Travel to a country at war X

Yesterday, Thursday, Odessa 06-04-2023.

Mozart Hotel. Check out, short breakfast. The conductor of the opera house picks us up in the lobby. Drive from Odessa to South Moldovan border. This time in broad daylight. From the outskirts of the city every few kilometers military checkpoints. Armed soldiers everywhere. The conductor, motorist, tells me that some of the men of the company are already serving in the army. And that every male employee between the ages of 18 and 60 can be called upon to join the company at any time. Near the Moldovan border, the landscape changes to hilly.

The number of checkpoints is steadily increasing. Along villages with beautiful Orthodox churches are groups of armed soldiers who stop motorists. We too are being stopped. Passport and purpose of the trip are requested. The conductor informs me that he has single-handedly made an official document for this ride to convince the checkpoints that this is an international cultural project. I see a lot of men getting out and being questioned and checked. Ukrainian men are not allowed to cross the border. Those who flee go straight into the army. An unreal, tense, even panicked atmosphere that I only know from war films. I see trenches for the first time.

We drive across the Dniestr River. The natural border of Transnistria, a strip of Moldova where the Moscovites have stationed a Russian army. With the original intention of enclosing and attacking Ukraine. The invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 has been thoroughly prepared by the Moscotites for years.

Farewell at the border of the conductor who has to play another performance in the afternoon back in the theater. We walk from the Ukrainian to the Moldovan border post. Passports, luggage checked. From the Cyrillic script to the Latin alphabet in Romanian. The Romanian language is easier for us to recognize and understand. In the parking lot behind the Moldovan border, our private driver catches us. A few hours through Moldovan landscapes to the airport in Kishinev.

Moldovan lunch at airport. Transfer in Warsaw. Late at Schiphol. Friday tour preparations in the Netherlands.

Sunday April 9

Theater aan het Vrijthof, Maastricht

Monday April 10

Theater Castellum, Alphen aan den Rijn

Tuesday April 11

Goudse Schouwburg Gouda

Wednesday April 12

Toon Hermans Theater, Sittard

Thursday April 13

Theater De Flint, Amersfoort

Friday April 14

Schouwburg De Harmonie, Leeuwarden

Sunday April 16

Nieuwe Luxor, Rotterdam (Tevens opname film.)

To be continued.