration of your car, it tells you how many passengers you are allowed to get in there. If you go over that number - with babies and children being counted as adults - you get a fine and lose your license. A normal mid-sized car max is five. Dead hookers in trunks, Matt, seem to be just fine.


I'm at the train station in a restaurant typing up my notes from the last couple days. I'm not sure how long it has been since I've slept or showered. My entire body is feeling really funky and my brain feels like it has a tight cap on inside my skull. I'm happy the restaurant is being cool and letting me type in it. They even let me plug in my computer. I'd rather type in here - it's better than being thrown in with the 'general population' of the train station. The downside is that the owners kid and one of the staff are watching the TV next to me. I don't know what they're watching (an American movie) but I really don't care. I'm working on getting as much of this typed up as possible so that I can be a bit caught up. I have an assload of notes and due to the messed up travel times I'm having they are multiplying.


Believe it or not, I've seen a pointy baseball cap. I have no idea if it was made like that or modified to be able to 'house' the 'Sleeztak' hairstyle that so many of these guys are fond of.


Several interesting things all going on here. It would have been interesting to spend a bit more time there - and possibly be fluent in Romanian.

From their collars, several of the dogs had a short chain down with a stick parallel to the ground. I asked what that was for and I was told that it keeps them from being able to run. Why this is important is something I don't understand.

All of the milk and such from the sheep goes into a semi nomadic camp for processing into one of two different kinds of cheese. The less valuable cheese is a yellowish and the more valuable - presumabily harder to make is white. I tried both. the white was superior.

All of the sheep are milked every night.

Marianna and her husband Yackob are the bosses of the processing camp.

Whenever either the sheep grazing lands or the processing camp is moved, they bring in a priest to bless the ground and the sheep. He also comes once a year for another blessing. Each blessing is an excuse for a party. In addition to these parties, in August or September all of the sheep owners show up for an additional party.

For areas with wolves, when they make the pen for the sheep at night, they chain a dog to each of the corners. This is apparently enough to deal with the wolves. In higher altitude areas with rabid bears however, they make sleeping areas for men on each corner. Apparently, a bear hungry for sheep can do a lot of damage.

Owning sheep can give you cheese. For every sheep you have you get - per year - 6 KG of yellow cheese and 1 KG of white cheese. This is natural and unsalted cheese.

The shephards are 'rented'. In addition to a really small wage, they also get any excess cheese/milk produced by the sheep they care for. They also often have several of their own sheep mixed in the herd. They are also given small gifts at various times - stuff they can use. Usually foodstuffs but I'm guessing something like toiletpaper wouldn't be turned down.

The processing center is an extremely crude affair - it's made to be taken down and put up at need. The entire family pretty much sleeps in a single room and the cooking takes place under overhangs at one end. The other end has a picknick table where people can gather around to eat, party and talk. While we were in the processing center, we were brought some extremely tender lamb in some sort of sauce as well as white and yellow cheese. None of the lamb is wasted.

A family of five does the processing for about 500 sheep.

They have a donkey for hauling shit and a wooden saddle carved back in the 1950's.

A head sized piece of yellow sheep cheese weighs about 40 KG and lasts a family of four for three months.

Sorin's dad is really 'in' with this crowd. He is treated with the respect of a senior uncle. He has been going to these sort of gatherings since the 1980's though he has only been with this group from last year. Apparently, he has bought several sheep, a couple of cattle and god knows how much cheese.

I thought that this is one of the more interesting Romanian places I have been to and I was very grateful to Sorin's dad for bringing us.


The batteries and redundundant backups were dead. While I was at the shephards enclosure (processing center) and they were gathering the clan so that they could get pictures of everyone. I feel so fail.


I felt a sense of sadness when I was leaving Targu Mures - Diana and Sorin were awesome hosts. But, part of being a good guest is knowing when to move the fuck on.

So I got on the small bus and thought "It's pretty full." Little did I know we'd be stopping several more times to get more and more passengers. My backpack took up and entire seat and somehow looked smug but after an initial attempt to communicate with me (I said "What?") everyone pretty much ignored me. Tourists can get away with more stuff. Mind you, there wasn't really anywhere to put it. It was literally standing room only.

The bus was hot and uncomfortable. Seventies music blared over the radio. This particular bus took only an hour and a half as opposed to the trains four hour travel time. Diane and Sorin showed me that the busses in this area can make a huge difference in travel times. They also helped me to work out a back up plan in case I couldn't find my host Daniel. I figured 'hey - in small villages everyone knows each other so how hard can it be to find him'. If I couldn't find him, I'd head on to the next larger town then on to Moldova.

