波納佩島意外之旅(二)

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環島遊

清早起來以後,預訂的司機就開車來接我了。司機是中國之星酒店前臺小姐的妹妹,她們兩個人開車一起帶我逛波納佩,分別做嚮導和司機。早上8點的時候儘管陽光已經很毒辣了,天氣還算能讓人喘過來氣。開車穿過科洛尼亞,就進入了茂密的熱帶雨林。波納佩島和太平洋上的大部分島嶼一樣都是火山島,整個島是個圓形,中央是一座死火山。密克羅尼西亞的基礎設施很好,尤其是公路平整乾淨,這點我沒有想到。經過了總統宅邸,本來想拍個照,被疑似警衛的人拒絕了。看來島雖小,現任總統官架子卻不小。

一路上我看到了許多教堂,有新建的也有廢棄的,數量非常多。這些教堂有天主教,也有新教各教派,聽嚮導說近年來發展最快的是摩門教。我在路邊還碰到了穿着典型的摩門教年輕傳教士,一問果然來自猶他州鹽湖城。島上教派衆多源於其殖民歷史,西班牙人是有文字記錄的最早發現密克羅尼西亞的人,大約是在16世紀。但是一直到19世紀末西班牙纔開始佔領波納佩,在此建立了「昇天的聖地亞哥城」(Santiago de la Ascensión),也就是今天的科洛尼亞(Kolonia)。科洛尼亞得名於西班牙語Colonia,意思是殖民地。沒過幾年,德國從美西戰爭中戰敗的西班牙手裏購買了加羅林羣島,包括波納佩。再到後來一站戰敗,赤道以北的德佔太平洋島嶼都被轉交給了日本。二戰以後就是美國控制了,一直到八十年代獨立爲止。如今島上的人幾乎都信基督教,大概是一半天主教徒,一半新教徒。日本佔領時期也引入了佛教和神道教,根據美國國家史蹟名錄(鏈接),科洛尼亞市政廳附近還有一個日本神社,但是我並沒有找到。

司機停留的第一個地點是一個史前人類巖畫,據稱是島上的原住民在2000年前刻在石頭上的。停車以後還有下來走一段路,然後付3美元給村民當門票錢。這段路雖然過去單程只要走10分鐘,但是這個時候天氣已經熱得讓我頭暈腦脹了。跋涉了一段密林覆蓋的道路,終於到了巖畫所在的小山丘。與周圍茂密的植被形成鮮明對比,這個小山丘光禿禿的,上面只有巖畫。巖畫雕刻清晰,內容豐富,有各種形象。

巖畫

看巖畫走路這來回一趟把我累得都快要暈過去了,因爲實在是太熱了,而且空氣相對溼度基本接近飽和。在這種天氣下我只能不斷汗流浹背,而嚮導和司機兩個人卻很適應的樣子,毫無不適的感覺,儘管她們都挺胖的。我真是不能理解爲什麼密克羅尼西亞人個個都很胖,在這麼熱的天氣下是如何適應的。英國每日電訊曾經報道過密克羅尼西亞是全世界最胖的國家,這裏的人大部分都有肥胖症。

回到車上吹了一會空調,終於緩了過來,於是就到了另一個景點Kepirohi瀑布。波納佩島降水極其奉陪,所以瀑布衆多。Kepirohi瀑布是最具有人氣的,原因是比較靠近公路,不需要跋涉太遠就可以到達。這個瀑布也有村民收門票,價格是5美元,但是通往瀑布的道路明顯是整修過的,因此沒費力氣就到了。看到清涼的瀑布我恨不得直接跳進去,但是看到水中有帶着鉗子的蝦,還是算了。

Kepirohi瀑布

離開瀑布的時候,突然開始下雨了。熱帶島嶼的雨說來就來,令人毫無防備。波納佩島應該是迄今爲止我去過的最溼潤的地方了,年均降水量達到4700毫米,有時候甚至能達到接近8000毫米。這意味着基本每天都要下一場大雨了。關於氣候,嚮導提到她奶奶年輕的時候波納佩島會經常有颱風,但是後來就很少了。莫非這裏的現代氣候和幾十年前不一樣了?

南馬都爾

開車前行了半個多小時,終於來到了我最期待的景點「南馬都爾」。南馬都爾是世界文化遺產,這個建造在波納佩島海邊的巨石建築非常神秘,還有許多有待研究的未解之謎。車開到了一個小村落就停了,後面的路程必須步行過去。付了7美元門票給村民,嚮導就帶我走進了茂密的紅樹林中。雖然道路曲曲折折,但還是可以看出來是人整修過的。嚮導告訴說她以前來的時候許多地方要淌水過去,現在以及修了橋,對於遊客方便多了。二十分鐘以後,我們來到了視野相對開闊的海邊,終於看到了對面島上的巨石建築。這個巨石建築像是一個城牆,非常壯觀。南馬都爾的各種巨石建築都修建在人工島上,漲潮時需要小船纔能通行。我們到的時候是低潮時期,水不是很深,而又沒有橋,於是淌水過去了。過河的時候遇到一隊日本遊客,這些人也是我在島上遇到的第一批遊客,看來還是日本人對他們的「故土」比較感興趣。

南馬都爾

走到人工島上,發現這是一個的城牆圍繞的建築。石塊穩固地堆積在一起,裏面分割成了好幾個庭院,不知道過去有沒有房頂。庭院中央是一個疑似墳墓的大坑。

經過幾百年的荒廢,南馬都爾的石頭上面都長滿了苔蘚,但還巍然屹立。

南馬都爾

整個城市是由大量人工島組成的,而且石料可能來自海外,可見當時的文明發達程度。考古學認爲南馬都爾是波納佩島文明紹德雷爾王朝的中心,統治過波納佩島五百年。文明興盛時期,島上人口多達兩萬五千人,而現在也不過三萬多人而已。這些巨石建築建成於十二世紀左右,但是十七世紀的時候這個文明神秘消失了,這個巨大城市成爲了一個禁地。後來有很多傳說這是一個受到了詛咒的地方,在德國統治時期,總督不顧當地人勸阻執意進入了南馬都爾,沒過多久就暴斃而亡了。

