I had to leave Transnistria unexpectedly yesterday. The authorities (Ministry of Immigration?) found out I was a journalist. People went to my registered address (not the same one I was staying at), asked lots of questions about me and fined the housekeeper 300 rubles. They were looking for me, and would have stopped me at the border checkpoints if I’d tried to leave. Thankfully yesterday morning I took a bus to Dubasarry and only found out about the whole thing by text while I was walking back to the bus stop.
That’s the exciting bit of the story, my travel diary of wandering around Dubasarry is kind of dull in comparison. I walked down to the river, saw some more people in kayaks, went all the way up to the dam.
Had to sneak past a bull to get back to town, saw the old music school, the modern administration building and the public square, and that’s basically it.
When I got back into Tiraspol I carefully avoided anyone who could stop me. I’m fairly inconspicuous here and even walked past a militia station at one point without anyone noticing. I crossed town in a series of buses, kept off the street, waited in a café for a few hours… then I left. I’ve decided not to reveal the method for leaving the territory undetected without crossing any checkpoints. It was relatively simple, but also nerve-wracking.
On arrival in Chișinău I exchanged my euros at a dodgy 24-hour kiosk and walked all the way to a hotel in the centre. This hotel, with my own large room, is actually cheaper than the pokey little hostel a few streets away.
At this point I’ve seen enough of the PMR to know what it’s like. I had to cancel my hotel booking in Rîbnița. There’s still an open question of how I got outed as a ‘journalist’ despite not actually working on a story there. My best theory is someone did a search on me and found this blog? That’s some sort of praise I guess, and it’s one of the reasons I’m keeping quiet about how I got out. I don’t want the route I used to be publicised and shut down.
For now, I’m going to get my clothes washed, get some food, and carry on exploring Chișinău where I left off before. And I’m still going to Bălți at the end of the week.