Received a text message from Jan saying how he'd met the bisexual the previous night and wondered if I was still alive as he'd heard I'd finished at 9.30am the previous morning and was pretty drunk. Said I'd meet him for breakfast at 10am. Went for breakfast of fish and chips and met Jan at 11. Ate my soup, fish (5 sprat like ones) and chips (fried potatoes) and went to check mails at internet cafe before cyling to danger zone. Stomach was feeling like washing washine but under control. Stomach went into spin cycle, so as the internet cafe had no facilities paid and walked back to hotel. Had to stop a few times to concentrate but then on a cobbled section a small amount landed into my pants. Usually when this happens I can hold off until the toilet, but not this time. Entered hotel barging past atractive young lady, checking if any outside signs could be noticed... they couldn't. Walked past reception as some more came out and up stairs to first floor
. Communal toilet next to managers office, with confusing light switch on outside. I turned on the wrong light switch as some more came out. Went inside closed and locked door into darkness, as I took my shorts and pants down the whole lot came partly over toilet and floor, besides obviously my pants and shorts. Found toilet seat correctly and ensured everything had come out...it had, so stumbled to lightswitch outside and quickly closed door. Faced by a bad site. Shit was overflowing from my shorts onto my pants and the floor. Decided on a naked approach so took shirt off and hung it up. Removed sandels. Removed shorts trying not to drop much on the floor or anywhere else which didn't really work. Finally my underpants which were soaked. Tried to get as much off pants and shorts into toilet as possible using toilet paper. All backside covered so got as much as that of as possible. Next the floor and outside of toilet. Wrapped tshirt around my waist to hide as much as possible and moved all items into shower next door. Not seen so made a dash for my room to get towel and soap. Washed everything including myself which took ages. Lots of bits down plug hole. Left and cycled to the border (unofficial) where the border guard said I could only stay for 10 hours meaning I had to leave the unofficial country by 3am. Paid some strange tourist tax of 130 lei after saying I'd got no Transniestrian Roubles, Euros or Dollars (a lie). Cycled first to Bendery (site of the most fierce fighting in the war with Moldova) past old communist type industry and a Russian tank by war memorial
. Past Russian peace keeping troops road block and tanks under camouflage. Over the river which mostly divides Transnistria from Moldova to Tiraspol past new football ground and went to Cafe 7 as was feeling drained and ate local fast food. Explained the situation to the manageress (Julia an ex English teacher because she wasn't getting paid very well) who told me to go to the militia to get an extension. Cycled to meet with Jutta and Martin who were going out with local and after offering help. No joy with unhelpful admin militia lady, so back to cafe 7 and Julia joined me at the militia still no joy. Feeling really bad as we said our good-byes, she left and I collapsed with some kind of heat exhaustion. Helped out by local detectives who fed me apple juice pointing to heart problems. They left so I lay down to try and recover and got moved on by police, so went to hotel and thankfully the English speaking receptionist said they would sort my permit out the next day. Feeling so bad went to bed but then a text message from Jutta saying she was worried so could they come to my room. Put their mind at ease and went to bed again.
Saturday 28 July
Woken up at 8 by knock at the door but when I'd finally dragged myself out of bed no-one there so went for a shower which happened to be on the floor below. On the way back accosted by key lady who sat at a desk on the 1st floor and just looked after the keys
. She said I must go downstairs immediately and I met another lady who was waiting for me to go to the militia, hence the knock on the door. Dropped my stuff off in room and then to militia, no joy. It seemed the only solution was to wait until Monday then collect it from a reliable source. Went for a walk round the city past weddings, church, parliament building to military museum. Nothing much inside apart from 1st world war machine gun of the same design I'd seen in Nis, Serbia, took a picture costing me 2 Roubles. Went to cafe 7 again. Noticed all the girls walking the streets have lovely tans and are wearing as little as possible on the way to another tank by military cemetery from the Moldova war. Rested for shade under a weeping willow, phoned agi as it was her birthday party and joined by wedding guests, resting while pictures were taken of the bride and groom by the tank. Continued on to a bridge leading to the local river beach presumably where the tans are done. Walked back to hotel and then to local terrace bar, past many communist tower blocks for some food and beer. Packed with people watching a 'comedy' programme on TV which was turned up very loud. Jutta asked if they could join me so they did and they ate and I watched. Went to nightclub next door where very scantily clad people danced raunchily. Somebody had a drink in a cocktail glass that was lit then six other spirits were poured in as it was drank through a straw. Martin took some pictures much to the girls delight but not the men, then took his camera to the hotel, returned then Jutta went back as they were catching bus to Odessa next morning, so Martin and myself had a good chin wag about his complicated life
. And to bed.
Sunday 29 July
Had a lie in and went for a walk round the town again and to the usual cafe 7. Another chat with Julia and onto bar for some food and beer to write up report and to bed.
Monday 30 July
Up and out to Kvint factory Transdniestra brandy making pride and joy. Security got me to speak to an English speaker who said there was no tour due to reconstruction so I gave him a sob story and he came down and saw me telling me the same thing. So off to cafe 7 for some food and caught the trolley bus to Sheriff football club, Tiraspols team with a fantastic new stadium, next to undercover training ground and hotel. This was built by Sheriff who also own casinos and supermarkets and most else and has political connections. As I walked to the stadium I was approached by security. I explained I wanted to look round so was taken in to speak again on the phone to an English speaker who said there was no tourist opportunities. I pleaded to have at least a look at the pitch so he said he could see what he could do and I was accompanied by security to the very impressive all seater stadium, very close to the pitch. It was impossible to look anywhere else, but I met an English speaker on the way to the trolley stop who explained he wasn't a fan but would occasionally go to the game as the full stadium was an experience. Unfortunately the next game was a few days away in an Champions League qualifier against Fenabache. Back in the city I had a quick look in the parliament building, but got thrown out by security. Round the national museum in an old house of 5 rooms, but found a German piano from Breslau, now in Poland, and an old cyrillic typewriter. On to the town hall which looks impressive outside but inside dark and slightly chaotic number of rooms for various departments. Joined a queue but not that interesting as I couldn't understand the people shouting at each other. Back to the hotel to collect the important permit for 6 Roubles and out for food and beer again with no communication with the locals and to bed.