南馬都爾最令人費解的特點是它建在了海邊紅樹林中的人工島上,這裏沒有任何水源。也許是統治者刻意爲之,以便於和平民隔離開。考古學家在南馬都爾附近的水下還發現了一座巨石城市,那座城市是如何沉入海面以下的尚未爲人所知。由於地理阻隔,太平洋島嶼上的文明通常都很脆弱,於是留下了很多「未解之謎」,就像復活節島文明一樣,紹德雷爾王朝也被埋進了歷史的汪洋大海。

南馬都爾地圖

由於漲潮的原因,又沒有獨木舟,我在南馬都爾停留的時間並不太長,許多地方都沒來得及看,留下了一些遺憾。回去的時候依然很熱,讓人身心疲憊,但是我被南馬都爾吸引得竟然都忘記了熱,大概應該也是適應了一些了。其實我還是高興得太早了,環境最惡劣的還在後面呢,冒着雨在熱帶雨林中爬山造訪日軍基地纔是真正的終身難忘。

波納佩島意外之旅(一)

This post is written in Chinese. Please consider using Google Translate

波納佩島是一個太平洋上的小島。作爲密克羅尼西亞聯邦的首都所在地,它知名度並不高,遠遠不如關島、楚克島,更不能與太平洋上的旅遊勝地帕勞、塞班島、大溪地相提並論。實話說,要不是有UA154這個跳島航班,我對這波納佩這個小島一無所知。我原先預計的太平洋跳島行程並不包含在這個島停留,但是機緣巧合讓我在這裏停留了兩天,其有趣之處遠遠出乎我的意料。

密克羅尼西亞是一個廣義的地理概念,包含了許多小島,馬紹爾羣島、關島也算密克羅尼西亞。密克羅尼西亞由micro和nesia組成,前者意思是微小,後者是希臘語,意思是羣島。所謂的印度尼西亞、波利尼西亞、密克羅尼西亞、美拉尼西亞,都是羣島的意思。密克羅尼西亞聯邦是密克羅尼西亞的一部分,由距離並不近的四個島嶼組成,分別是科斯雷島、波納佩島、楚克島、雅浦島。官方簡稱是FSM(Fedrated States of Micronesia),許多人口頭上也把它簡稱爲密克羅尼西亞,甚至密克羅。波納佩島有兩種拼寫方式,舊拼寫是Ponape,新拼寫是Pohnpei。口語上大家習慣於唸Ponape。

誤入波納佩

UA154這個航班從夏威夷到關島要經停五次,分別是馬紹爾羣島的馬朱羅環礁、瓜加林環礁,和密克羅尼西亞聯邦的科斯雷島、波納佩島和楚克羣島。既然是觀光,我當然飛機每次經停我都會下飛機參觀一下機場,但是在波納佩島的時候,我遇到了意外。下飛機進入候機室再重新登機的時候,我發現護照和登機牌不見了,因此被拒絕再次登機。雖然幾經波折最終找回了護照,但是飛機已經走了,於是不得不在島上待兩天,等待下一班UA154離開繼續前行。好在美聯航願意給我免費改簽了航班,否則又要破費了。

密克羅尼西亞聯邦對全球所有國家的公民都免簽,於是我順利進入了波納佩。不過我心裏面真的沒底,因爲沒有做過這個島的研究,都不知道住在哪裏,再加上手機沒有信號,沒有Wi-Fi,我簡直是在摸黑探索孤島。好在這並不是荒島,起碼是一國之都,總是還有一些基礎設施的。

一出機場,我就看到了不遠處一個招牌,上面赫然寫着China Star Hotel(中國之星酒店)。莫非這個島上也有中國移民?二話不說我決定一探究竟,正好我要找地方住。走進去以後,果然發現是中國人經營的旅店和餐廳。前臺工作人員看起來是本地人,但是當他們看到我,以爲我是老闆的朋友,就把老闆娘叫來了。老闆娘出來看到我也挺意外,當我告訴老闆娘我是一個人來「旅遊」的,她更是驚訝。所以我就決定在這住兩晚了。

中國之星酒店

和老闆娘一起的還有一位中國女士也是跟我一個航班來的,她是從馬紹爾羣島的馬朱羅環礁上的飛機,來這裏洽談生意。她們兩個人是朋友。碰巧我不知道去哪,而老闆娘準備開車去城裏採購,她們兩個人就決定帶上我一起。路上聊天纔知道,她們兩個人都是來自浙江的移民,二十世紀九十年代移民關島,十幾年前分別來波納佩和馬朱羅賺錢。我被她們的神奇經歷吸引了,因爲我真的沒有想到這裏會有中國移民,而且經營了不小的產業。她說,中國人非常具有開拓精神,只要有人的地方,就有中國人。

我們開車從機場和中國之星酒店所在的德科迪克島出發,穿過一個堤道,到達了波納佩主島。波納佩最大的城市「科洛尼亞」就在堤道的另一頭。科洛尼亞雖然不大,卻很乾淨整潔,有點超過預期。跟隨老闆娘,我們基本上去了科洛尼亞裏所有的超市和小商店。這些超市的經營者有本地人、美國人、日本人、中國人,真的十分國際化。商品也算是琳琅滿目,來自全世界各地。島上所有人都會講英語,十分流利順暢,當過英美的殖民地的國家中,我覺得這裏人的口音比菲律賓人還要好。當地人的商店大部分是本地農產品和海產品,農產品幾乎都是類似於香蕉的熱帶作物。

波納佩香蕉

不遠處就有一家日本人經營的超市,規模很大,裏面幾乎可以買到能在日本買到的所有東西。但是據說商品經常變化,有些產品可能缺貨。這是因爲所有商店的商品都是船從海外運來的,但由於本地人口有限,不可能很頻繁來。這個島雖小,卻也是一個太平洋上的補給港口,經常有漁船停靠。從馬朱羅來的女士的丈夫就是一個船長,經營了一艘圍網船,主要在南太平洋遠洋捕撈。由於每次出海都要很久,她專門來這裏給他丈夫和高級船員買下次出海的零食,整整買了好幾大筐。

