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Romania, European Union (sort of)

July 2008 —
Haystacks by the river Somes

At the beginning of 2007 the European Union incorporated Romania and Bulgaria — sort of.* ...

In the UK and in Ireland (which followed the example of its ancient master,) neither Romanians nor Bulgarians are allowed to work.

At the border between Hungary and Romania, there is yet a border. "Poliţia de frontiera — ce frontiera?*"

In July of 2008 at Budapest Ferihegy International Airport I was unable to change Romanian lei into Hungarian forint. When I suggested that this was odd, I got no explanation.

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*Rather, "technically, but not completely."

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* In May of 2010, Romanian guards at the border with Hungary stopped AC/DC and asked a €50 fee for each of the 29 vehicles in their caravan, inventing some excuse. They would not let any of the rigs leave the country until they got the money. The band's company paid the "fine" — (şpaga in Romanian; an extorsion.)

In June, the minister for transport announced that all ten of the border guards at the customs office at Nădlac had been fired. Sacked. Concediat.

Apparently the guards were unaware that AC/DC is one of the most famous acts in the world and could not be treated this way.


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