Their Two Major Exports

My name is Kurt and I live in Evansville, IN, I read your blog about Moldova and had some good laughs. I was wondering if you, in your intense study of Moldova, discovered why the Moldovian women like to inject the text from Harlequin romance novels into their Phishers. I got a couple from them that have Moldovian return paths and in their attempts to suck the life from my bank accounts, there they are throwing snippets of a romance novel into the fray. Maybe they cannot get any from the men because they are all tanked up on their apple jack , Or maybe the women are so sloshed on their martinis that they get lost in their coding.

Interesting observation, Kurt. Maybe those Moldovan maids are using Harlequin snippets to bridge the language gap. For instance, over at, Tatiana from Kishinev admits that her English is “not so well yet.” She also says “I am a hopeless romantic and I hope I will meet the person who will be also romantic.” Sounds like a Harlequin reader to me!

Kurt’s question touches on something I’ve been wondering about: Moldovan exports. Officially, the country’s major exports are “agricultural and agro-processing goods.” But based on my blogging experience and five minutes of Google research, I suspect the main exports are actually spam and young women.

Like other former Soviet nations, Moldova offers the world’s bachelors a bumper crop of Irinas, Nadias, and Svetlanas, ready and eager for marriage and childbearing. Web resources like not only serve as cyber-Yentas, they also offer letter-writing tips and fiance Visa information. (Write to a lot of different women, but keep copies of your letters so you don’t get your gals mixed up.)

Nothing wrong with geeky American boys hooking up with hot European girls, right? Sure, the Moldovans are eager to flee the crappy local economy… But that’s not incompatible with true love. If everybody gets what they want, let’s all raise a glass of champagne.

However, there’s a dark side to this… actually two dark sides. First is the one Kurt referred to–phishers who take your dollars without any intention of introducing you to your own Anastasia. But the darker dark side is the exporting of women against their will. Often these women are forced into prostitution. The report I’ve found most specific to Moldova is Trafficking in Women: Moldova and Ukraine (2000, Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights), but many other organizations have produced reports on the plight of women from the region. Google for the grim details.

Compared to kidnapping, beating, and enslaving women, sending out unsolicited commercial e-mail, a.k.a. spam, seems fairly innocuous.

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