波納佩日本超市

說到日本人,和密克羅尼西亞還有不小的淵源。二十世紀以後,大日本帝國依據「南進論」開始像南洋擴張,向太平洋上的羣島殖民,並成立了「南洋廳」。到1945年的時候,密克羅尼西亞羣島已經有了十萬日本人。尤其是波納佩島和楚克島,日本人的數量甚至超過了原住民。太平洋戰爭日本戰敗以後,幾乎所有日本人被美軍遣返回國,只有23個家庭被特許留了下來。日本和原住民混血人也選擇留在了密克羅尼西亞,現今有四分之一的人口都有日本血統。說來也巧,我在科洛尼亞街頭遇到了密克羅尼西亞日裔前總統Manny Mori,還和他打了招呼。由於剛看過維基百科,他被我一眼認出來了。他是日本南洋開拓先驅森小弁的後代。

傍晚時分我們回到中國之星酒店附近的港口,見到了停靠的漁船。船長和高級船員可以下船,其他船員留在船上,船長和夫人決定在中國之星酒店一起請我喫飯。船長是個臺灣人(自稱中國臺灣人),出海經營漁船幾十年了,什麼大風大浪也見過,閱歷豐富至極。船長也對中國人的開拓精神自豪,他說南太平洋成百上千島嶼,沒有一個沒有中國人。因爲中國人有意願、有能力背井離鄉,開拓遠方,越是貧窮偏遠的島嶼,越是有大大的商機。他給我講了他們在巴布亞新幾內亞的各種奇遇,譬如食人族村鎮,以及幾乎和索馬里一樣危險的首都莫爾斯比港——但即便是在這些地方,也有許多中國移民,這些人冒着危險,賺得盆滿缽滿。這讓我不禁聯想起大航海時代的歐洲開拓者和明治時代的日本人,而如今換成了中國人。談到他船上的船員,他說高級船員都是華人,以及會講漢語的其他國民,這些人收入很高。低級船員則主要來自菲律賓和印尼,船員等級不同待遇差別非常大,小小一艘船是個種族等級社會。

臺灣漁船

至於中國之星酒店,我也理解了它爲什麼位於機場和港口附近,而不是科洛尼亞市中心,因爲這裏的顧客經常都是停靠波納佩島的船員。

喫過飯後,老闆娘讓她的僱員幫我安排第二天的環島遊行程,之後我就回去早早睡覺了,因爲畢竟跟夏威夷有三個小時的時差。看了看地圖發現這個島上可看的東西還不少,甚至有世界文化遺產「南馬都爾」。

UA154太平洋跳島之行

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美國聯合航空一直以來都是跨太平洋航線的主宰者,這一點不僅體現在他們有大量的美中、美日航線,還有夏威夷、關島作爲樞紐機場。曾經偶然看到美聯航有兩條從夏威夷檀香山到關島的航線,一條是直飛,另一條則比較有趣,就是傳說中的太平洋跳島航線UA154/155。這個跳島航線從檀香山開始,經停馬紹爾羣島的馬朱羅環礁(Majuro)、瓜加林環礁(Kwajalein),以及密克羅尼西亞聯邦的科斯雷島(Kosrae)、波納佩島(Pohnpei)、楚克羣島(Chuuk),最終抵達美國太平洋領土關島(Guam)。這條航線由波音737執飛,可謂是爲數不多的波音737執飛的長距離航線。其實這個航線並不是聯航首創的,過去是大陸航空的航線。2012年大陸航空被聯航收購了,於是這條航線就變成了今天的UA154/155。這條航線歷史悠久,在大陸航空之前,這條航線從1968年開始由密克羅尼西亞航空運營,後來被大陸航空完全收購。

在親身經歷之前,我關注這個航線以及很久了。這條航線是目前惟一的跨太平洋長程跳島航線,乘坐一次這樣的飛機將會是一個獨一無二的體驗。歷史上中國和美國的第一條商業航線「中國飛剪號」就是在1937年4月21日從檀香山起飛,經停中途島、威克島、關島、馬尼拉、澳門,最終抵達香港,今年恰好是它的第八十週年。可惜的是UA154走的不是中途島、威克島,因爲這兩個島已經沒有任何商業航班了。這個航班一個獨特之處在於飛機上配備了兩套飛行員,以及飛行工程師。這是因爲一方面飛機飛行時間太長,可能超過飛行員允許的上限,另一方面這些小島基礎設施匱乏,一旦飛機出現問題無法就地維修。

作爲馬紹爾羣島和密克羅尼西亞聯邦兩國人民與世界惟一的聯繫,這個航班班次還挺多的,一週有三班,於是機票並不難買。然而不難買並不意味着便宜,這個飛機價格常年很貴。購買這個航線的機票還是需要一些技巧的,那就是要用美聯航的里程來換。看看差價就知道了,我隨便查了一個日期,UA154從夏威夷到關島的經濟艙直接買的票價是$1345,然而只需要25000里程兌換,外加5.6美元的稅費,沒有燃油附加稅。

檀香山啓程

我的路線是從紐約出發,在加州稍作停留,然後飛往夏威夷。從美國大陸飛到達夏威夷的檀香山以後,休息一天,準備第二天早上出發。

路線圖

在夏威夷的一天,順便去了一趟平等院。這個平等院是日本宇治的千年古剎平等院的按比例複製品,建於1053年。平等院附近的神廟山谷(Valley of the Temples)風景十分漂亮,有種瑞士山間的感覺。張學良將軍就葬在平等院旁邊的山上。

平等院

UA154從檀香山出發的時間是早上7:25,由於時差的關係,我5點就輕易醒來了,6點鐘就到了機場。早上的檀香山機場比較冷清,於是值機和安檢都很快。由於要查護照,這個航班是不能網上值機自己打印登機牌的,必須要到機場由工作人員檢查證件。由於經停了其他國家,這條航線被認爲是國際航線,因此需要護照以及有效的美國簽證(或美國護照、綠卡、ESTA),如果目的地是關島的話。

檀香山機場裏面到處都是日文,許多店鋪還打出「日本語OK」的廣告,可見日本遊客對夏威夷的熱愛。

檀香山機場的一個獨特之處在於其建築結構,候機樓整體採用了開放式的佈局,沒有大面積的玻璃幕牆。這跟檀香山機場不怎麼下雨有很大關係,夏威夷受到加利福尼亞寒流的影響,儘管位於熱帶,氣候卻不算炎熱。機場被山擋住了盛行東風,年均降水量只有434.3毫米,與乾燥的洛杉磯差不多。

