Eastern Europe, where Low-Tech meets High-Tech

One of the many things I like about Eastern Europe is the contrast between low-tech and hi-tech, often in one and the same place.

For example, you might find yourself at a dilapidated bus station with crumbling concrete,

The bus station in Kolašin, Montenegro.

The bus station in Kolašin, Montenegro.

you step on a 40- to 60-year old bus,

A bus in Transnistria.

A bus in Transnistria.

from which nobody bothered to remove the old German writing, disclosing the second-hand nature of the vehicle,

I am not sure if this German advertising is very useful in Iași, Romania.

I am not sure if this German advertising is very useful in Iași, Romania.

you sit down in a worn-out seat, and you have free, reliable and fast wi-fi, even in the most remote mountain areas.

In Romania, you live in a house like this,

DLP_264_0880

but you have Europe’s fastest internet, for only a few euros a month.

broadband-speed-europe

When you need to find the train station, you have to look for the hand-written sign,

gara2

you will be in a station where the map on the wall still shows the border with Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union, 25 years after these countries’ break-up, and the air-conditioning on the train will consist of leaving the doors open during the trip. But you can follow the progress of all trains online,

cfr live map

although the speed indicated will make you weep again.

And it goes on like this, in a constant up-and-down, usually with private initiatives providing the up and public entities providing the down part. But there is this dynamic, not least because people are fed up with how slow government moves, so they take matters into their own hands. I find Eastern Europe more interesting than Western Europe because here in the East I feel like everything will look different in 3 or 5 years, while the West is relatively settled and static. I am curios what things and societies will be like when/if I will return from my South America trip after a few years.

About Andreas Moser

Travelling the world and writing about it. I have degrees in law and philosophy, but I'd much rather be a journalist, a spy or a hobo.
This entry was posted in Montenegro, Photography, Romania, Technology, Transnistria, Travel and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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