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Showing posts from 2019

The Death of the PSD

The text below was initially written as a response to an email. I was asked whether a newcomer to Romania could manage life here given the ongoing political and economic downturn.

Let's make one thing clear. What is happening in Romania now stems from decades of unchecked corruption and the mass embezzlement of state funds orchestrated by an organized crime syndicate. The PSD is by far the main culprit in the scheme, but Romania's political and bureaucratic class at large have consistently played a role.

This would be a very pessimistic post if it weren't for the fact that "the owner has noticed".

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There is a significant chance the PSD will just disappear some day. Maybe not with the next election cycle in 2020, but I'd be surprised if they continue to exist, or to field any candidates, after 2025. If it isn't a sudden defeat (a black swan event), they will die the slow death of irrelevance, as…

A Fine Horse

The snow crunches under the the sturdy Hucul's marbled hooves as fresh flakes drift all around, steady, fat, soon to cover the evidence of our mid-winter ride. I'm riding 'Cyklon', a 9 year old bay, bred for life in the mountains. He is calm and patient, but has a tendency to stop mid-stride for mouthfuls of sparse, dry leaves hanging from the shrubs and trees lining the trail.

tsk, tsk and pull on the reins to get us back underway, sympathizing with the craving for a snack. The landscape is desolate at this time of year. A  gusting wind whistles over the plateau as a white panorama stretches ahead and below us, peppered with brown and black copses of dormant trees, and dark woods in the foothills beyond. It is what sad, poignant poetry looks like. It is death. It is rest. It is a prelude to life.


We're on a 'horseback hill tour' with a group, about an hour's train ride from Cluj, in the village of Stana. The guide told us the horses don't wear shoe…