更加有趣的是,許多登機口旁邊就是馬路,車可以直接開上來。當然,只有機場的擺渡車和特別許可的車纔可以開到登機口之前。這個細節透露出了航空的歷史,在過去,機場根本不像現在這樣戒備森嚴,經過層層安檢纔能到達登機口。在許多老電影中都可以看到乘客在登機口和親朋好友依依惜別的場景,就像現在許多國家的火車站站臺一樣。看着登機口門前的馬路,我想或許以前人們真的可以直接開車到這裏。如今在恐怖主義的威脅下機場個個戒備森嚴,真是令人唏噓。

馬紹爾羣島

7點鐘準時開始登機,我看到大部分乘客都是太平洋島國人種,而且竟然整個飛機都坐滿了。本來我還想會不會飛機空位比較多,或者有許多像我一樣的獵奇者。飛機起飛後不久,乘務員開始供應早餐,這讓我有點意外,因爲美聯航在美國國內以及加勒比海航線上都是不供應餐食的。本來還怕沒喫的,特地囤積了一些美式日本飯糰。

第一段飛行是從檀香山到馬紹爾羣島的馬朱羅環礁,這一段飛行時間大約是5小時,也是整個航線中最長的一段。天氣十分晴朗,可以看到下面一望無際的太平洋。這一天的太平洋真的很太平,一點波浪都看不到。看一會就感覺有些無聊了,因爲五個小時的飛行中太平洋上的風景幾乎沒有任何變化。如果是坐船橫渡太平洋,該是多麼無聊的漫長時光啊。

馬紹爾羣島的名字來源於英國探險家John Marshall。這個國家是二戰後日本移交給美國的領土,美國在這裏進行過多次核試驗,最出名的莫過於「比基尼環礁」了,比基尼泳衣就得名於此地。原因很有趣,是因爲當時比基尼泳衣給社會帶來的震撼堪比比基尼環礁核試驗。

飛機起飛大約三個小時以後,跨過了180度經線,也是國際日期變更線。馬紹爾羣島在國際日期變更線的西側,於是日期突然往前跳了一天。國際日期變更線並不總是在180度,而是儘量保證了一個國家在同一個日期內。薩摩亞和美屬薩摩亞雖然都在180度經線以東,卻被國際日期變更線隔開。

馬朱羅環礁

大概當地時間上午10點,飛機到達了馬朱羅環礁。馬紹爾羣島跟夏威夷有2個小時的時差,或者更精確地說是22個小時的時差(UTC+12)。馬朱羅環礁的機場非常特別,因爲它就建在狹窄的環礁之上,機場兩邊都是海水。早在來這裏之前看Google地圖的時候,我就被這個機場的位置深深地吸引了。

俯瞰馬朱羅環礁

到達馬朱羅環礁以後,飛機上差不多有一多半的人都下飛機了。機組人員說繼續前往其他目的地的乘客不需要下飛機,但是如果要下飛機,必須把所有行李和個人物品帶上。既然來了,我當然要下飛機看看了,於是我就跟着人流走下了飛機。

一下飛機,一股潮溼的熱氣撲面而來,再加上刺眼的陽光,沒過一分鐘就讓我汗流浹背了。走下臺階以後看到了兩個小房子,也就是機場的入境、安檢、候機設施所在了。一個小房子寫的是Arrival,另一個是Departure,有一小半的人都走到了Departure,可見跟我一樣只是想下來看看。

歡迎來到馬紹爾羣島

走進了「出發大廳」,看到座無虛席的椅子和一個小賣部,後面還有一個廁所,這就是出發大廳的一切了。很遺憾的是,我的Project Fi在這裏沒有信號,這也是第一回我到了一個連Project Fi都沒有信號的國家。不過,出發大廳裏面有Wi-Fi,連上以後是一個付費界面,50MB的流量要$5,可以用信用卡支付。雖然有點貴,但我還是買了試試,果然能用,不過還沒用2分鐘就沒有流量了。我看了看系統的Wi-Fi流量統計,發現纔用了8MB而已,不知道它是怎麼計費的,真是太坑人了。

馬朱羅出發大廳

在出發大廳又逗留了幾分鐘,登機開始了。這回飛機上又坐滿了人,看來這條航線還挺熱門,儘管票賣這麼貴。想想看這些島民真是不容易,整個機場被美聯航這一條航線壟斷,去哪都只能任人宰割。

瓜加林環礁

又飛了不到一個小時,飛機降落在了瓜加林環礁的美國空軍基地。由於是美軍基地,這裏下飛機、拍照都受到限制。本來我跟着人羣走到了飛機出口,機組問我瓜加林環礁是不是目的地,我說不是,於是被禁止下飛機,拍的照片也被要求刪除了。

這回飛機又下了大概一半的人,而且基本上沒有人上,飛機一下子空了好多。在等待重新起飛的時候,果然有安檢人員上飛機檢查行李。安檢人員對着飛機上的每一件行李問這是什麼人的,如果沒有人認領,行李將會被移除並銷毀。飛機上的廁所也關閉了,有工程車用管道連接到了廁所清理廢棄物和補充水,基本清理完成以後,飛機就又準備起飛了。

瓜加林環礁

密克羅尼西亞

密克羅尼西亞聯邦是一個1986年從美國獨立的國家,由距離並不近的四個島嶼組成,分別是科斯雷島、波納佩島、楚克羣島、雅浦島(Yap)。我到達的第一個到是科斯雷島。

科斯雷島

從瓜加林環礁起飛一個小時以後,飛機到達了科斯雷島。這裏和馬紹爾羣島又有一個小時時差(UTC+11),所以降落時間比起飛時間還早幾分鐘。由於科斯雷島基本上沒有平地,機場建在海邊填充的陸地上,背後就是一座山。相比其他島嶼,從飛機上看科斯雷島機場的風景更漂亮。

科斯雷島

和馬朱羅環礁氣候相似,科斯雷島也炎熱而潮溼,太陽更是刺眼得不得了。走下飛機以後跟隨人羣走到了出發大廳,和馬朱羅環礁機場的差不多一樣簡陋,而且一樣不提供免費的Wi-Fi。密克羅尼西亞跟馬紹爾羣島一樣也是一個Project Fi沒有信號的地方。

波納佩島

又過了一個小時,飛機抵達密克羅尼西亞聯邦首都所在地——波納佩島。波納佩島幾乎是一個圓形,機場在島的最北端的外島上,和主島有堤道連接。這個機場跟其他小島上的機場相比明顯要好不少,畢竟是密克羅尼西亞聯邦首都所在地。