If you enjoy nearly being knocked out of your seat every couple seconds by the hard jostling and feeling that at any minute somone as insane as your bus driver may kill you and everyone else on the bus through impatience or stupidity, the bus is for you.

I am the only backpacker on the bus - the rest is all locals, college students headed home to visit their parents for the weekend, etc.

Keep in mind that this village is fifteen kilometers away from Sighisoara and it took an hour and a half to get there. The roads are just that 'special'.

I feel bad because I've gotten several other couch requests accepted for a place to stay but I really think that (with the exception of the small village) it's time to get the fuck out of Romania. If Moldova and Transdinesta is cool, I might stick around for awhile. If not, I'll at least get to see it. I'm thinking that after M & T - due to the talking about it my Polish friends did back at the hostel, I'm going to check out Odessa, Ukraine. It's been awhile since I've seen a sea. Unless I can get couch requests accepted in Turkey, I might step through there faster than I had originally planned. Everyone and their brother says it is expensive. Who knows - if the Ukraine is safe and cheap, I might hang there for awhile - I don't know. We'll see.

Either way, I'm working my way toward India.

I need to live cheaply for awhile and some Indian food would hit the spot. If anyone has any contacts in India, please contact them and see if it is possible for me to hang out with them!


I went looking for Daniel the guy from Couch surfing.

The town looked quite a bit like from the movie Borat. I was told Borat was actually filmed somewhere in Romania.

this village had about four hundred people living in it. Yes, I had to use my German here as well.

There were some interesting looking locals including a lady that had moles as large as my nose with hair as long as my fingers. I wish I was exaggurating. Really. They got a gypsy guy who was doing his best between being a helpful guide, begging off me and acting a bit spooky. I started to think "What the fuck am I doing wandering into here" as it kept getting futher and further away from others and such. Eventually, the gypsy gave up begging off me and went and got a guy named 'Sebastian'.

It turns out that Daniel randomly ("spontaniously") takes off for another town and he wasn't around when I finally - with the help of the locals - found his place. Honestly, it was a little spooky. His property manager, Sebastian, did his best to be friendly. He informed me that the 'guest house' they have (which I didn't view) belonged to some sort of 'private organization'. A very ill defined 'private organization'. I was also told that there was currently one other guest and six more would be showing up soon. This wasn't really what I had signed up for - I was wanting to spend time getting to know the host. And his beeing absent, my feeling a bit exposed here and some of the freaky feeling I was having after being banged about on the bus going deep into the heart of Charley for awhile combined into "Run, Luke, run." Sebastian was very cool about it but I was a bit freaky by then. Sebastian said that I was in luck - a bus was on it's way someime in the next half hour. I'd need to flag it down - they don't just stop because some fat foreigner wearing a backpack is staring expectently at them.

And a big storm with thunder and lightning was moving in.


I wasn't really happy with myself for leaving. I'm sure it would have been fine but if you have ever seen the "Bourne Identity" movie where he goes home to Paris and starts hearing the alarm bells going off? I felt like that a bit but without the "I'm a badass skill".

So, I got on the bus.



Small bus from Targu Mures to Sighisoara, 11 ROM

Lunch in Sighisoara during a two hour layover - 18 ROM - it was terrible.

Apold to Sighisoara via rattling bus, 5 ROM

From Sighisoara to Suceava with a transfer in Brasov - second class 73 ROM, first class 111 ROM. I know Brasov is suppose to be a cool mideval town


Apparently if I want to stay there for more than ten hours, I may need an invitation letter. We'll see how that area goes.


Apparently, it is possible to go easily from Moldova to Istanbul via an international airport. I have no idea how much that would be. I'm going to have to research that and maybe compare it to approaching via the black sea from Odessa.

$1 = 11 MDL (Moldovian money - not sure what money they use in Transdniestr).

I'll have to see if they sell notebooks there. I need a couple more. They are going quickly.


Carry a large thumb drive. You can never tell when or for what it will be useful. And it's really lightweight.

On busses that roam the Romanian countryside, there are NO bathrooms. Take a pre-game dump. Maybe two. Or, just crap your pants. Some of the other people may be doing that same thing...


I've started on my fourth notebook. Jana never contacted me to tell me she got the second one. I'm curious if it showed up or not.


Normally, a trip like this would give me 'stories to tell' afterward aside from two facts. First, there may not be an 'afterward'. Since I'm not planning on returning to the states for the foreseeable future, there isn't really a 'homecoming'. Who knows - maybe I'll fall in love with a place annd make it my home for awhile. But second, since I'm putting everything into a blog, well, everyone will aready know my storeis. The number of readers seems to be growing abet slowly.

