No Purpose – No Moldova

While my friends from Lviv where in Carpathian Mountains attending the European Rainbow gathering, I decided to visit Moldova for couple of days and then come back.. The border wasn’t too far, so early in the morning on August 20 I hit the road.. It was a bright sunny day.. One after another the drivers would take me closer to the Ukraine – Moldovan border through little towns and villages.. Once even an orthodox priest on an old and rusty Lada gave me a lift.. He was driving to a town about 50 km ahead.. There was another passenger in the car who turned to be a historian.. In the middle of the ride the priest and the historian began to argue on Holy Trinity.. Historian was denying the Trinity which the priest of course didn’t like at all.. The rest of the road they were screaming on each other.. The priest would turn his head to me from time to time hoping I will support him, which I did..

I reached the Urkainian-Moldovan border around 8 o’clock in the evening and crossed it to Moldovan side without any problems.. The immigration officer met me with a foolish grin.. He asked me where am I going to go in Moldova and why.. I said I wanna visit my friends in Kishinev, Moldova’s capital.. He took my passport and went in the immigration office.. He came back in 10 minutes..

“You are not going anywhere,” he said..
“Why?” I was surprised..
“Because your visit has no purpose..” He pretended to be a strict officer..
“What you mean? I told you I’m gonna visit my friends in Kishinev.. Isn’t it a purpose for you?”
“No! It’s not a purpose.. We’ll return your passport now. We can’t let you in, because your visit has no
“Excuse me?! What the purpose of visiting your country should be for you to let a visitor in?” I just couldn’t get it.. The whole situation was weird..
“Your friends should have come here to meet you.”
“I didn’t ask what my friends should do.. I asked you about the purpose of visiting Moldova..”
“You have no purpose of entering our country..”

He left me standing there.. A bit later I heard him asking his colleges how to say “No purpose of entering Moldova” in Moldovan language.. I was about to laugh out loud, but one of them came out of the building and invited me in.. I entered a small room full of dusty folders with yellowish papers.. There was another officer sitting on a plastic chair.. He asked me why do I want to go to Kishinev, and I once again said that I’m going to visit my Moldovan friends in Kishinev.. This guy was the head of the office and I was hoping him to be an intelligent fellow.. But I was wrong..

“I understand everything, but I can’t let you enter Moldova, because you have no purpose of visiting our country..”

I gave up.. I had no more wish to argue with them.. Besides, I thought perhaps the Road is just telling me I have nothing to do in Moldova and it’s better to hitchhike back to Lviv.. I got my passport back and walked towards Ukraine.. On the Urkainian side one of the officers told me that for some unknown reasons no Armenians are allowed to enter Moldova..
That cold night I slept in my sleeping bag on a bench in front of the police station in the town of Sokyriany.. And early in morning hitchhiked back to Lviv, where wandering on the streets I suddenly met two hippie girls and they hosted me untill the next day I came across my friends wandering on the streets of city..

4 thoughts on “No Purpose – No Moldova

  1. That is truly sad indeed! Do you suppose they’d let you through had your answer been “sight-seeing” instead, like what a regular tourist would do? But then, based on what the officer on the Ukrainian side had told you, the immigration officers would have found all your reasons as “no purpose”.

    Immigration officers are often weird like that because they know that they have the power to accept or decline.

    Say hi to Vasya for me ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. You probably could have gotten in if you paid a little bribe ๐Ÿ™‚

    Oh and, for reference, there is no Moldavian language

    • Yeah, it would work with bribing, sure! But I didn’t want to do it.

      And yes, there is no Moldovan language if you think of it as a dialect of Romanian. Yet, Moldovans call it Moldovan language. and that’s what the immigration guy was asking ๐Ÿ™‚

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