波納佩島機場

由於行程出現一些問題,我在波納佩島停留了兩天。波納佩島是一個意外之地,在網上很難找到這裏的旅遊信息,但是經過兩天探祕,這個小島讓我驚喜不斷。關於我在波納佩島的行程,請看我的另一篇日誌「波納佩島意外之旅」。

兩天以後,我登上了從波納佩島到楚克羣島的飛機。這個航班晚點了一個半小時,原因是前一天的從關島返回夏威夷的航班出現故障。飛機從關島起飛以後,空乘人員發現安全門狀態異常,於是從楚克羣島又折返回到了關島進行維修。這下子飛機到達檀香山的時候已經是第二天凌晨,晚點了6個小時左右,耽誤了下一班去關島的UA154航班。好在後來航班又追了上來,到波納佩島的時候只晚點了一個半小時。

楚克羣島

楚克羣島和關島一樣時區都是UTC+10,和波納佩有一個小時時差。由於晚點,飛到楚克羣島的時候已經下午四點多了,降落前有很多低雲。飛機在進港之前逆時針繞行的時候穿入了許多雲霧,透過雲看楚克潟湖有種海外仙境的感覺。楚克島嶼衆多,但是都在楚克潟湖中,像是一個大圓圈把諸島圍了起來。楚克機場在維諾島上,維諾是楚克的最大城市。

楚克機場

楚克的英文寫法是Chuuk,但是它之前被拼寫爲Truk,所以中文也被曾翻譯爲「特魯克」。在兩種不同的正字法中,chtr都是用來表示/tʂ/這個捲舌塞擦音的。這個音在英語中不存在,在英語母語者聽感上介於ch/tʃ/tr/tʃɹ/之間。

別看機場小,美聯航設施齊全,登機還是要按分組來,而且Global Service、美軍優先。

楚克登機

關島

抵達關島的時候,已經到夜晚了。關島是廣義密克羅尼西亞羣島經濟最發達、基礎設施最完善的島,這一切都得益於美國的補貼。關島是美國的非自治領土,整個島嶼很大一部分都是美軍基地。儘管有些人希望關島獨立,但是考慮到獨立之後可能的美國援助的喪失,就作罷了。

關島屬於正式的美國領土,邊檢是由美國CBP控制的。也就是說如果從夏威夷直飛到關島,是不用經過邊檢入境的。但是UA154經過了其他國家,所以算國際航線,到達關島需要經過美國邊檢。不出所料的是,入境的時候我被關了傳說中的「小黑屋」,也就是邊檢官認爲我入境目的有問題,需要進一步審查。

原因是因爲我持有的是美國的工作簽證(H、L之類),而關島並不是我的工作地,所以說入境目的與簽證不符。持學生簽證入境關島也會遇到一樣的問題。幸好我早有準備,拿出第二天早上離開關島的機票說我是來轉機的,因爲密克羅尼西亞到亞洲其他地方必須通過關島。邊檢官研究了一下,就蓋章放我進去了,臨走前告訴我必須按照預訂行程轉機,不可以直飛回夏威夷,否則身份會有問題。

歡迎來到美國關島

之前我在網上看到有人持有工作、學生簽證從上海出發往返關島,被拒絕入境的經歷。有人嘗試從上海/東京/首爾等大城市出發,從關島轉機去夏威夷,也差點被拒絕入境,原因是這條轉機路線「不合理」。東亞的大城市到夏威夷要麼有直飛航班,要麼從其他大城市轉機比較便宜,從關島轉機的機票從來都很貴。因此除非是去密克羅尼西亞,否則很難讓邊檢官信服你來關島的惟一目的是轉機。

抵達關島以後,我的太平洋跳島行程就此結束了。事實上美聯航還有另一個跳島航班,是從關島出發,經停雅浦島,到達帕勞共和國的科羅爾,航班號是UA185。經過此次飛行,我對所謂的美聯航「壟斷跨太平洋航線」又有了新的認知。

臨走之前我又去關島的遊客區杜夢看了一下,發現這簡直就是日本的飛地。街上的遊客幾乎全是日本人,商店餐廳也紛紛打出日語招牌,甚至日語是惟一語言,連公交車時刻安排說明都只有日語。據說,日本人喜歡來關島的原因只是想看看傳說中的美國到底是什麼樣。

關島夜景

Accepting refugees is not an obligation

The "Muslim Ban"

Recently, US President Trump signed an executive order banning national from seven countries to enter the US territory, even if he is a green card holder. The ban has been criticized heavily. Many media interpreted this ban as a "Muslim Ban". Such irresponsible interpretations are strongly provocative, which not only angered the American multiculturalists but also enraged Islamic Jihadists. Although the populations of the seven countries are predominantly Muslim, this does not apply to Muslims from all countries. Thus so-called "Muslim ban" is completely distorting the facts.

The first needed to be declared is that I do not support this ban signed by President Trump, because it is unnecessarily too strict, affecting many people confirmed no threat to the United States. I can totally understand President Trump and many Americans' urgent need for security, hoping to shut out terrorism. In fact, what is needed is just to strengthen the visa processing, as well as the immigration control. This would achieve the same or even better results. After all, terrorists are not only from these countries. Many are even holding EU passports. The seven countries are not all "dangerous", such as Iran, where the so-called terrorism has no foundation among the majority of the population who believe in Shia Islam.

Trump opponents tried to misinterpret the ban, saying it to be a prelude to the expulsion of all immigrants. They say soon Trump will deport Mexicans, Chinese, and even all the other "people of color" or "non-Christians". He is simply Hitler II. However, the US president is not the emperor, and therefore he does not have such a power. On February 3, a Seattle federal judge suspended the ban nationwide. In this regard, Trump is still appealing. No matter who is right, this reflected the separation of powers in the United States. If an order is not widely accepted, it is doomed to fail.

Why the United States has no obligation to accept refugees

I believe the intent of the ban contains the restriction to the refugee influx. CNN who has always been opposed to Trump also recently reported that tens of thousands of refugees with visas are affected by the ban. At this point, I support Trump's decision, because no matter what country the refugee is from, he should be prohibited.

