Romanian Bulgarian Border

Bulgaria, Romania Add comments

There’s no highway that crosses into Bulgaria from Romania, just badly worn secondary roads. Where we crossed are a number of small toll booths to drive past. Most have pulled blinds and emit no light. Even if you drive by slowly, peer inside the dark booth and see no signs of life, do not be mistaken, there are people inside. And if you continue to drive past, a wide-eyed head, erect shoulders and flailing hands will suddenly eject themselves from the booth window like a jack in the box. You might even be lucky enough to have one who will blow a coach’s whistle.

They all want to see your passport, to forcefully and theatrically push their thumb through each page, inspecting your previous travels, and then to again discharge their aggression in a frustrated and accentuated toss of your travel document onto the desk of their window, near enough to your waiting hand so that you might feel the air be pushed out of the way or even slightly, acutely targeted, be bumped by the thing.

Then they want your money. Sometimes the amount is posted, sometimes it is not, but always it is a number you should have somehow known. Although unlikely, they would have smiled at your patter another day. However today you drove past their booth which was to them – even in it’s unmarked and unlit state, displaying all international signs of ‘closed for business’ at this international border – obviously a place one should stop and pay the ‘future road auto tourist snabble gobble fund tax’. And at the next booth, you will also be paying the double the price ‘future road auto tourist gobble snooble fund tax’.

And at the third booth, if you don’t have “this” sticker, which the dual female attendents will choose seemingly randomly from an array of different stickers slapped haphazardly ontheir dirty window, then they will speak the only English words they know: “No have! [Pointing at the sticker.] One hundred fifty Euros!”

Just sit and wait, because after ten minutes of staring into their window dumbfounded, their English knowledge will expand and the price will drop to “Thirty Euros!”

If you still don’t have it and at that point believe you are being swindled as a dumb rich westerner to stick some money have into the smoky, dark booth for these two woman watching midnight Romanian soap operas and wearing too much makeup, then keep sitting tight.

Watch the row of cars line up behind you, hear the horns start to sound and then all of a sudden, just as you begin to doubt your tactics, your passport and needed paperwork will come shooting out the window at the end of an overexcited arm, shaking wildly side to side in a manor you have found to be typical of Romanian border booth theatrics.

Having then dealt with four or five separate people on the Romanian side of the border, you are on your way to the Bulgarian immigration, customs and tax booths. Here you find the people to be a bit more pleasant, but the tax situation is all the same.

Finally you drive on into Bulgaria and are pleased that at least the ‘future road auto tourist snabble gobble fund tax’ and ‘future road auto tourist gobble snooble fund tax’ are being used somewhat constructively here. The roads are smoother, cleaner and safer and you can drive at an exhilarating fifty miles per hour all the way to the Black Sea coast.

3 Thoughts on “Romanian Bulgarian Border”

  1. Suzy Says:

    That sounds like a story I’ve heard many times from people who cross over to Mexico from USA.

  2. Suzy Says:

    Since your soo close to Kazakhastan, you should hop over to see where Borats from!!!!! HI FIIIVE!!!

  3. UT Says:

    Patience is a virtue. Yankee discipline and frugality win again.

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