When I visited my parents a couple of months ago, they told e they didn't want to hear about anything they considered 'dangerous'. This includes, for them, all international travel. They didn't want to know - they said it was because they didn't want to worry. Recently, however, they wrote me and asked where I was and such. I reminded them they had said they didn't want to know and gave them a couple of details on my trip. It's been days and I haven't heard from them. It will be (as Pete would say) 'interesting' when I eventually do.


  1. The notebook didnt show up as of yet. Maybe the post system is really slow, or something just didnt work out. If it will show up I let you know but it is quite a long time from when you send it - I think it should have arrived allready.

  2. I sent what I think your address is on the HC boards - please tell me if I've got it right.


  3. Have you managed to get your prescriptions renewed as yet? How about a dentist?

  4. I'm still doing good with the meds I brought with. I did buy a one month refill of everything in Bosnia in addition to that though just to make sure I had some extra. Medicine doesn't seem to be a problem. I haven't really stayed still long enough for a dentist yet though life in Moldova is inexpensive enough that I may end up getting checked out here. I think here is about as cheap as it gets. According to the current hostel owner, many people come here on 'medical tourism' to get work done. It's weird but I haven't seen ANY dentist offices the last couple days of wandering around the streets.



{{2011}} London, GB | Rail N Sail | Amsterdam, Netherlands | Prague, Czech Republic | Budapest, Hungary | Sarajevo, Bosnia | Romania | Chisinau, Moldova | Ukraine: Odessa - Sevastopol | Crossed Black Sea by ship | Georgia: Batumi - Tbilisi - Telavi - Sighnaghi - Chabukiani | Turkey: Kars - Lost City of Ani - Goreme - Istanbul | Jordan: Amman - Wadi Rum | Israel | Egypt: Neweiba - Luxor - Karnak - Cairo | Thailand: Bangkok - Pattaya - Chaing Mai - Chaing Rei | Laos: Luang Prabang - Pakse | Cambodia: Phnom Penh | Vietnam: Vung Tau - Saigon aka Ho Chi Minh City

{{2012}} Cambodia: Kampot - Sihanoukville - Siem Reap - Angkor Wat | Thailand: Bangkok | India: Rishikesh - Ajmer - Pushkar - Bundi - Udaipur - Jodhpur - Jasalmer - Bikaner - Jaipur - Agra - Varanasi | Nepal: Kathmandu - Chitwan - Pokhara - Bhaktapur - (Rafting) - Dharan | India: Darjeeling - Calcutta Panaji | Thailand: Bangkok - again - Krabi Town | Malaysia, Malaka | Indonesia: Dumas - Bukittinggi - Kuta - Ubud - 'Full Throttle' - Gili Islands - Senggigi | Cambodia: Siem Reap | Thailand: Trat | Turkey: Istanbul | Georgia: Tbilisi

{{2013}} Latvia: Riga | Germany: Berlin | Spain: Malaga - Grenada | Morocco: Marrakech - Essauira - Casablanca - Chefchawen - Fes | Germany: Frankfurt | Logan's Home Invasion USA: Virginia - Michigan - Indiana - Illinois - Illinois - Colorado | Guatemala: Antigua - San Pedro | Honduras: Copan Ruinas - Utila | Nicaragua: Granada | Colombia: Cartagena | Ecuador: Otavalo - Quito - Banos - Samari (a spa outside of Banos) - Puyo - Mera

{{2014}} Peru: Lima - Nasca - Cusco | Dominican Republic | Ukraine: Odessa | Bulgaria: Varna - Plovdiv | Macedonia: Skopje - Bitola - Ohrid - Struga | Albania: Berat - Sarande | Greece: Athens | Italy: Naples - Pompeii - Salerno | Tunisia: Hammamet 1

{{2015}} Hammamet 2 | South Africa: Johnnesburg | Thailand: Hua Hin - Hat Yai | Malaysia: Georgetown | Thailand: Krabi Town | Indonesia:
Sabang Island | Bulgaria: Plovdiv | Romania: Ploiesti - Targu Mures | Poland: Warsaw | Czech Republic: Prague | Germany: Munich | Netherlands: Groningen | England: Slough | Thailand: Ayutthaya - Khon Kaen - Vang Vieng | Cambodia: Siem Reap

{{2016}} Thailand: Kanchanaburi - Chumphon | Malaysia: Ipoh - Kuala Lumpur - Kuching - Miri | Ukraine: Kiev | Romania: Targu Mures - Barsov | Morocco: Tetouan

{{2017}} Portugal: Faro | USA: Virginia - Michigan - Illinois - Colorado | England: Slough - Lancaster | Thailand: Bangkok | Cambodia: Siem Reap

{{2018}} Ukraine: Kiev - Chernihiv - Uzhhorod

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