At any time, it is a disaster when a large number of refugees flood into a country. Since the beginning of the war in Syria, millions of refugees entered into Germany through the "Balkan route" benefiting from Merkel's "Welcome Policy", and settled down there. These people do not all come from Syria or other countries at war, but also from relatively safe North African countries, such as Morocco. Merkel's Welcome Policy were not for those economic migrants from safe countries, but facing the influx of millions of refugees, even the identification of the country of origin of the refugees is a problem. How could they do a detailed background check? The consequence of the policy to Germany and other European countries is the deterioration of public security. The public is under the growing threat of terrorism.

A country has no obligation to accept refugees from other countries. Sovereign is a kind of collective property of citizens. Specifically, the right of abode and citizenship are privileges, rather than so-called "natural rights". As a refugee, fleeing is your own freedom, but this is not a reason for other countries to accept you. Countries receiving refugees, like the rich making donations, deserve respect. But countries which do not accept refugees should not be criticized. Requiring a country to accept refugees, is like forcing the rich to donate. It is a moral coercion. Refugees may leave their countries, but it is foolish if you expect other countries to accept you or accuse the country which does not accept you.

Refugees are living in difficult conditions. Indeed, they deserve sympathy. But at the same time, this is due to failures of their own countries. Such failures are accumulated by their progenitors. These people, as their descendants who inherited the blood, should inherit the status of their countries, too, like the people of Western countries inherited everything from their industrious ancestors. Freedom in a country is never free. Everybody is born not equal because there is no isolated individual. Everyone inherits everything from the ancestors, including genes, culture, property, place of birth and citizenship. It is a right for people living in war-torn countries to flee, but the attempts to live in someone else's homeland is not a human right and is not the obligation to other countries. To have the privilege, they need to be recognized and approved by the country they immigrate to. The approvals may be through investment which helps the economy, the expertise as skilled migrants, or just common culture, for example, many European countries are more willing to accept Christians from Syria. All in all, you have the freedom to flee your country, but other countries have no obligation to be your refuge.

I think it is in line with the national interests of the United States for Trump to limit refugees, and to increase the requirements for immigrants based on skills or investments.

Arguments

Many people who oppose Trump's refugee policy may have arguments, like:

1 "Universal Declaration of Human Rights" supports "freedom of movement".

Yes, it is written like this:

Article 13.

  1. Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
  2. Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

Article 14.

  1. Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
  2. This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

If you read carefully, you will see Article 13 only mentioned the freedom of movement within the borders, and to leave and return to his own country. The Article 14 limited to political asylum. After all, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is just a declaration and does not have any binding.

2 Many countries have signed the "Refugee Convention".

The convention has only the rule of "no deportation" and does not mention anything about entry to a certain country. Moreover, the convention only applies to political refugees, not including refugees of war, natural disasters, economic reasons or any other form.

3 It is like China, Soviet Union or North Korean to disallow people to move.

The communist countries are/were restricting people's freedom of movement within the territory, as well as the freedom to leave their country. This is totally different from the prohibition of arbitrary entry of foreigners.

4 US interfered in Middle East wars, leaving a mess, and therefore the US has the obligation to admit these refugees.

There is not enough evidence that the refugee problem in the Middle East is only caused by the United States. Sectarianism and extremism made more people homeless. As for the US invasion of Iraq, each part has no obligation to accept the belligerent other's refugees.

5 If every country is so cold-blooded, where do refugees go?

Wherever refugees go, it is their freedom. Of course, for most people who are unable to obtain the right of abode in other countries, they should stay, try to end the wars and rebuild their countries.

6 Refugees can increase cultural diversity.

Maybe, but is "cultural diversity" really a good thing as many imagine? Stay tuned for my next article "Criticism of multiculturalism."

Jihadists

byvoid.com is now AMP enabled

After a redevelopment, my website (byvoid.com) has supported AMP now. Specificically, when you open any article on byvoid.com on a mobile phone, such as this one, you will see the AMP version. The AMP page loads several times faster than the desktop version and the original mobile version, and requires less traffic, mainly thanks to the dynamic image loading.

About AMP

AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) is an open source project and standard supported by Google. It started in 2015. The name of this project suggests the purpose of making mobile pages to load faster and improve the user experience on mobile devices. As we all know, the impact of loading time on mobile to users is huge, because mobile devices are single-paged. Users lose their patience in milliseconds, while the page is loaded in many seconds. Many studies have shown that XX% more users will simply close the page if it can not be loaded in one more second (I don't remember the number).

AMP includes 3 aspects:

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AMP pages are in addition to the original desktop or mobile pages, rather than to replace them. Therefore AMP pages are paired with the existing "canonical pages". For example, inside this page's HTML head tag we have the following label:

<link rel="amphtml" href="/blog/byvoid-com-amp-enabled?amp=1">

Corresponding to the pair of AMP page, head tag contains:

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The canonical page is the existing non-AMP page. It can be either a desktop version or a mobile version.

Of course, the entire website can have only AMP pages. This is called self-canonical AMP. In this case, we only need to have link tag pointing to itself, e.g. <link rel="amphtml" href="the same url">.

Google Search engine indexes the AMP pages along with the paired canonical pages. If contents of the pair are consistent, Google Mobile Search will display AMP links, which are loaded very instantly. The instant loading of AMP pages is currently also supported by Twitter and Pinterest.

Similar technologies

Facebook also provides a similar technology, called "Facebook Instant Articles". Its effect is like AMP but in a different way.

China's most popular instant messenger "Wechat" and micro-blog "Weibo" are also similar to Facebook.

Unfortunately, these technologies can only be used in their "walled gardens". AMP is a real open source project and standard. Google only helps you cache AMP pages, and use the cache to accelerate page loading when users click on Google search results only.

Journey through Moldova - I

This article is machine-translated by Google.

Referred to "Moldova" in this country, I am afraid that most people's first reaction is "heard." This small country in Eastern Europe presence in the world is very low indeed. On the population of Moldova only a few more than three million, while land area equivalent to the Netherlands, there are 16 million. On the economy, Moldova ranked last in Europe, GDP per capita is less than $ 2,000, is China's third than Ukraine, Kosovo is even lower. On the history and culture, it seems to be no significant historical events occurred. Why should I go in this country? To attract my "Transnistria Republic."

