Ciprian Ciocan – Rabla
“The renewal program of Romanian auto park, named Rabla (the Crock) is a financial scheme in which the government provides a hidden subsidy to cars producers, with voluntary participation of the Romanian people. After a semi-failure edition in 2009, in 2010 the Ministry of Environment created a government decision who would ensure the success of the program, how else than by encouraging the black market. Therefore, purchasing a new car would be based on a maximum of three vouchers, each corresponding to a scrapped car and can be traded ‘over the counter’.
What followed this is somewhere between the proverbial communist queues and the American gold-rush. Even before knowing the exact details of ‘Rabla’ endless queues of cars with their early youth passed are sitting in a long funeral procession at the gates of scrap collection centers. Although the officials ensured that the number of vouchers is more than enough for everyone, suspicious people flocked from the first days, to make sure that they will grab those tickets. In the first three weeks (February-March), were sold over 30,000 vouchers, more than the whole 2009. Now, in September, vouchers are still available, but the companies that process the cars are forced to advertise in newspapers, to fill the lack of clients.
If it has not been yet written, I think that a treatise on Romanian queues would be very successful. This ad-hoc microcosm may be a significant cut in our culture. I found in those queues all kind of human typologies: the developed capitalist, the nostalgic communist, the black-marketer, the annoying cameraman, the pushing employees and the boss who coordinates the movement, the reformer, the ungrateful, the cool guy, the reactionary dame, the organizer, the opportunist, the happy old man, the concerned father and the young rushed boy who wants to run elsewhere.”