Moldova was once part of the Soviet Union, now sandwiched between Romania and Ukraine, two Eastern European countries, the country as individuals born in the Soviet Union in 1991, its predecessor was the "Moldavian Soviet Socialist Autonomous Republic" of the Soviet Union Russian abbreviation Moldavia (Moldavia). After months of careful planning, in March 2016, I finally came to Moldova personally. Why do I call this behavior journey through it? On the one hand because I travel from west to east, from south to north through the most about this country, on the other hand is as if I had time and space through the general returned to the Soviet era, as well as the history of Moldavia.

"Transnistria"

"Transnistria Republic" is one of the few countries not generally recognized in Europe, it is also considered pro-Russian separatists. The country is located in the eastern part of Moldova, Transnistria zone, most of the territory is located in Transnistria, so called "Transnistria", "outside of the Dniester River." Transnistria's independence from the Soviet Union Moldova's civil war, the cause is due to the Transnistria Slavs dissatisfaction Moldovan authorities tried to incorporate Romania and cancellation of official status of the Russian language. Russia sent a peacekeeping force to interfere civil war, and the garrison has become a patron of Transnistria, a de facto government of Moldova has never ruled Transnistria.

Transnistria Republic on many occasions asked to join the Russian Federation, but did not receive a positive response in Russia. Status of this country have not been recognized by any major country, including Russia. Similarly in Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Karabakh three countries, together with Transnistria, the four pro-Russian separatists since 2007 mutual recognition and establishment of diplomatic relations (recently seemed also added " Donetsk people's Republic " and " Luhansk people's Republic ").

I've always been such a national convergence zone has a very strong interest, plus it is a part of the Soviet Union, I deepened my desire. Many countries joined the Soviet Union and its satellites are the downfall of the night, as if frozen in time that era, cause for regret. Personally visit these sites, brought me more shocked beyond words (see my Bulgarian Exploration and Kosovo a day exploring ).

Moldova History

Moldova and Romania deep ties, because most of the residents of Moldova are the Romance languages ​​Romanians. Moldova historical region contains the Carpathians to the Prut river between the western half and the Prut River to the eastern half of the Dniester River, which is also called the Eastern Bessarabia ( Bessarabia) . Today, the Republic of Moldova is located in Bessarabia, in Romania's western half is also called Moldova region (Romania by the Wallachia, Moldova and Transylvania Transco composition).

Romanian constitution

In the fifteenth century, Stefan III unified from the Carpathians to the Dniester Moldovan principality, and successfully resisted the expansion of the Ottoman Empire. But then the Ottoman Empire was occupied by Moldova, and ruled for two hundred years. Early nineteenth century Russo-Turkish war , the defeat of the Ottoman Empire and ceded Bessarabia to the Russian Empire. The early twentieth century, Bessarabia briefly independent, but then re-occupied by the Soviet Union. The southern half of the Soviet Bessarabia was ceded to Ukraine, the northern half of the establishment of the "Moldavian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic", which is the predecessor of today's Republic of Moldova.

Moldavia

The old capital of Moldova - Iasi

My journey began in Moldova through the trip from Cluj - Napoca to Iasi overnight train, both locations in Romania. Since Basel Feike Lu straight day - Napoca, I chose to fly to Cluj - Napoca, in some local exploring, then take a train to the capital in the history of Moldavia Iasi. Incidentally, Cluj - Napoca (Cluj-Napoca), Transco was the capital of Transylvania (Transylvania) in the past but also a large number of German-speaking inhabitants, called German Klausenburg. Cluj The word comes from the Latin clausus, and Klause homologous, meaning both "canyon", Cluj - Napoca is located gorge. And Napoca is a few decades ago to emphasize the historical identity of the Romanians, with Dacia language name. Transylvania can be split into Latin trans "outer" and silva "forest", meaning the place across the forest.

I advance on the Romanian railway site to buy Advanced single box of ticket ( ticket PDF ), as long as the price of RON 181.05, as long as the equivalent of less than 40 euros. Romanian train senior box is in very good condition, it can be locked to ensure safe, clean and comfortable bunks inside the box as well as sinks and electrical outlets. Train from Cluj departure time is 21:29 at night, to Daya Xi time is 6:49, just right for a night to sleep comfortably.

Then to Iasi, I went to the bus station next to the train station and asked to go to the Moldovan capital Chisinau car. Timetable is not very useful, basic or ask to be on the spot to confirm the departure time. Migrants may be power driven, may also be due to leave the communist-era system of basic education, general English proficiency young Eastern European countries is also good, even if it is less developed, no foreigner place. Confirmed the departure of a group of minibus after 9:30, I teach the Iasi. Minibus conditions in general, inexpensive, as long as 35 Romanian lei, the equivalent of seven euros, although you can also hear a counter-offer.

Moldova Iasi is the cultural and religious center, there are many Orthodox churches. Despite being more than seven in the morning, every church, there are many devout believers, most of the elderly. There are many church door selling candles and some branches of vendors, go to church almost every people will buy it, probably the local religious customs. Iasi not only has a long history of many churches from the war, there are many new churches, more modern interior.

Iasi Church

The largest center of Iasi, the most beautiful building is a palace, was the "People's Cultural Palace Iasi."

People's Cultural Palace Iasi

Iasi There are many communist imprint from red scarf on Pepsi ads can be seen.

Iasi red scarf

Entering "Transnistria Republic"

Moldovan capital Chisinau Iasi to two hundred kilometers, taking into account the infrastructure, backward Eastern European countries, is estimated to fifty-six hours to get to. Surprisingly, after only three and a half hours less bumpy ride, I went to Chisinau. Chisinau after, I bought a local phone card for Internet access, the clerk comes to Transnistria before you buy can also be used, in fact, not the line. 4G unlimited traffic card price 30 days as long as 50 Moldovan, almost as long as 2 euros. I found the phone traffic communist countries of Eastern Europe before the price is very cheap, including Russia, Ukraine, the Caucasus and the former Yugoslavia to join the country. These countries may be left over from a huge infrastructure, but per capita income is very low, so in order to have cheap communication. On the other hand should thank Huawei, many operators of the communications infrastructure in these countries have used Huawei equipment, but also cheap quality assurance.

Near the bus station just had something to eat, and at the station near the bazaar around the shop, I got on a minibus to Transnistria capital Tiraspol. The minibus cheaper, as long as 36.5 Moldovan, which is less than 2 euros. We drove one hour later, we went to the Dniester River "border checkpoints," this is not a border checkpoint, but checkpoint Transnistria unilaterally established. That is, since Moldova does not recognize Transnistria independence, no freedom of movement in "the territory of Moldova" set limits. The other side of the Dniester River consider themselves an independent country, so of course you want to set up a border. This side of the border there, while there is no border situation like Serbia and Kosovo ( Kosovo Travels ).

Transnistria border checkpoint

Checkpoint police car owner came to check identity documents, because I was the only foreigner, it was brought to the checkpoint hut registration status. When asked about the registration on me to do, and the residence address, and then gave me a printed "immigration card." It is said that immigrants do not lose the card, otherwise it will exit in big trouble.

Transnistria immigration card

Is 70 km from Chisinau, on the road spent a total of half an hour, I finally arrived at the legendary Tiraspol. Tiraspol bus station in front of the train station, in fact, no specific bus station, just a few stops only. I saw to Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Yalta, Kiev, Odessa stop sign, showing a much closer Transnistria with Russia, Ukraine ties than with Moldova, Romania ties.

Tiraspol Train Station

The typical architectural style of the Soviet Union Station. While read Cyrillic Romanian гара (gara), the other side says Russian вокзал (vokzal).

Tiraspol train schedules

Inside the train station hanging year timetable (possibly the Soviet era), who here is a transportation hub, with several classes to Moscow by train, as well as to the Crimean capital of Simferopol, the Bulgarian coastal city every day Varna, and even as far as the Arctic Circle to the city of Murmansk. After the fall of the Soviet Union allies, the gradual decline of passenger rail, bus became the main alternative modes of transportation. Today, only two lines have been Tiraspol, Chisinau to Moscow is one, one is Chisinau to Odessa.

Moldova there is little tourism, but very few people visit the Dniester River. Tiraspol I stayed at a place called Go Tiraspol Hostel where a Soviet-style community located upstairs (now renamed the Lenin Street Hostel). Go Tiraspol Hostel is a time not long opened youth hostel, in fact, more should be said that B & B, is Dmitri sideline business. In Transnistria, even if it is for any business operating hotels are very difficult. In order to avoid regulatory authorities (blackmail), Dmitri gave me another address when registration for entry, but do not know why immigration officials said address is not valid point, I had to provide a real address. Because of my "migrant card" valid for only one day, but I want to stay for two nights, Dmitri also specifically took me to the local police station to register, to extend my immigration card is valid.

After the registration finished, I went to a nearby supermarket which changed the local currency "Transnistrian ruble." Local banks do not seem to connect with the outside world, all ATM machines can only use a local bank card, so I can only take cash for euro. Transnistrian ruble is the currency in a completely controlled by the authorities, all the same price points redemption, and bid-ask spread is not small. I use 1: 12.6 exchange rate change of 20 euros.

Transnistrian ruble

Transnistrian ruble by Transnistria issue of the Central Bank of the Republic, is the only local legal tender. Moldovan can not be used in the local area, but can be exchanged. In turn, the control region of Moldova, Transnistrian ruble is waste paper, simply can not be redeemed. Transnistrian ruble the most unique place in that it has three rubles, 5 rubles, 10 rubles plastic coins, game cards like the same.

Transnistrian ruble coins

Transnistria price is very cheap, cheaper than Moldova, but mainly low-end services and products related to the labor force. Prices of local high places is not cheap, not local people generally affordable. Since the first night really do not know what to eat, so he walked into an upscale restaurant. Elegant surroundings restaurant, elegant decoration, customer looks are rich. I ordered a barbecue and Dniester style red soup, red soup taste very good, with freshly baked bread, sliced ​​garlic, can be said to be the best I have tasted drink red soup. The last price is 142 rubles, equivalent to 11.2 euros. The price is cheap for lunch the next day I was five times the price.

Tiraspol upscale dinner

After dinner I was the only one returned youth hostels, Dmitri his friend Irina also called over, second and third day of the planned itinerary. Irina is a local English teacher, Dmitri let her take me the next day to visit Tiraspol and Bender near the castle, she can be considered a low-income subsidy. The three of us chatted for a long time, they introduced me to all aspects of the Dniester River. Most Russians Dniester River want to join Russia, not because, as a resource, it is not internationally recognized small countries, their development is too limited a. Here the Russians generally have at least two passports, someone has three or even four. First Transnistria Republic passport, the passport documents only when the domestic use, there is no national recognition.

Transnistria passport

Secondly, Russia may apply for a passport in Russia, Ukraine Ukraine may apply for a passport, if the two countries have relatives, then two passports can apply. Finally, some people still apply for a passport Moldova, purely in the EU in order to facilitate travel (visa), most people do not want to apply for self-esteem Moldova passport. Dmitri had Transnistria, Russia, Moldova three passports.

Income of local civilian population is very low, basically the lowest level in Europe, probably with considerable Ukraine, in terms of monthly salary is about 100 euros. Due to low local price, according to purchasing power parity, I guess probably the equivalent of 250 euros purchasing power in Germany. Taking into account the income of local people, local imports can be said to be expensive. Russia and Ukraine similar, Transnistria's economy is controlled oligarchy "dual economic system." The so-called binary and refers to the middle class in this country no social structure, society is split to the wealthy few and the vast majority of the poor. Due to currency instability, things are a little bit expensive euro, dollar-denominated, while the local currency inflation seriously. Long-term result of the high inflation is to master a large number of assets, foreign exchange rich are getting richer, the poor hands of only the local currency has been poor. This social structure seems very unstable, we are not afraid of the poor rich rebel it? Of course afraid, so rich in basic property in Switzerland, Panama, Cyprus and obtain a passport ready Pao Lu.

By and Dmitri, Irina chat, and later observed, Transnistria also retained similar to the Soviet economic system. Former state enterprises were privatized several oligarchs, of which the most prominent is called a Sheriff ) Group, in business for supermarkets, gas stations, restaurants, factories, import and export, football, almost all industries. Transnistria people to be proud to work for Sheriff. Sheriff and governments, central banks are closely related, and even can be said that corporate control of the economy of the whole country Dniester ruble is almost Sheriff Group coupon.

Transnistria Central Bank

In addition to Sheriff Group, as well as industrial plants Transnistria and Russian military bases. Dmitri special day trip back took me to the south along the Dniester River near the Ukrainian border on a Soviet-era legacy of power plants.